NATIONAL PROPERTY INSPECTIONS FRANCHISEE SPOTLIGHT: DOUG AND MARGARET VERSAW February 20, 2018 | Business Tips , Franchise , Inspection Tips | client satisfaction , inspection industry , motivation , networking , news , small business National Property Inspections’ Franchisee Spotlight recognizes our most innovative and successful NPI franchises. By sharing their stories, helpful tips and lessons learned, every franchisee can learn what it takes to grow their business. For our February installment, we’re proud to feature Doug Versaw and Margaret Herrera of Golden, CO. Doug and Margaret started with NPI in February 2012. Doug previously worked as a critical situation manager in the high tech industry before joining the NPI family, while Margaret worked as a marketing professional. Since 2012, National Property Inspections, Inc. has awarded them the Pacesetter Award (2013), the Pinnacle Award (2014-2016) and the President’s Club Award (2017). We asked Doug and Margaret to share their insights on joining NPI and growing their franchise. What was appealing to you about the inspection industry? Doug & Margaret: Doug’s always been interested in homes and structures in general. During his time working in the high tech industry, he kept his sanity by providing remodels and basement build-out services on the side. In New Mexico, we lived in a new development that built custom homes. We befriended one of the builders and in the evenings, Doug would check out home mid-build to learn about the construction process. He always emphasized the importance of building things correctly. What skills from your previous jobs have helped you grow an inspection franchise? D&M: In Doug’s previous job, he worked in critical situations with clients. Emotions were always high and timing was a primary focus. The skills from that experience work well in the inspection industry. Tensions can run high, so the client relationship is important. Doug’s ability to read and handle emotions throughout an inspection is extremely helpful. Margaret has worked in marketing and has an excellent grasp on what can be done and what should be done to promote our business. Why did you decide on NPI? D&M: NPI had all the pieces we were looking for. After our visit to the Omaha office to meet the staff, we decided that the culture was a good fit. It seemed more like a family instead of a corporation. What were the first steps you took to gain momentum? D&M: The very next morning after Doug returned from training, he inspected our home, wrote the report and sent it to Randy for review and feedback. Doug continued to inspect the homes of our friends and family until he was comfortable and confident. Working with Kim to follow the marketing plan, we began to deliver marketing materials and goodies to Realtor offices in our territory. On weekends, Doug would plan a route and visited all the open house events that were posted on Craigslist and other publications. The open houses were a great fit as they gave Doug time with agents. When a client would arrive, Doug respected their time and would quietly leave so the agent could focus on the prospective client. Our first referral came from an agent Doug met at an open house. What has been the most challenging part about owning your own business? The most surprising? D&M: The most challenging aspect then and now is the impact on free time. Owning our own business limits the ability to complete tasks in our personal lives whether that be to repair something around the house or on our vehicle, etc. It’s the time limitation for ‘fun’ events like going out or simply enjoying a day doing nothing. The most surprising part is the ability to decide how hard you want to work and your level of income. It’s all in your hands, no one else’s. How did you know it was time to hire an employee, and how did you go about doing it? D&M: We knew it was time to hire when we were losing jobs due to Doug being fully booked. We probably should have started looking for help earlier. We are currently looking to hire again to increase our business and have posted a job online. We’re keeping our fingers crossed! When it comes to marketing, what do you find the most success with? D&M: Our best return is to meet with agents in smaller settings or one-on-one. What are your main goals for 2018? D&M: In 2018, we want to hire another employee, grow our business by 50% and allow more time to enjoy some free time. What advice do you have for other franchisees trying to grow their business? D&M: ALWAYS present yourself in a professional manner. Dress for success. Complete and deliver accurate reports the same day as an inspection. Make sure you use proper spelling and punctuation in your reports, and take quality pictures. Your report is your legacy and is what will either prove you’re a professional or confirm you are not. Build friendships with people in the real estate profession such as agents, stagers or mortgage professionals. Keep your vehicle clean and always have NPI signage. Follow up with clients and agents after the inspections. Provide services such as warranty, etc. that others in your area do not. You need to be able to stand above the rest! To hear more from Doug and Margaret, check out their NPI Facebook page, @InspectionsByNPI . For more from your NPI corporate team, visit @npifranchise .