November, 2006
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Members Making a Difference

SANDY BOURSEAU

Randy Pierson, South Bay Home Inspections, Torrance, Calif., used his inspection skills as a volunteer for the non-profit organization Rebuilding Together, which coordinates free home repair for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. For several years, ASHI has recommended that chapters and members work with Rebuilding Together’s local boards. Volunteer work allows individual members and chapters to generate positive publicity while contributing to the community that supports their businesses. While ASHI members have helped with the actual repairs, most contribute by bringing their inspection skills to the project.

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Pierson (above) inspected a house built in 1951 and owned by an 87-year-old woman who could barely get around. He said he inspects what Rebuilding Together has the capacity to repair, but he notes all safety issues. Pierson found many problems, not the least of which was the neighborly fix for the lack of water flow through the galvanized pipe to the water heater: a garden hose running from the front yard to the heater. Even though the two national organizations have a statement of understanding, local Rebuilding Together boards, like ASHI chapters, are for the most part made up of volunteers and operate with a degree of autonomy. Therefore, ASHI recommends that members contact their local board to volunteer. And be sure to offer to help with publicity. To find a local board, visit www.rebuildingtogether.org.

The power of press releases

ASHI’s public relations consultants distribute a new press release every month. When the releases are picked up by online services and print publications, ASHI’s message gets delivered nationwide. Here’s a report on the two recent releases.

• “Ethics in Home Inspection? What every homeowner should know.” – This release was distributed to home, real estate and consumer-interest reporters at daily and community newspapers. It has been picked up by the Sarasota Herald Tribune and RIS Media/Real Estate News, which often is used as
content for countless other sites.

The press release also may have been the source for the mention in Newsline, the e-newsletter for the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors®, an association serving Montgomery, Md., and the District of Columbia. ASHI Member Arthur Lazerow sent HQ a link to the newsletter because the following appeared under the heading Home Inspector Ethics:

“...Click here to read the ASHI Code of Ethics and know what to expect from any home inspector you work with to ensure an ethical and professional
commitment.”

“This is fabulous,” Lazero said, noting he also wrote about ASHI ethics in his own newsletter.

• “2006 White Paper: ASHI’s Position Statement on the Regulation of Home Inspectors” – According to PR Newswire, the “White Paper” release received nearly 50,000 reads. In addition, it has been posted on 67 Web sites and was recently picked up by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Releases continue to get picked up months after initial distribution.

ASHI in print

The media consider ASHI the number-one source for information about home inspections. Recent mentions in print include the following:

The San Diego Union Tribune (among other papers) ran Lew Sichelman’s article about including home inspections in maintenance routines.

The Detroit Free Press included www.ASHI.org in an article titled “Five Things About Buying A House.”

The Chicago Tribune ran an article about the importance of finding the right home inspector.

This Old House included several mentions of ASHI in their “Fall Inspection Guide.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram covered the ranking of Texas in this year’s ASHI Position Statement in its biweeklycolumn, the Savvy Consumer.

The Washington Post reporter Matthew Robb interviewed ASHI Member Reggie Marston for a story that ran Oct. 1 about what homebuyers should look for when visiting a house for the first time.

Attention ASHI membership: If you are quoted or featured in a published article, share the good news. Send or e-mail a copy to Attn: Editor, ASHI, 932 Lee St., Des Plaines, IL 60016 or sandyb@ashi.org.