Housemasters Franchise Canada - CEO & President, Vladan Veljovic

Date: AUG 6th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Vladan is responsible for all Housemaster Franchise Canada operations and business development of the organization as well as its parent company, GreenSaver. Vladan has over 25 years of leadership experience in different industries, in Canada, US and Europe. Prior to this role, he was the President & CEO of a multinational manufacturer, VP for Business Development for a major utility and also headed several corporate divisions in the US and Canada. Vladan has an MBA and an Engineering degree.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the HouseMaster franchise concept?

Vladan Veljovic: HouseMaster franchise is the North American and Canadian leader in home inspection services and the oldest home inspection franchise opportunity, dating back to 1979 when Ken Austin set up the first home inspection franchise. Ken Austin was a visionary with a desire to establish a new business model which would work for people who wanted both an independent business and the support of an established home services provider. As a successful marketing professional, Ken knew that with a quality technical program and the right promotion, the home inspection could become an integral part of real estate transactions across North America, and a worthwhile business for thousands of small business owners. The HouseMaster System continues the vision that Ken started. With the most experienced and professional support staff in the industry the HouseMaster name continues to represent quality and leadership. HouseMaster franchise is a professionally managed company that has retained the culture of a family owned business and sees their franchisees as part of the family. Today, there are over 370 local HouseMaster franchise offices, whose inspectors have collectively performed over 2 million inspections.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with HouseMaster franchise?

VV: As the CEO of the HouseMaster franchise parent company in Canada, GreenSaver, we have been helping homeowners with their energy efficiency needs for over 25 years. Having home inspection as an integral part of our full service residential services, was a natural progression. After carefully looking at potential expansion opportunities, we decided on the best! In 2011 we bought the HouseMaster Master franchisee for Canada and have been growing the HouseMaster franchise brand ever since. With over 25 franchise territories coast to coast, and strong national partnerships, HouseMaster franchise is now the acknowledged leader in Canadian home inspections.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining HouseMaster franchise?

VV: I have led a major corporation, numerous corporate divisions, small companies and start-ups. As the CEO of GreenSaver, I have grown that organization by more than 10 times, over 7 years. During this time, we have expanded residential services to homeowners, while creating hundreds of well paying careers. We intend to have an even greater growth with HouseMaster in the next few years and this is the perfect opportunity for new franchisees to join our team!

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a HouseMaster franchisee?

VV: HouseMaster provides a proven training and support method, enabling both novices and experienced home inspectors to succeed in the home inspection industry. Our method is both superior and simple, and our support is next to none. HouseMaster has technical, marketing and administrative support for its franchisees, both in Canada and through its relationship with HouseMaster in the US. HouseMaster has also developed national partnerships with mortgage providers, relocation companies and insurance brokers, in order to significantly boost business for its franchisees. Perhaps the biggest seal of approval is that HouseMaster is the ONLY home inspection franchise that was selected as the Canadian Franchisee Association (CFA) “Franchisor of the Year” in 2014. This honour is only bestowed on franchisors with absolutely top reviews from their own franchisees! In short we care about our franchisees and we will ensure that you succeed!

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

VV: There is no magic formula for our ideal franchisee. We have had experienced home inspectors, former construction employees, young graduates, corporate transplants looking for a home services business and younger retirees, all become successful HouseMaster franchisees. The technical and training support is readily available and we can help most people, with the right attitude, make a success as a HouseMaster franchise. Some of our most successful franchisees are husband and wife teams or family businesses, where the franchise is passed on to the next generation. Our approach is to encourage new franchisees to plan out their strategy in advance, and achieve milestones that are specific to their own goals and needs.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Home Inspection Market?

VV: The Home Inspection market in Canada is very fragmented, with very few serious companies offering quality home inspection services. HouseMaster is virtually the only one that still has good franchise territories available across the country. While it is relatively easy to become a home inspector, it is very difficult to succeed in the market on your own. And it is getting harder – many provinces have already implemented, or are in the process of implementing very strict certification and licensing rules, and starting out without corporate support usually means a long lean business road for most. At the same time, home inspections are becoming almost a condition of any real estate transactions, and a true consumer need. HouseMaster has approached these challenges as an opportunity to grow and make its franchisees the best and most successful in the country.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

VV: The key lesson for me has been the power unleashed, from gaining the trust and support of our franchisees. When we took over Canadian operations we launched numerous programs to directly benefit our franchisees and they have responded in kind – by making their individual franchisees the best in their local markets. We treat everyone as a family member and yet still provide the professional corporate support, necessary to succeed. We have exclusive national partnerships with a number of major companies in the home inspection and real estate industry, and ensure that our franchisees reap the business benefits of this! We believe that we as a franchisor have a clear role in our franchisees’ success, and we ensure that we not only deliver but exceed those expectations.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?

VV: During my career I have worked with many industry leaders who have provided and continue to provide both inspiration and occasional mentoring. While confidence and business savvy is a key ingredient of any business success, the help one gets from a role model and a mentor can be invaluable. My key role model remains my late father who was both very successful and the most ethical person I knew. One of the key aspects of the philosophy I have learned in life is to play fair and treat everyone with the respect they deserve.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

VV: Getting into business for yourself, and yet relying on a proven partner, is a major decision that should be made carefully and after due diligence. The difference between a good and a bad franchisor could be the difference between your business success and a never-ending struggle. If you are considering HouseMaster, talk to our franchisees and consider their experiences and advice. Put together a rough outline of your goals and a business plan, and evaluate if this will be the venture for you and your family. And above all, get comfortable with HouseMaster and its people, before making the decision. This is a choice that should and, if done right, will benefit you and your family!

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that HouseMaster would be a great opportunity for someone?

VV: HouseMaster has a great reputation and history but, more importantly, an even greater future. With the home inspection growth and expected industry consolidation, this is an affordable home based business, where anyone with the right attitude and a willingness to learn, and work hard, can succeed. HouseMaster will provide training and a method to grow your business and will support you fully. Whether you are looking to become a home inspector yourself, or an opportunity to grow and run a home inspection business, there is an opportunity with HouseMaster to turn your dreams of an independent business into reality. My commitment to you is that we will be with you all the way, and ensure that you succeed in this endeavour. I am looking forward to having you join the HouseMaster family!