January, 2020

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


Entering a New Decade of Home Inspection

JAMES THOMAS

We have reached the year 2020. This particular year always seemed so far away when I was younger. I may have watched one too many episodes of “The Jetsons,” but I expected flying cars, robot maids and colonies in space by this year. In fairness, the Jetsons would still be 40 years away, as the cartoon was set in the year 2062. 

Other than the flying cars and space colonies, we’ve done pretty well from an advancement standpoint. All of us have a phone in our pocket with more processing power than the computers that were used to send the first astronauts into space. We have access to information online at any time. 

This doesn’t mean, however, that we’ve always been the most productive with using these technological advancements. I’ve been curious about what great minds such as Newton and Einstein would accomplish if they were given the same resources we have today. I doubt they would spend time on fruitless conversations on the different outlets available. 

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) started in 1976, and 2020 begins the 44th year of operations. If you think of the Society as a person, middle age is approaching fast. For most people in this age group, perspectives start to shift as experience now matches knowledge. 

As an organization, ASHI has seen a lot of changes that have led to its collective experiences. From political, economic and social standpoints, tremendous shifts have occurred that have fundamentally changed society. ASHI has not only survived these shifts but continues to impact the profession. 

It’s incredible to think that not only does ASHI provide constant input about “all things home inspection” to legislative bodies at all levels in North America, but key decision makers and influencers from around the world contact ASHI to tap into our collective keen insight. Many countries don’t have the consumer advocates in the home-buying process that many in the United States and Canada take for granted, and they look to ASHI as a resource to help navigate the road ahead

ASHI has always had the foresight to build on strengths gained from experience and to learn about and understand the potential areas of opportunities. Decisions have to be made to build momentum and adapt to changes. 

Many industries have been disrupted by innovations that meet the needs of consumers in more productive ways. Uber and Lyft not only transformed a marketplace for consumers but upended the profession of owning and driving taxis across North America and now most of the world. 

Large corporations with numerous resources at their disposal are now beginning to disrupt the real estate industry. I believe there will be more difficulty for other professions in the industry, but home inspection absolutely will be impacted, too. ASHI’s capable Board is thinking through these things and will continue to work with legislators and other experts to ensure that the home inspection profession is included in all conversations about this industry. 

ASHI serves its members who, in turn, serve their clients to the best of their ability. In 2019, we focused our efforts on ways to continue to improve the ASHI member experience, and we will continue this focus in 2020. This is a moving target, so we try to improve what we do and how we do it. 

As part of this process, we’ve updated our member database system and accounting systems to allow for different departments to redistribute time to focus on interactions with members, innovate in the education space and be more responsive to the changing needs of our members. 

We’re also in the process of complete overhauling the ASHI website. The new website will focus on members, attract consumers and serve as a beacon of educational content for all home inspectors. A lot of time and energy has been focused on this project, and we look forward to rolling it out to you in 2020. We will no doubt encounter some learning curves; however, we are certain that ASHI’s refreshed website will be easier for both our members and consumers to understand and use. 

As always, thank you for your support of ASHI. ASHI doesn’t exist without its members, and we do not take you for granted. We are also grateful to the hundreds of ASHI volunteers who work tirelessly on behalf of the organization. 

Let’s all work together to ensure that 2020 is another great year. I hope to see many of you in New Orleans for InspectionWorld®. Happy New Year!