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Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, one of the largest home inspection companies in North America, with headquarter offices in both Tampa and Toronto, has added 75 franchisees in 2015…and expects a similar rate of growth in 2016.

“Pillar To Post celebrated its 20th year of service in 2014, so to say that we’re still growing at a rate like this is all the more impressive,” says President Dan Steward. “Potential franchisees see the value in joining a company that has decades of experience in the industry, providing a level of support the likes of which are not seen elsewhere.”

Ranked No. 1 in the Home Inspection Category and 109th on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2015 Franchise 500 list, the franchise—recognized throughout the U.S. and Canada for its comprehensive home inspections—stands among the upper-echelon of 4,000 franchise systems in North America.

In addition to their appearance on this year’s Entrepreneur Magazine’s list, Pillar To Post has also enjoyed a bevy of commendations for their support of military veteran franchisees. In fact, they’ve been recognized by Franchise Business Review year after year as a top franchise for veterans, as well as a Top 50 franchise system for franchisee satisfaction.

The company was also named a top franchise for veterans by U.S. Veterans Magazine, and in June 2015, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors was acknowledged by World Franchising Network on its top-50 list of franchises for veterans.

“We’re growing internally as well to match the support necessary for launching this year’s stellar list of new franchisees,” adds Steward. “The enthusiasm and level of character in our new franchisees is second to no other system.”

A perfect example of a new franchisee is Army veteran Lamar Wheeler, who opened his Pillar To Post Home Inspectors business in San Antonio, Texas, in April 2015. Wheeler left corporate America behind to control his own destiny as a business owner. He left the Army in 1996, ending a career of distinction that spanned 20 years. Immediately thereafter, Wheeler entered the workforce with Iron Mountain Records Management, where he worked for 15 years. But a desire to see his grandchildren grow up spurred him to move to Texas, where, inspired by both a wish to be closer to his family and a decision to leave something for his daughter and son-in-law—both active members of the military—Wheeler formulated a plan to open his own business. He had plenty of options to help make his desires a reality, but none were more enticing than that offered by Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. With hundreds of existing franchisees, Pillar To Post has been offering home inspections for more than 20 years, a reputation that won Wheeler over.

“It was important that whatever business opportunity I chose would let me set myself out from the crowd,” says Wheeler. “Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has three different inspection packages to offer clients, while most other home inspectors only have the basic inspection. This gives homeowners a host of options for the kind of inspection they’d like, instead of being handcuffed to only one. The precise level of the inspection is up to them.”

But Wheeler was inspired by more than Pillar To Post’s reputation as an industry leader. The housing market, he says, is now such that he sees big financial incentives for owning a home inspection business. “Home sales are easing monthly,” says Wheeler, “which is good for the economy and good for individuals like me. Home inspections are taking off, so it’s an industry that’s primed for expansion.”

No stranger to giving orders, the onetime drill sergeant found the value in joining a franchise that could give him guidance. “Pillar To Post is a proven system, and by following the company’s guidelines, you have a much better chance to succeed than if you were to go it alone. With Pillar To Post, I can be my own boss while still having a system in place to help me get off on the right foot. I’ve had nothing but good jobs throughout my career, but I know nothing can be better than being your own boss. I’ve learned to just go for it; if you have a plan, it will work.”

Others attracted to this particular business are couples who have worked for years in separate jobs before deciding that they want to be in business together. One such example is Kelly and Kelley Cox of Satellite Beach, Fla., who predict a coming boom in the local housing market.

“We’re seeing a lot of new technology and space jobs coming into our market, which will bring an uptick in real estate sales,” says Kelly Cox.

After serving for 20 years in the Marines, Kelly and wife, Kelley, both worked for defense contractors in Washington, D.C. “We were tired of the rat race,” says Cox. “We decided it was time for a change and moved back to our home state to seek new opportunities.”

After conducting extensive research online to see what the world of franchising had to offer, Cox says it was clear that Pillar To Post was the right company for them.

“We both grew up with parents in the construction industry, so it was an easy transition for us,” says Cox. “We both enjoy working with people, and I enjoy the newness that each inspection brings.”

With Kelly Cox working as an inspector, plus two other inspectors and an office staff, the Coxes feel comfortable with the success of their business, although Kelly admits they might add a few more employees in the next couple of years.

More importantly, the Coxes totally relate to homeowners and the need for proper and strong construction. While the couple survived Hurricane Andrew, their one-year-old home at the time did not. “We lost everything,” says Cox. “It was a tragedy we turned into a lesson about how homes should be built and reinforced.”

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