2002 was a good year for ASHI. In June of 2002, the Finance Committee met and submitted to the Board of Directors for their approval an Operating Budget of approximately $3 million. Dues revenue represents a little over 55 percent of our annual income, which is an appropriate percentage for an organization of our size and scope. With a reserve fund of $1 million, we are in the best financial shape in our history. Although the stock market has hurt everyone, ASHI continues to maintain a strong financial position to provide benefits to the membership and to impact our profession.
From tenant to landlord
ASHI paid off the mortgage on our headquarters building in October of 2002. The Society is now the proud owner of a 6500+ square foot office building. Just a few short years ago, headquarters occupied about 2000 square feet of office space, and we were in serious need of more. A search provided several prospects. A building at 932 Lee Street in Des Plaines was found to be suited to our purposes. When the offer was made and accepted, ASHI went from being a tenant to a landlord. Putting this in perspective, the annual rent on the 2000 square foot office space cost as much as our annual mortgage payments on the new building. With the purchase, ASHI began investing in its future. Because of an aggressive re-payment plan fueled by Membership support, ASHI was able to pay off the building well ahead of schedule. You should be proud of your Society. This shows strength and commitment, and provides an asset that benefits ASHI by saving rent dollars on office space and earning rent as a landlord.
ASHI has begun a branding campaign that, when completed, will identify qualified ASHI members as being able to offer “The ASHI Inspection” and will move us toward our “Big Audacious Goal” of having home inspections become known as “ASHI Inspections.” It is the biggest goal ASHI has ever undertaken and will mean money in the pockets of those inspectors who offer the “ASHI Brand Inspection.” It will also be costly to market the brand. Fundraising for this program will require the help of all members who wish to participate, but it promises greater recognition and increased revenues for our businesses.
We are starting our third year with our federal lobbyist, Randall Pence. ASHI’s image and influence on Capitol Hill has grown immeasurably over three years. HUD and Congress now know us as the source for information on issues of importance to buyers and sellers of homes. ASHI headquarters receives calls from HUD and Congressional aides several times a year asking for input on issues important to homebuyers and sellers. This adds credibility to our Society, our members and our profession. ASHI’s stature continues to grow. If you haven’t been contributing to the legislative fund when you mail in your dues, please re-consider. It makes a
difference and comes back to you in many ways.
At the October Board meeting, the Board of Directors approved the formation of a Political Action Committee commonly referred to as a PAC. This is another step in the process of becoming a recognized voice in actions or legislation that might impact our profession. With specific rules on PAC operation, the PAC will be managed separately from ASHI with guidance from our federal lobbyist, Randall Pence.
The bottom line is simply that your Society is in the best financial shape it has ever been in. ASHI provides more products and services to us than ever before. ASHI is prepared to launch the largest public awareness and marketing campaign in our history with the ASHI Brand. We now are heard in Washington D.C., where, just a few years ago they didn’t know our name. We are consulted on matters of real estate by federal agencies and political leaders! And finally, our voice and influence will continue to grow with the formation of the new Political Action Committee. Not bad for 12 months.
Yep, 2002 was a good year for ASHI. Let’s all be thankful for having been part of it.