In 2007, my wife and I moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from the southwest part of the Province for reasons that involved various family matters. We were both interested in finding work where our training and skills could be utilized. For me, that eventually led to the purchase of a Home-Alyze, home inspection franchise.
The opportunity to choose the Home-Alyze franchise, in particular, came about when the Saskatoon franchise came up for sale and was advertised shortly after we moved to the city. I felt my experience in Engineering, working in Construction, and my time operating a farming enterprise would prove valuable for this venture. The Communication skills I gained as a College Instructor would also be useful and thus contribute to success as a Home Inspector. After five years now that has largely proven accurate.
I answered the advertisement and met with the then Home-Alyze franchisee. We talked about the opportunity over several weeks and after some negotiations the ownership was transferred seamlessly to me. During the process, it turned out that we became friends and worked together for two years during which time I “interned” with him. The experience was very positive and a large percentage of referral “good will” was successfully transferred from him to me. Naturally, before the transferral, “on the ground” in Saskatoon, could take place, I took basic training and operations at the franchise head office in Calgary. The staff were experienced facilitators at introducing a new franchisee and took me through their protocols to qualify and accept my application and business proposal.
The Home-Alyze business has been a positive experience overall. The most satisfying aspects of the role are the following:
- Serving clients in positive ways with the largest purchase many of them will every make.
- The freedom, but also responsibility and commitment, that self employment provides and requires.
- The opportunity to be constantly learning about technical areas but also areas that touch on human relationships and communication.
- The potential to earn a living based on an ability to serve the public.
There have been challenges in the business, as well. The most dramatic of these has been the seasonal fluctuations in business with consequent variability in cash flow. Another challenge accompanied the relative economic “boom” that Saskatchewan has experienced in recent years. The latter has brought a flurry of activity in all aspects of construction and related industries and a steep rise in the number of competitor companies operating in the market place including additional home inspection companies.
My experience with the Franchisor and the support centre staff has been very positive, as well. Home-Alyze continues to provide positive support by supplying updated reporting materials and ongoing information about the state of affairs in the market place. They also keep us tuned to relevant ideas for advertising and public relations. I greatly appreciate their willingness to allow the franchisee a large measure of freedom in the operation of their business.
In my opinion the future of the Home-Alyze business in Saskatoon is bright for a number of reasons. First, the brand is now well established with what I believe is a positive reputation. Secondly, a large percentage of the activities involve pre-purchase home inspection and since the immediate future of real estate in Saskatoon is promising both for demand and prices this business will also benefit.