Who makes the best hamburger? Is it one of the big franchises? No. In fact, the big franchises would probably finish at the back of the pack if you ranked all of the possible contenders. Hand-made from a backyard grill wins, followed by cooked-to-order Mom & Pop places, then higher-end specialty chains, and so on. They might beat-out some of the convenience stores, but they usually lean on their chicken anyway. So why do big franchises sell so many burgers?

Because what they’re really selling is not the food. Food is not what they’re good at, selling is. They sell convenience, speed (not so much anymore), low cost (not so much anymore), familiarity, and image. They do it with prime locations, adequate products, and lots and lots of professional advertising. And they make it all work by dealing in great quantities, not great quality. Unfortunately, this is typical of most franchise businesses.

But you need a home inspection, not a burger. You’ll spend 20-30 years working to pay for a house, not 20-30 minutes. Is an “adequate” inspection satisfactory to you? Wouldn’t you prefer a handcrafted “gourmet” inspection if you can get it just as quickly, and at greater convenience? I think most people would, if they could see that was the case. So when you’re done here, click over to “Why Use ACSI Home Inspections” and give me a chance to show you why I believe that is the case.

A few other notes on home inspection franchises:

If you go on-line and look at their franchise info, some of them spend half of the “training period” on business training….i.e. how to sell, of course. And how to maximize ones’ per hour pay (see “Why Use ACSI Home Inspections” on that one).

In Arizona a home inspector is required to be certified by the state Board of Technical Registration. What this means is that the inspector had an FBI background check, they went to school for at least 80 hours, (Two weeks) passed an exam, went out on at least 30 inspections with someone that had to meet the same standard, and is bonded or insured. There is no requirement for continuing education. There is no apprentice program, and basically there is no experience required. Many of these inspectors go to work for large franchises that teach them a few inspection techniques and how to avoid liability. Many use a “check list” style report to remind them what to look for.

ASHI, Many franchises will put the ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) logo on their material.

ASHI is an organization for professional home inspectors. Before you can use the ASHI Member logo you have to have passed two exams, performed over 250 inspections that have met the standards of practice and had your report verified by an independent party. A company (Franchise) can use the logo as long as there inspectors have paid the ASHI dues and all of there inspectors have passes both tests. The inspectors all do not have to be members. With a franchise there is no guarantee that your inspector will have a lot of experience, some do but they are typically the people that run the franchise.

They typically list a bunch of optional services / inspections in their brochures, with a disclaimer about how one must check “locally” for availability. If you did check, you would find most are not available locally, but boy it looks good on the brochure, eh? Everything in my brochure is available, here and now.

They love bells and whistles. Splashy binders and brochures, calendars, inexpensive maintenance manuals, repair CDs’, etc. If you want something on maintenance and repairs, you can pick from a lot of material yourself for not much money. Of course, I don’t offer all of the same things they do, but they don’t offer all of the same things I do either. Would you rather have more of the items listed above, or carbon monoxide testing, heat exchangers, outbuildings, etc…..i.e., more inspection?


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