With all of the setbacks experienced within the last year, it is easy to fall into a scarcity mentality. The owners of ProTec Inspection Services, Rob and Michelle Hopkin, are instead encouraging their team to cultivate an abundance mindset. While the world shifted in 2020, ProTec started laying the groundwork for their 2021 expansion. In the New Year, they introduced their second inspection hub in Philadelphia and launched Peak Environmental, an environmental testing company to service the DMV area.
According to Rob, “It’s not the time to scale back and wait for the dust to settle before jumping into your dream project. The time to grow is now.” With that outlook, the ProTec team has set higher goals for this year than ever before.
The first step in carrying out Rob’s vision for ProTec is getting buy-in from the company’s current team of 40. “We’ve been planting the seed over the last few years to broaden our team’s outlook,” Rob explains. He encourages his team to think about every problem, magnified by 10. “I want them building solutions that will still hold up when we have 100 inspectors or ten inspection locations,” Rob adds.
When asked what led them to the decision to expand, Rob cites two important moments: “The realization that expanding into other markets would be less expensive and potentially more profitable than aggressively increasing our 20 percent market share in the DMV,” and “meeting the right people to head up the new projects.”
In 2020, ProTec brought on four key players and increased their inspection team by 40 percent — and it’s a team they are willing to bet on. For Michelle, the importance of carefully selecting the right person for the job cannot be stressed enough. “With each new hire, we are continually amazed at how many problems take care of themselves. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, focus on your team first and the rest will fall into place,” she says.
Rob recalls meeting the new leader of their Philadelphia division… “Ever meet your dream hire, but they don’t live in your area? Find a way to do business with them. We finally found someone with all the skills and qualities we were hunting for, and rather than letting that connection go to waste, we partnered up to organize a second base camp right outside our current territory.”
Michelle adds, “You just need to take one step outside your comfort zone to get things started. If you’re waiting until your current operations run 100 percent smoothly, you’ll never start something new. You have to accept that the new team will not be void of all of your current hiccups, but both locations will continue to learn and grow together.”
For a seasoned inspection team, not every expansion task is a new hurdle. The ProTec team is confident in their ability to make carbon copies of their best inspectors and transplant them in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey markets. Rob himself poured into their latest round of recruits for over 12 weeks in the ProTec Inspector Academy to ensure each team member meets ProTec’s high inspection standards, which are above the basic state licensing requirements.
In the slower months of 2020, they were tasked with perfecting the team’s virtual communication, learning valuable lessons in the process. “The fear of running a company long-distance went away when we were forced to bring most of our team online anyway. It’s easier than ever before to build a winning team remotely,” Rob states.
Closer to home, the Hopkinses began branching their environmental services arm out with Peak Environmental. Rob recalls, “The idea for Peak started as a way for our environmental division to reach a previously untouched client base.” They looked for limitations with their current model and found that by breaking away from the home inspection division, they would finally be open to a new target audience: other home inspectors.
“With Peak, we want to help smaller, one-man operations that may not have the resources to offer environmental services to their home inspection clients. Keeping the two companies separate gives home inspection companies the option to use us without the risk of losing their clients to ProTec’s one-stop shop,” Michelle concludes.
Want to learn more about what this fired-up team can do? Check out their social media and take a listen to their up-and-coming podcast ProTalk with ProTec.