May, 2002
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Publicis Dialogue Launches ASHI's Consumer Education Campaign

SANDY BOURSEAU

Because consumers engaged in buying or selling property are drawn to real estate news and features, ASHI’s public relations consulting firm kicked off ASHI’s consumer education campaign by engaging the real estate media.

All editors on Publicis’ list of real estate contacts received a packet of seven press releases, a fact sheet and a cover letter reminding them that approximately 77 percent of homes sold are inspected.

Packaged with this reminder of consumers’ growing interest in the topic were press releases filled with interesting facts and quotes, designed to be used in part or in full. Excerpts from four of the releases follow. All are posted in their entirety on ashi.org, media section. 

 “ASHI announces new consumer education program designed to speed sales process, reduce liability”


The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has announced a new consumer education program designed to speed buyers’ decisions and help reduce real estate agent liability.

“Our program is designed to provide both consumers and real estate professionals with the most up-to-date information on the inspection process, as well as lists of qualified inspectors in their area,” noted Mike Casey, president of ASHI, the largest and most respected professional society for home inspectors in the country.  

The new educational material is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, through the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org, or by calling ASHI toll-free at 800-743-2744.
Current lists available

“Now real estate professionals can personally provide listings from the Web site, or direct their clients there for further information,” Casey added, who made the announcement during National Home Awareness Week, which took place April 1-7.

“By recommending Members who follow the ASHI Standards of Practice, real estate agents increase their confidence factor with buyers and may even reduce their liability.

The new ASHI education program provides consumers with a series of professional questions to ask potential home inspectors they’re considering.  These range from credentials, time needed for inspection, scope of written report, to cost.”
“Increased regulation of home inspectors to continue in 2002, says new ASHI President, but regulation must have ‘meaning’”

Regulation activity of the home inspection profession will continue to increase in 2002 at all levels – federal, state and even local – as the relatively young profession continues to be scrutinized. Yet regulators must work with consumer groups, home inspectors and others to ensure that regulation is meaningful.

So said Mike Casey, who recently became President of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), during InspectionWorld, the group’s 26th Annual Conference in New Orleans. Casey, a noted author, lecturer and building construction and code expert, reflected on the opportunities and challenges associated with home inspector regulation.  

Opportunity and challenge

“As the service economy has developed and home sales have surged in recent decades, the home inspection profession has boomed,” explained Casey, whose organization, with nearly 6,000 members, is by far the largest non-profit, professional society for home inspectors. “During that period, ASHI has worked to raise the level of professionalism within the industry. Today, our Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the recognized benchmarks in the industry and consumers even seek out the ASHI Inspection by name.”

“Regulation has yet to affect most inspectors, so looking for professional credentials is still the best way for consumers to select an inspector,” he added, pointing out that consumers are wise to look for ASHI membership, check for references and interview at least three inspectors before settling on one. “In addition to verifying these credentials, we also recommend consumers obtain the details on the regulation that affects them.”

Casey explained that ASHI is committed to working with legislators that seek to develop regulation that is good for both consumers and home inspectors. “ASHI continues to support regulation that has meaning in that it is based upon processes and testing that are at least as stringent as ASHI’s own membership criteria,” he concluded.

“ASHI offers insight into basics of home inspection”

More homebuyers and sellers than ever are hiring home inspectors to prevent surprises and expensive problems.  However, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), it is important for current or future homeowners to understand exactly what a home inspection involves so that they can fully benefit from the service.

“ASHI offers tips on selecting a home inspector”

With more people entering the home inspection profession every day, it’s more important than ever for homebuyers and sellers to choose a qualified home inspector, according to Mike Casey, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

The following press releases were also included in the packet:

“4.9 Million Home Inspections Performed in 2000,”“ASHI/ NAR Study Suggests Dramatic Growth in Home Inspection Industry,” “NAR® & ASHI 2001 Home Inspection Study Executive Summary,” and “ASHI Web Site and 800 Number Offer Convenient Resource in Finding an Experienced Home Inspector.”

Keep it going

Even as Publicis caught editors’ attention with consumer education information, the consultants were looking ahead to the next opportunity to engage the media on ASHI’s behalf. The cover letter in the packet alerted editors to a legislative “White Paper” scheduled to be released by ASHI in the spring. It will provide a report on the home inspector regulation that is in place in states across the country.

Under the direction of the ASHI Board of Directors and the Public Relations Committee, Publicis Dialogue continues to help ASHI deliver its message to the public and to the industry.