Today we’re buzzing with Dave Williams, Regional Owner in British Columbia of A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections.
In just a few years, A Buyer’s Choice has become Canada’s largest home inspection company, with more than 130 offices across the country and current annual revenue growth ranging from 15 to 20 per cent.
As a successful salesman selling power systems for large companies, Williams never imagined himself working in the real estate market in any way. However, his decision to leave his job and make the leap to A Buyer’s Choice was the best thing to happen to him and his family.
Since starting with A Buyer’s Choice Williams has had more time to spend with his sons, and his wife Kim who works with him at the company.
We chat with Dave about why he chose to join the home inspection industry, what sets A Buyer’s Choice apart from other inspection companies, and the benefits of having a proper home inspection.
BuzzBuzzHome:You were in sales before joining A Buyer’s Choice, why did you choose to enter the home inspection field?
Dave Williams: My background is technical. I’ve always been involved in electrical engineering and power systems sales. A big part of my job was to travel which is what motivated me to start my own business. Being a technical guy, I wanted to stay in some kind of a technical field. The home inspection business is a very technical field so it was intriguing. I also wanted to stay with something that included sales and as a regional owner, I help the company acquire franchisees and I sell to the franchise system of A Buyer’s Choice.
BBH: Were you ever interested in real estate prior to working at A Buyer’s Choice?
DW: There wasn’t a particular draw towards real estate, but I had a home inspection on my own home and I thought to myself this is a business I know I can do.
BBH: You began your search for a new career online?
DW: Ultimately, I did find A Buyer’s Choice through a website and I became quite intrigued by it. When I started to do my research and was looking at the company I realized they started franchising and they were doing it east to west.
BBH:You initially didn’t plan on being regional owner, you just wanted one franchise, correct?
DW: Yes, I was asking about a unit franchise and at the time there was no regional owner in place and it wouldn’t have worked because there would be nobody to support me. Then I recognized that I had the opportunity to take the region of British Columbia and build that as my business and we’ve been extremely successful right through the recession.
BBH: What do you think makes A Buyers Choice the number one home inspection company in Canada?
DW: I’ve tried to figure this out over the years — how have we been successful in places where others haven’t? I used to initially think that we have a great system and because we have such a great system we’re successful. It’s not that. There’s two things: one is we spend a lot of time making sure we pick the right people because if you don’t have the right people you can’t run the system. Secondly, our unit franchisees make money, so if our people are making money and they are out there telling that story than we’re going to be more successful.
BBH: But the system you use is quite unique.
DW: Yes. The thing that realtors love is that we have a reporting system that helps us reduce errors, and we are efficient. The realtor and the buyer of the home don’t want to wait around all day. Our system gets you in and out of the home in three to four hours and it almost eliminates the possibility of mistakes and errors. The software can also be tailored to different properties, so you set it up for the specific kind of property that the client is planning to buy.
BBH: As a professional in the home inspection industry, what are some of the benefits to getting a home inspection?
DW: It is becoming very prevalent and there are two things that are helping it grow. Mortgage companies and banks are starting to make it a compulsory component to their mortgage agreements, meaning no home inspection, no money. Insurance companies are also getting more strict and they’re often making sure people are required to get a home inspection to get insurance.
BBH: Are there any downsides?
DW: We get a lot of people saying they have family members or friends that are able to do the home inspection, when really they’re not. So those people go in take a walk through and say it’s a good house and maybe inspect 20 or 30 points. Our electronic software that we use is very comprehensive it covers 250 to 300 points of inspection. Very detailed very in depth and there’s no way people’s family members are going to go through such a comprehensive inspection. So the downside is you can get people that aren’t professionally trained, but there’s no way they could catch everything that we would.
BBH: Is there any advice you would give to people who are considering entering the home inspection field?
DW: Yes I would give two pieces of advice: if you think you can go the channel of going to community college, taking the course, and then becoming a successful home inspector you’re kidding yourself. My advice would be forget that route. Look for a company that has a proven system, that has a marketing strategy and marketing system that can help you to go into business quickly and grow.
Thanks for buzzing with us Dave!