When A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) Founder, President and CEO Bill Redfern decided to franchise his home inspection service company in 2007, he knew of the perfect candidate to become the company’s first franchisee.
Zdenko Juric had been living in Nova Scotia for almost ten years when he met Redfern in early 2007. After fleeing the Bosnian War in 1998, Juric and his family immigrated to Atlantic Canada to start a new life.
A self-described people person, Juric worked as a retail manager in Bosnia and came to Canada with high hopes that he would find a rewarding career in the service industry. After working his way through various jobs, Juric tried his hand at real estate and was introduced to the A Buyer’s Choice team.
“I fell in love with A Buyer’s Choice and the services they provided,” he says. “Everyone at the company was also great to work with, so I switched gears and started working with Bill as an employee conducting home inspections.”
It wasn’t long before Redfern came to Juric and proposed that he open his own ABCHI location. Passion for the business coupled with his savvy people skills made Juric an ideal ABCHI franchisee. He has since opened two more locations and currently is the largest home inspection provider in the Greater Halifax Area.
Though he couldn’t be happier with the freedom small business ownership provides, Juric says the beginning of his franchising career wasn’t easy. “When I first started with the company, I didn’t know anything,” he says. “Fortunately, head office has done a tremendous job training me and ensuring all my questions are answered.”
Initial franchisee training can take anywhere from three to five months, which includes the extensive 500+ hours of technical, field and business training that awards ABCHI inspectors the highest level of certification in the country, though Juric says there is always something new to learn in the home inspection business. When it comes to advice for prospective A Buyer’s Choice franchisees, Juric says having strong people skills is crucial. “The goal of the company is to provide a service so you need to love meeting and working with new people on a daily basis.”
When Juric isn’t travelling across Halifax with his four employees, he stays active in his local community by donating his time at the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). The government-run organization provides immigration programs and services, such as family counselling, employment support, and English classes.
“When my family and I first arrived here, we received nothing but support from the Nova Scotia community and ISANS,” he says. “I try to give back and show my appreciation with my franchising knowledge. Refugees can get in contact with me through ISANS if they want advice on networking or how to start a business.”