October, 2011
From the ASHI President.
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Prepare to do Better in 2012 & Beyond


Chapter planning
When do we find time to plan for the future? We should think of October as the month to do this. It is the first month of the last quarter of the year. In October, ASHI invites current and future leaders to Chicago for a day-and-a-half Leadership Training Conference (LTC). The purpose is to provide training to the local leaders so they can take new learned skills and make the chapters more vibrant providing an atmosphere for growth.

This year’s LTC is being developed under the ASHI 2011 Chapter Relations chair David Haught and ASHI Director of Chapter Relations and Membership Services, Russell Daniels. We want new chapter leaders to attend this session scheduled for Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21. The highlights of the agenda include:
  • Reviewing 2010 LTC planning session
  • Conducting your chapter in an orderly manner
  • Promoting new ACI gold logo
  • Successful war stories
  • Chapter and individual promotion programs including social media CE opportunities for chapters
  • Leadership development
  • Chapter recognition
ASHI National provides a stipend of $300 per chapter to help defer the cost and investment for chapter leadership development. If your chapter has not sent a representative in the past several years, I highly encourage you to do so. There is still time to sign up and get cheap airfare! The chapter will receive an excellent return on the investment and will be better if the techniques taught are applied. Please, send new leadership to this outstanding event. For additional information, contact David Haught at 304-417-1247.

I am honored to be visiting seven large chapters and the CAHPHI fall conference in September and October, addressing approximately 500 ASHI inspectors. In my November message I will be reporting my experiences.

Personal planning

With the down economy and the down real estate market, there is no magic pill to make your home inspection business successful. If you are doing well, congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back. Success comes to those who have a sound fundamental plan, who execute it, review it, and change only when necessary. The plan should be based on a foundation of common sense. It all comes down to hard work, strategy, time and dedication. We also will have more success by collectively marketing the meaning of the gold ASHI logo and ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI).

Karen Cortell Reisman, nationally renowned speaker who spoke at InspectionWorld 2007, offered some advice at the 2011 ASHI Great Lakes Chapter summer seminar. Her underlying message is be true to thy self. Look yourself in the mirror and answer the following question: “What are three reasons someone should choose you to do the inspection?” Now write down the three reasons with no more than three words for each point. For effective communications, less is often more! This now becomes the message in your marketing program.

It is important in today’s environment to have a website and one that comes up high with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I firmly believe this is an item that home inspector businesses should farm out to web professionals. Do your homework in selecting your provider. Then listen and execute as advised.

There are two fundamental theories of marketing home inspections.

One theory is to market to Realtors®, the theory being that they have found the needles in the haystack, the buyers. The downside is too many Realtors want you to twist and distort the condition of the house so the sale will go through. Do you want to put up with the nature of the beast, the real estate agents? If you are going to market to Realtors, consider becoming registered in your state as a licensed real estate continuing education provider. Then develop several classes to offer at brokerage offices and at Boards of Realtors®. I offer one-to-three-hour classes in brokerage offices and three-hour classes at the Boards. The Boards often pay for classes. This is a great phenomenon, getting paid for your marketing. If you approach a real estate office to get on the agenda at a sales meeting, you are groveling to sell yourself. If you provide a class, you are providing what the agents want and need, plus you get more face time. In every class I teach, I include at least 10 minutes about ASHI. In the long run, doing so gives me greater credibility and drives more business to me.

The other theory is to market directly to the public. The Internet opens and provides more opportunities to this public approach.

The time to plan is now. Use October to plan for your society and for your personal business.