November, 2008
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Foreclosure Campaign Says You Need An ASHI Member

SANDY BOURSEAU

A   home inspector’s opinion is more influential than anyone besides a spouse when choosing a home to  purchase.

Now, that’s good news. Here’s more.

In the same survey, home inspectors were considered very influential by one-third of respondents (35%), significantly higher than realty agents, parents, contractors or mortgage lenders.

These opinions were expressed by consumers who participated in a survey conducted by ASHI as part of a three-prong campaign to convey to the public the necessity of hiring an ASHI inspector when considering the purchase of a foreclosed property. The media push included the following: 

– Consumer survey
– Radio media tour (RMT)
– Radio news release (RNR)

First, ASHI collected the information; then used it for 13 radio interviews with Brion Grant, ASHI president, and for a radio press release, both keying on foreclosures and promoting and directing listeners to ASHI members. Together the radio interviews and press release aired to a cumulative audience of 20,000,000.

Consumer Survey
Media are relentless about discussing foreclosures — avoiding and capitalizing on them. The national survey, conducted by Synovate, a Chicago-based research firm, measured consumer attitudes about purchasing a foreclosed home.

The survey results provided unique news nuggets for the RMT and RNR:

– Two-thirds (66%) of the U.S. adult population would consider purchasing a foreclosed home, although only two percent (2%) has previously done so.

– Home purchasers consider the neighborhood, crime rate, property tax and home inspection results the most
influential factors when deciding whether or not to purchase a home.

• Home inspection was named by four out of ten adults (41%) and that percentage climbs to half (50%)of all adults age 55+.

• Mold detection was named by half of the population as the condition most likely to prevent a prospective buyer from purchasing a home.

– Buyers are hesitant to forgo a home inspection.

• Less than 1 in 10 (9%) are likely to do so even if a 30 percent purchase price discount was offered.

– A home inspector’s opinion is more influential than anyone else outside of a spouse when choosing a home to purchase.

– Home inspectors were considered very influential by one-third of respondents (35%), significantly higher than realty agents, parents, contractors or mortgage lenders.

Radio Media Tour (RMT)
Leveraging the results of the consumer foreclosure survey, ASHI President Brion Grant embarked on a media tour (RMT). As ASHI’s spokesperson, he interacted with 13 radio show hosts, sharing key stats from the consumer survey and explaining the benefits of working with an ASHI Certified Inspector prior to purchasing a home and for general maintenance. During each program, he accomplished the following:

– Distinguished ASHI Certified Inspectors as the best-educated inspectors in the industry

– Highlighted the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

– Directed listeners to www.ASHI.org

– Featured Find an Inspector and Virtual Home  Inspection tools

The RMT resulted in 13 interviews:

– Six live interviews

– Seven taped interviews, with confirmed air dates.

– Cumulative audience (CUME) of 4,895,000 listeners

Radio News Release (RNR)
The results of the consumer survey were used to create a 60-second radio news release (RNR) about the importance of contacting an ASHI Certified Inspector prior to purchasing a foreclosed property.

The RNR positioned ASHI Certified Inspectors as the most qualified inspectors in the industry and directed listeners to www.ASHI.org:

– Cumulative audience (CUME) of 10,793,250 listeners

– Aired 320 times to date

– National airings on USA Radio Network

– Usage in six of the top 10 markets and 16 of the top 25 markets

Airings on top stations including:

– CNN Headline News,

– WFUV-FM in New York and,

–  WLIT-FM in Chicago



Annual Comparative Media Audit summary

Each year, ASHI audits its media presence to assess how well its public relations programs and campaigns are building members’ positive public image.
During the 07-08 fiscal year, 227 articles included the keywords “American Society of Home Inspectors” or “ASHI.” Of these, 95 were considered positive; 132 neutral. Positive articles are those that include spokesperson quotes, references to the ASHI Standards of Practices and Code of Ethics and/or referrals to ASHI.org. Neutral articles are those that reference member news, meeting announcements, association roundups, etc.

This compares to a combined total of 37 positive and 21neutral articles for the other national home inspector
organizations.

Click here to download a PDF of the full Report.

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ASHI and FLASH Build Alliances to Help Homeowners


Brion Grant, ASHI president; Marvin Goldstein, ASHI director; and Bill Mason, ASHI Insurance Committee chair, attended the annual Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) meeting in Orlando, Florida. They joined representatives from state and federal governments, insurance and news organizations, code councils and disaster experts to discuss how homeowners can protect themselves from the effects of natural disasters.

Although the meeting coincided with Hurricane Fay and noted meteorologist Max Mayfield was present, the discussions were not limited to this specific destructive force, but also covered other natural events that threaten people and homes, such as tornados, forest fires and flooding.

A member of this non-profit, public/private coalition since its inception, ASHI continues to promote ASHI home inspectors as a resource for homeowners who need information on how to prepare for these disasters.

FLASH develops the technology for hardening homes, enters into partnerships with state insurance departments and encourages them to call on ASHI members to help deliver the information on how to prepare for natural disasters. Currently, FLASH partners with insurance departments in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

For more information, visit www.flash.org, or contact Bill Mason at W.E.Mason@comcast.net.

Entering into alliances with like-minded organizations, such as FLASH, enhances the reputation of ASHI members and builds awareness of the wide range of valuable services they offer consumers.

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