We’ve officially entered the era of DIY. The Internet has become a breeding ground for self-proclaimed experts, providing step-by-step instructions for homeowners looking to handle garden maintenance, interior decorating and repairs themselves as an affordable solution. The outcome can be great for those select few of us with that natural knack for quick fixes.
But when it comes to perhaps the largest investment many adults will make throughout the course of their lives, there is no room for mistakes. This is where the proven system of a franchise brand comes in handy. Home service franchises have provided homeowners with reliable solutions for years, and the segment is set up to continue booming into 2017 as the real estate market continues its rebound.
“The real estate market has been white hot for the last few years and a lack of inventory has been a challenge,” Showhomes COO Matt Kelton said. “I would say it will cool off and inventories will grow which is a good thing for our industry. We have experienced double digit growth over the last few years and we expect for it to continue in 2017.”
Anya Nowakowski, Senior Research Analyst with FranData, notes that the real estate industry has added 21 franchise brands since 2013, amounting to 26.6 percent of the real estate industry. Nowakowski adds that in the real estate industry, the franchise model offers people consistency that they can trust, even as the market itself goes through changes and transitions.
“As an industry I think you will see more companies entering the franchise space,” said Alair Homes COO, Adam McCaa. “Investing in a residential construction franchise is a smart way to overcome the typical challenges and obstacles you would face as an independent contractor.”
With a record number of entrepreneurs set to take advantage of franchise opportunities in this industry, new and old concepts have emerged as forces to be reckoned with in 2017 - here are 25 of them.
Unit Count: 3 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $54,500 - $98,000
Launched just this year by Buzz Franchise Brands, Pool Scouts tops the list for ones to watch in 2017. Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise system made up of operators and technicians who are trained in treating and servicing pools, prepared to provide ongoing maintenance, cleaning and repair services throughout pool season and beyond. Pool Scouts recently opened its first locations in North Carolina, Virginia and Texas, and is set up to continue its initial success going into its second year in franchise development.
Unit Count: 456 U.S. Franchises, 138 International Franchises
Investment Range: $68,453 - $85,513
In its 20th year of franchising in the United States, Weed Man surpassed 450 franchise locations and was ranked second by Forbes Magazine on its Best Franchises to Buy in 2016 list in the under $150,000 category. Set up to continue this momentum into the new year, Weed Man not only provides control of the pesky plants mentioned in its name, but provides full service lawn management to create the best outdoor spaces. Its full scale of services, including everything from insect management to lawn aeration services, have allowed Weed Man to stand out in its category among competitors who may only offer one select service.
Unit Count: 551 U.S. Franchises, 58 International Franchises
Investment Range: $46,750 - $137,600
Established in 1970 and beginning franchising in 1981, Rooter Man added five new franchises in the month of September 2016 alone. Continuing at this rate, the brand has the potential to put up massive growth numbers in 2017. Rooter Man passed the 550 franchised locations mark in 2016, and takes pride in having these locations operated by experienced staff who are prepared to tackle even the largest plumbing and drain cleaning projects. Rooter Man has been rated Entrepreneur Magazine’s #1 franchise opportunity in the plumbing, sewer, and drain-cleaning category consecutively for the past nine years, and is set up for another successful year in 2017.
Unit Count: 1,704 U.S. Franchises, 1 International Franchise
Investment Range: $156,075 - $209,950
SERVPRO provides around the clock restoration and cleanup services for the home. Providing emergency services whenever disaster strikes, the system has reached 1,700 franchises and continues to grow. Established in 1967, the brand’s services have grown from smaller residential restoration to assisting in cleanups after the September 11th, 2001 attacks. In an effort to operate the brand’s corporate headquarters in a more central location within 600 miles of 50 percent of the United States population, SERVPRO relocated to Gallatin, Tennessee from Sacramento, California. This new, modern home base even includes a 24-hour call center to dispatch to the closest SERVPRO operator.
Unit Count: 253 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $90,800 - $140,000
With more than 20 years of experience, Window Genie started off 2016 strong by coming in at its highest ever ranking on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 at #170. The brand has opened between 20-25 new franchises annually for the past three years. Window Genie specializes in providing all window service needs, from pressure washing to window tinting. As the brand’s services have expanded over the years to include cleaning for gutters and decks, so has its development as a brand since its 1994 establishment. Expect Window Genie to continue this steady growth into 2017.
Unit Count: 154 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $355,440 - $582,190
Rent-A-Center was established on the idea that not everyone has the means to purchase the products they need to furnish their homes. The brand was founded in 1886, but did not enter the franchise space until 2013 – and by the end of that year upwards of 90 franchises were opened. Three years and more than 150 franchises later, Rent-A-Center has clearly established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry and has zeroed in a customer need that will always remain relevant - making possibilities for 2017 limitless.
Unit Count: 349 U.S. Franchises, 29 International Franchises
Investment Range: $75,000 - $590,500
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is the largest franchised moving company nationally and internationally. The brand has more than 2,500 trucks on the road and has performed more than 6 million moves since being founded in 1985 by Mary Ellen Sheets and her sons, Brig and Jon Sorber. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s extremely steady growth has been observed for more than 75 consecutive months, and has plans to continue this into 2017, with additional growth projected in not only the United States, but internationally as well.
Unit Count: 167 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $69,600 - $122,500
The Virginia Beach-based mobile mosquito prevention company provides mosquito control treatment through its 245 franchise locations nationwide. In 2016, 42,000 new customers have been recruited, with more than 65,000 served across the country in total. System wide, revenue has more than doubled that of 2015Coming off this record-breaking year, Mosquito Joe is primed to continue this dynamic growth into 2017.
Unit Count: 444 U.S. Franchises, 30 International Franchises
Investment Range: $134,750 - $169,500
Established in 1991, Certa Pro has continued steady annual growth providing its residential and commercial painting services through more than 400 locations and counting nationwide. Certa Pro Painters has been acclaimed over the years for not only commitment to exceptional work, but most recently for its support of Homes for Our Troops.
Unit Count: 942 U.S. Franchises, 104 International Franchises
Investment Range: $99,240 - $202,070
Providing blinds and window coverings for all budgets, Budget Blinds, Inc. spans more than 1,100 territories serving more than 8,000 cities nationwide and counting. Providing everything from basic needs like the functionality of shutters to stylish drapery, the brand provides window coverings that serve a variety of needs for the home. The work of Budget Blinds has been featured in the national spotlight on television shows such as Undercover Boss, Buying & Selling with the Property Brothers, and most recently on Designing Spaces Military Makeover special, in which a home was renovated for a deserving veteran including new custom window furnishings.
Unit Count: 133 U.S. Franchises, 3 International Franchises
Investment Range: $82,125 - $136,850
The nation’s largest bath and kitchen refinishing company, Miracle Method is primed to continue taking hold of the industry in 2017. The brand, recently named on the Franchise Times Top 500, has built a system of 135+ franchisees but prides itself on keeping to its roots. Despite this nationwide success, Miracle Method prides itself on staying local by making sure that franchisees live in the markets they serve, forming personal relationships tailored to the client’s needs and providing them with an affordable option for their homes.
Unit Count: 685 U.S. Franchises, 37 International Franchises
Investment Range: $283,270 - $852,820
With more than 2,000 showrooms across the United States and Canada, Aaron’s sells and leases home furnishings and appliances. Ranked #3 on Forbes Magazine’s Top 20 “Franchise for the Buck,” the brand prides itself on setting up local owners to successfully run full retail operations with a high ROI and a high customer satisfaction rate. Not only is the franchise investment one that is considered affordable, but its services are as well. Aaron’s is set up for customers to furnish their living spaces with the goods that add the finishing touches, but that they may not be able to afford full priced. In less than 25 years of franchising, Aaron’s has surpassed the 600-location mark and is seeking franchisees for continued growth throughout the United States and Canada.
Unit Count: 435 U.S. Franchises, 87 International Franchises
Investment Range: $33,900 - $42,300
Reaching a milestone 500 franchises since launching its franchise opportunity in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors provides an unbiased inspection and evaluation of the home. The brand has emerged as a true leader in its category, affirmed by Entrepreneur Magazine naming Pillar to Post Home Inspectors as the leading home inspection company in the country.
Unit Count: 8 U.S. Franchises, 53 International Franchises
Investment Range: $84,750 - $163,700
Founded in 2007, Alair Homes has completed more than 1,800 customized home building and renovation projects. After rapid expansion and a territory sell out in Canada, the brand has been taking on the United States, opening locations in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio with this nationwide growth momentum to continue into 2017. Catered to clients in the luxury home market, the brand’s success begins with motivated franchisees and is rounded out by its extremely unique Client Control™, in which every single aspect and update of the building process is shared with the client in real time, keeping them informed from start to finish.
Unit Count: 58 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $45,700 - $79,860
The leaders in superior home staging, Showhomes takes vacant high-end homes and completely transforms them into fully furnished and habitable living spaces. Since its start in 1986, Showhomes has helped realtors and homeowners sell more than 25,000 residential properties worth more than $8.5 billion. Showhomes provides top notch service by bringing together experienced interior design and real estate professionals, as well as unique programs such as the “One-Day Makeovers” for rapid turnaround on currently inhabited homes and the Home Manager™ program.
Unit Count: 310 U.S. Franchises, 4 International Franchises
Investment Range: $77,055 - $555,300
Taking pride in its promptness and efficiency, One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning provides affordable HVAC services. One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning employs experienced technicians who are able to quickly assess problems and provide solutions that will leave customers to enjoy the renewed comfort of their own homes. With almost 90 percent of units franchised, the brand has been consistently recognized as one of the fastest growing in its segment. The brand recently broke the 300-location mark and has seen extremely consistent growth year over year, a trend that is set to continue in the coming year.
Unit Count: 474 U.S. Franchises,
Investment Range: $89,200 - $137,200, 173 International Franchises
Molly Maid was established and began franchising internationally in 1975, and expanded franchise opportunities into the United States in 1984. Molly Maid currently has nearly 175 franchises internationally, and nearly 475 in the United States. The system wide sales for Molly Maid saw an increase of $12 million last year, setting the brand up for what is sure to be a successful 2017, and with plans to take hold of new markets. The franchise group for Molly Maid, Service Brands International, was acquired by the Dwyer Group in June of 2015, the largest purchase in the group’s history.
Unit Count: 20,024 U.S. Franchises, 1,474 International Franchises
Investment Range: $31,800 - $155,534
With more than 3,500 locations, this worldwide franchise provides carpet cleaning solutions to families around the globe. Ranked for more than 25 years annually as the #1 carpet cleaner by Entrepreneur Magazine, Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning maintains this coveted spot through consistency in use of methods proven successful over the years.
Unit Count: 269 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $83,555 - $419,050
Known nationwide as “The Punctual Plumber,” Benjamin Franklin Plumbing provides 24-hour emergency services for all plumbing needs. The brand has added upwards of 20 new locations in 2016 and is set up to continue this growth momentum into 2017. The brand’s success is built on not only all-around great service, but also its timeliness and variety of offerings, which range from initial installation to repairs when needed.
Unit Count: 140 U.S. Franchises, 3 International Franchises
Investment Range: $4,675 - $48,755
Established in 2013, this relatively young brand has already established 140 locations across the United States and 3 in Canada as it begins international expansion. The brand’s unique owner-operator business model creates unprecedented business opportunities in local markets, setting up motivated individuals interested in business ownership with a proven system and success model. Maid Right has a roster of incomparable cleaning methods that set the brand apart, including its EnviroShield® system, which clears harmful contagions from surfaces using professional grade projection that has been tested in high risk germ environments like day cares and hospitals.
Unit Count: 123 U.S. Franchises, 7 International Franchises
Investment Range: $83,400 - $184,750
Boasting more than 200 locations since its establishment in 1994, Mr. Electric provides electrical services to homes nationwide and has proved itself to be an innovator and high performer in the segment. With consistent recognition on lists such as the Entrepreneur Franchise Top 500 and the Franchise Times Top 200, Mr. Electric is not only an industry leader in development but in all around services for families, such as child proof outlets.
Unit Count: 173 U.S. Franchises, 40 International Franchises
Investment Range: $73,470 - $200,070
Initially established as Sunshine Grounds Care in 1987 The Grounds Guys has come a long way as a brand. The landscape maintenance business joined forces with the Dwyer Group in 2010, and emerged as The Grounds Guys prepared to begin franchising. Since, the brand has racked up a whopping 180 locations, but maintains commitment to quality that it was founded on. The brand added over 20 locations over the past year, and this growth is projected to continue into 2017.
Unit Count: 194 U.S. Franchises, 7 International Franchises
Investment Range: $70,892 - $152,570
In its 20th year of franchising, The Cleaning Authority is an environmentally responsible residential cleaning franchise with over 200 locations in the United States and Canada. Eco-friendly cleaning products are used to guarantee a full proof clean, and the brand itself is responsible for the proprietary “Detail-Clean Rotation System.” The brand is respected in local markets for not only its quality service, but also its community involvement through local initiatives such as The Cleaning Authority CARES, working to collect canned food for those who need it most at this time of year.
Unit Count: 530 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $81,500 - $100,450
Lawn Doctor provides all around lawn care and maintenance, from tree care to mosquito control. Coming up on its 50th year of franchising in 2017, the brand has thus far surpassed 500 franchised locations nationwide. Lawn Doctor has steadily opened between 20-40 locations over the past three years and is primed to continue this growth into the new year.
Unit Count: 188 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $54,850 - $64,900
With a specialty in rapid turnaround on kitchen projects, Kitchen Tune-Up is in its 30th year of business and thriving. Kitchen Tune-Up was recently ranked #1 in the Building & Remodeling category Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list, speaking to the growth it has observed and its expertise in the industry. The brand hopes to rid customers of the inconvenience of having to leave their homes for weeks at a time during renovations. Kitchen Tune Up has developed consistently in recent years and this is projected to continue in 2017.