August, 2004
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Chapters Get Grants, Launch Campaigns

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

The ASHI Experience Update

For ASHI South (Alabama), it was as simple as “Develop and Maintain a Web site.” For PRO ASHI (Western PA), three typed pages of ASHI Experience plans supplemented the Chapter Grant Approval Form. In all. 20 chapters have submitted the required form and received a check to promote The ASHI Experience locally and to fund related chapter activities. That means a lot of chapters still have money coming. If chapter leaders are looking for some ideas, they might find them in the following highlights.

Print ad campaign in full swing

More than half the grant forms included print ad campaigns under the heading Proposed Activities. All planned to use The ASHI Experience ad files provided on the Chapter CD or available for downloading from the ASHI Web site.

North Carolina specifically stated on its grant form, “Place 1/4 page, b/w ad to run 5X over a period of 10 months in the ‘Tar Heel Realtor®’ magazine, sent to all Realtors in the state.”

Heartland reports it will receive one page of editorial space free for every ad it places in a real estate broker/agent publication; therefore, the two ads will be alternated in as many issues as money will allow.

Central New York is covering all the bases by placing ads in the local Realtor® Board newsletter and in regional real estate consumer magazines.

NICASHI (Northern Illinois) plans to cover the metro Chicago area with ads in real estate-related publications, and Suncoast (Florida) is hiring someone to manage the placement of its print and radio ads, as well as the other ASHI Experience activities it has scheduled.

“We speak house” hits the airwaves


WHP listeners in Harrisburg, Pa. can hear the radio ads sponsored by Central PA.  Southern New Jersey is negotiating a package price with a station that broadcasts to all of New Jersey, and is looking to share the costs with neighboring chapters.

Recruit/retain

In addition to promotional ideas, Southern New Jersey leaders looked for chapter programs. They found them on the Chapter CD. Unaffiliated home inspectors already were invited to attend a monthly meeting free of charge. Now, the chapter adds activities from the CD to their recruitment/retention program, including a “newcomer” hour to “help mentor Candidates,” as well as other mentoring techniques.

Great Lakes is expanding its newsletter, and Hampton Road (Virginia) will initiate one to reach out and strengthen the bond with current Members and Candidates. 

Unique use

Two chapters got creative with the print ads. After adding The ASHI Experience to its brochures, North Central Ohio will display them in real estate offices in stands created from laminated copies of the 4-color print ads.

Indiana will introduce The ASHI Experience to local real estate agents and brokers through a mail program, then deliver similar display stands to real estate offices, so the information reaches both agents and consumers. Chapter members are committed to maintaining the displays. Indiana is one of several chapters adding its own money to the grant money to fund programs.

Charity, shows, and online

Three chapters—including Central Illinois—decided getting involved in community and charitable events would benefit ASHI and the public.

The grants are underwriting chapter appearances at home and real estate shows from coast to coast. Central Illinois, Gulfstream (Florida), Georgia, and Rocky Mountain will all promote The ASHI Experience at shows this year. In addition to participating in Realtor® trade shows, NOVA (Northern Virginia) is joining three Realtor® Associations, and Silicon Valley (California) is creating presentations to deliver to real estate professionals.

Funding will be used by seven chapters to develop or upgrade Web sites. SNEC (Southern New England) is going to advertise on the Internet, and also plans to participate in talk shows to reach consumers and real estate professionals.

Grant Approval Form necessary to receive funding

Chapters must submit a Chapter Grant Approval Form to HQ to receive The ASHI Experience chapter funds. The check will be sent within two weeks of the grant being approved. The forms can be found in the ASHI Experience Chapter Funding & Activities Guidebook. The Guidebook is included on the chapter CD sent to chapter leaders, and it can be downloaded from the ASHI Web site. In addition to the form, the Guidebook provides ideas on how to use the funds for local advertising and membership development.


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The ASHI Experience Tip of the Month

Consumers are using the direct contact tool

Since being offered the option of contacting an ASHI Inspector directly from Find Inspector on the Web site, consumers have elected to do so 15,688 times (as of July 7, 2004).

Consumers are endorsing this tool by using it. ASHI Inspectors can accommodate potential customers who want to use e-mail or cell phone text messages (SMS) to reach them by manually activating the direct contact option for their listing, and by keeping their online contact information up-to-date.

These 15,000 plus direct contacts came from 37,414,042 total hits on www.ashi.org, 246,772 unique visitors, 100,473 of whom used Find an Inspector. Visitors also logged 26,264 Virtual Home Tours by July 7, 2004.

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Hello St. Louis

Fox 2 news in St. Louis aired ASHI’s recently released Video News Release (VNR) six times between July 2-5, 2004, on various newscasts.

The consumer education VNR featuring ASHI President Steve Gladstone and ASHI Executive Director Rob Paterkiewicz focuses on the Virtual Home Inspection found on www.ashi.org and on the importance of using an ASHI home inspector.

And Philadelphia–and Denver–and a location near you

In little more than a month since its release, the VNR had already aired to audiences of more than 2 million.

Television broadcast  outlets where ASHI’s Video News Release has aired:
  • CNN
  • CNN Headline News 
  • CNN Financial News 
  • KYW-3, CBS Affiliate in Philadelphia
  • KUSA, NBC Affiliate in Denver
  • KTVI, Fox Affiliate in St. Louis

TOTAL AUDIENCE: (as of 7/9/04) 2,146,697

These outlets also posted complete articles on their respective Web sites, directing consumers to use ASHI Home Inspectors and/or visit the Virtual Home Inspection on ASHI.org.
 
HIGHLIGHT:
On June 23, 2004, ASHI was featured in a more than three-minute home inspection segment on “5 Tips” with Geri Willis. The segment appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News and CNN Financial Network, with a total combined audience of just over 1.5 million. The complete article and steaming video also was posted to the CNN Money Magazine Web site with links to ASHI.org.

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