National Property Inspections celebrates 20th anniversary
Twenty years ago, president and founder of National Property Inspections, Roland Bates, interviewed his first three franchisees. At the time, he was the owner, operator, educational staff and sales department for the fledgling company, its only employee. All three of the men he interviewed signed contracts. All three stayed with NPI at least 10 years and one remains an inspector with the company today.
"For me personally, the most exciting moment for NPI was when I received that first royalty check for $14," Bates said. "It proved the system would work."
His system was and is based on the tenets of honesty, integrity and professionalism. He trained and supplied franchisees with long term success in mind, slowly building the company. Today, NPI operates in Canada as Global Property Inspections and boasts nearly 300 franchisees spread across both countries. NPI inspectors have performed approximately two million residential and commercial property inspections.
"I have always believed that if our franchisees were successful, then the company would be successful," Bates said. "I try to focus on the long term business development of each franchisee rather than getting a lot of money up front." He also promotes diversifying business for each inspector. "From the beginning, I thought this could be more than just home inspection," he said. "That's definitely proven to be the case."
NPI services include home inspections, pre-listing inspections, baseline property condition assessments, builder's warranty inspections, field services and other specialty inspections like water and Radon testing.
NPI franchisees spend two weeks at the company's training center in Nebraska. Classes focus on technical training, business and marketing skills. Each franchisee receives a handheld computer complete with NPI proprietary inspection software, printer, digital camera, inspecting tools, textbooks and a marketing startup package. Back home, the trainees are matched with an experienced mentor for a week of hands-on training. NPI supplies all its franchisees with marketing and technical support as business develops.
For Bates, big or small, the business continues to be about one thing - people. "Over the years, I have built some tremendous friendships with the franchisees," he said. "The franchisees would be welcome in my home, and I'd hope I'd be welcome in theirs. You just can't put a value on that." NPI officially celebrated 20 years on Feb 19, 2007.