September, 2003
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI Branding Specifics

ROB PATERKIEWICZ, CAE, IOM

At the July 19 Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C., the formal plan for the ASHI Experience was approved, setting into motion elaborate and comprehensive actions.

After compiling thousands of survey responses from the ASHI Membership, homeowners and real estate professionals, and spending hundreds of hours in conceptual development during a year of research and planning, we now have the right combination of elements to move forward and launch the ASHI Brand. The stage is set for a complete rollout of the ASHI Experience at InspectionWorld Albuquerque.

Who
All full Members and Candidates with ASHI Logo use privileges (C2s) will automatically be enrolled in the program, and will be given the training and tools to enhance their businesses. As advertising and marketing builds relevance to the ASHI Experience language and graphics, Members and C2 Candidates will directly benefit through associating themselves with the Brand and using the tools provided for their own marketing efforts. (Remember C2 requirements are passing the ASHI Standards and Ethics Exam and the National Home Inspectors Exam, conducting 50 fee-paid inspections and passing report verification.)  The branding plan also includes important features that will focus on helping all Candidates qualify to participate as soon as possible.

What
Here’s what’s coming your way.

• A completely new ASHI Web site that will incorporate Customer Relationship Management features to help build your business and enhance ASHI’s image.

• Training and education programs to enhance customers’ experiences delivered at InspectionWorld,  chapters, on video and online.

• Local and national advertising and marketing programs including print and radio ads promoting the ASHI Experience to homebuyers and real estate professionals.

• Direct support of your business via the ASHI Experience Toolkit with full-color brochures; templates; Power Point presentations; CDs with camera ready artwork and customizable print ads and marketing tools; customer survey cards; business success tools; and more.

• Extensive public relations programs focused on building alliances to promote the ASHI Experience to the public.

• An incentive “points” program providing rewards for ASHI Inspectors receiving high-quality customer experience reports.

• A restructuring of ASHI and a reallocation of resources through targeted strategic planning efforts.

This won’t be easy. It will require hard work from many volunteers,
staff and retained experts. It also will be expensive. In fact the Board approved expenditures of $1.2 million over the next 12 months to brand ASHI. ASHI is absorbing over $500,000 through loans and our operating budget. After the first of the year however, we will ask that the Membership assist in funding these programs and tools. First in everyone’s mind when asking you for this funding is providing a return on your investment (ROI).

Full Members and C2 Candidates will be charged a dues assessment of $250; Candidates $50. ASHI will direct $50 from this dues increase to your local chapter for its use in promotion of the Brand and membership assistance. As we roll out the program, our goal is to grow each member’s business by 5 per cent within the first 12-18 months. Based on the national average fee for a home inspection of $289 (according to the 2002 ASHI Business Operations Study), for less than the cost of one inspection, the initial ROI will be five per cent growth in your business. For the typical inspector performing 250 inspections annually, this ROI would be approximately $3,600 in increased business.

This is truly a time of great excitement and anticipation for what’s ahead. Join us, participate in as much as you can, promote the Society and the ASHI Experience, and watch your business grow.