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



Building on the Established Foundation: ASHI Branding Update

ROB PATERKIEWICZ, CAE, IOM

As we continue our pursuit of the ASHI Brand, I want to make sure you are kept fully up-to-date on our efforts. This year we’ll see much progress in this matter as we get set to build for the long-term growth of ASHI and to grow your business.

As many already know who attended the exciting Branding session at January’s InspectionWorld, this effort is the most important and comprehensive move ASHI has ever made. The Society is at a crossroads. We face the continued spread of new and enhanced state inspector regulation, increased competition and heightened consumer awareness of the need for inspections and their increased expectations of the inspector These real challenges pose threats and opportunities for ASHI as we look to the future of the inspection profession.

For many of you, the short-term outlook, the status quo, is working just fine. Real estate markets are strong and business is plentiful. However, evaluation of the challenges shows a different story for the long-term outlook. Your ability to differentiate yourself and remain successful will diminish. Our choice to brand ASHI is the best choice because it allows us to build from what we already have in place; a solid foundation of strong ethics, standards and technical expertise. By doing this, we remain true to ourselves and add value to those who use our services, our stakeholders.

Branding will grow your business, and it will ensure long-term growth for ASHI by delivering on the key points our stakeholders need and have requested. Our stakeholders include homeowners, real estate professionals and home inspectors.

Through extensive research, we have identified those key points — those things of value that will raise the bar and build positive relations with our customers. There is more to share with you about this then space will allow. In future updates, however, I will focus on what our specific data means for all of us. You will soon receive a video produced at InspectionWorld addressing key research findings for this exciting project.  

What I can tell you now is that the data confirms our efforts over the past 27 years have built a strong foundation for this program. We will leverage the solid tradition and credibility of our legacy to create real differences between ASHI Inspectors and all others, thereby ensuring business advantages for tomorrow. Our branding campaign will increase awareness of the ASHI Inspector and the ASHI Inspection. Like a laser beam, our message will target those who use our services. With the focus and strength of a laser beam, we will work toward a future where ASHI will be at the “front of one’s mind” when making a home inspection decision; where ASHI will be the organization of choice in providing referrals of inspectors; where we will grow our value through increasing membership and customer base; and where more business and money will go to ASHI Inspectors because of greater differentiation and more market share.

We are working to create a program that you can be comfortable using. Whether it is a focused promotion to real estate professionals or targeted marketing to homebuyers, it will be a program that can be tailored to suit you. Even inspectors who work for a franchise or large multi-inspector firm can use the ASHI Brand to their advantage by simply blending it into their own program or brand. Maintaining a high level of business ethics, inspection standards and personal expertise should not conflict with existing promotional programs. We believe all ASHI Inspectors can successfully use the ASHI Brand.

The ASHI Board continues its extensive work on this monumental project, working with our hired team of outside experts to help guide us in our work. You, the Membership, will now play an integral role by helping us understand your views. We want you to be excited about the branding program and what it will bring, but we also want you to be comfortable with the specifics of the program, especially who will be able to call him or herself an ASHI Inspector and what the ASHI Inspection will include. The next phase begins with the distribution of the video. We’ve kept it short and to the point. I urge you to watch it and watch it again. Then follow the directions to get online and provide your input on specific elements of the upcoming program. The information from this survey will be presented to the Directors at the April meeting. They’re waiting to hear from you.

Stay with us and get excited about what’s ahead. The success of this program is in your hands. Help build the foundation for our success.