We invited some ASHI members to share their experiences with IW. Whether you are attending InspectionWorldTM for the first time or the 21st time, you can learn something from their insights. Hope to see you in Las Vegas!
Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections, 952-915-6466
First-time attendees should look for a pre-conference email from ASHI that has a link to a “hidden” web page that provides links to all of the speaker presentations. As soon as I receive that email and link, I take the time to download all of the presentations. Then, on the plane ride out to IW, I pore over all of the presentations to help me decide which sessions I want to attend.
Also, use your time at IW to get to know other inspectors from across the continent. Ask how other inspectors do things, market themselves, hire inspectors and so on. I’ve found that everyone I approach is extremely generous with tips and information.
The technical courses are always the most well-attended sessions at IW, but the biggest benefit to attending IW is the ability to attend the business management classes. Those types of classes are rarely, if ever, offered at the local level because speakers typically aren’t interested in training all of their local competition to do the same things that they’re doing. To get the most out of IW, I recommend attending as many of the business management sessions as possible.
As I take notes during the business management sessions at IW, I put stars or asterisks next to all of the tips that I’ve picked up that I plan to implement when I get back home. I spend the next several weeks implementing those changes.
Finally, don’t miss the Annual Luncheon and Awards Presentation, which will be held this year on Sunday, January 22. Attending this event each year has really helped me to appreciate all of the people who are involved with ASHI and who have made and are making it the organization that it is today. Not to mention, there’s always great food!
Miki Mertz, Complete Home Inspection, 913-268-0222, www.completehomeinspectionkc.com
I’ve been attending InspectionWorldTM since 1992, missing only one for family reasons. I look forward to attending IW each year to see old friends and make new ones. I always approach it with these three goals in mind:
1. Learn something new.
2. Check out the new vendor products.
3. Have fun and get motivated.
Even though I’ve been doing inspections for 24 years, I still find it helpful to go to many of the basic-level courses, found in the Inspection Essentials track. The information I learn (or relearn) at these sessions reminds me of what I am supposed to be inspecting, and I always pick up new tips and sharpen my skills. I also try to go to classes featuring topics that I don’t know anything about so that I can grow in knowledge and skill.
The vendor space is a great resource for buying new stuff or asking questions about various products like software, tools and insurance. The other thing I really like about the vendor space, especially at meal times or during receptions, is that it is where I can go to talk to people. I think this is the best place to hear other people’s “war stories” and find out that everyone deals with the same issues. I can hear creative ways others have found to inspect or to market themselves. So, each time I’m in the vendor space, I talk with my old friends and I try to meet someone new as well. The things I learn from fellow home inspectors can help me make more money and become a better inspector.
I try to go to a class during each scheduled time slot. When I’m not in class or visiting vendors, I enjoy sightseeing in the city we’re in that year. I frequently bring my husband with me, and we often arrive early to do some sightseeing and then he heads back home when the conference starts. When our daughter was young, we brought her along, too. That way, we got a family vacation out of it, and my airfare and hotel could be covered as a business expense for the time I was going to be there for the conference.
The President’s Gala is a lot of fun. Great food, music and dancing. Yes, home inspectors do know how to dance. I like that we all get out on the dance floor, even if we don’t specifically have a partner!
To keep the motivation and energy and knowledge going after IW, I try to read through my notes and the handouts I received during the sessions and at the expo booths. The free online classes also help as a refresher.
I encourage everyone to attend IW. It’s well worth the time and money.
Mary Anne Tonini, Home Inspection of Kentuckiana, 812-949-1451
I have always loved education. So, attending the classes at IW makes me feel better about what I know and helps me learn more about what I don’t know.
But what I find to be the most valuable part of my time at IW is the opportunity to converse and share with fellow inspectors.
IW provides many occasions (formal and informal) for this type of communication, and I find that it always leads me to gain a better understanding of the business, the challenges and the rewards.
I find that the friends I have made at IW over the years continue to come back to IW. When we reconnect each year, we often follow up with each other regarding things that we had brainstormed or complained about in the past. They are always willing to share their knowledge, and I can feel free to share my experiences as well. Most of the time, we are from different states and have no issues with competing with each other.
I also get the opportunity to meet and talk with other inspectors who are women, which is nice. I have no other women inspectors in my area, so this is refreshing. I enjoy meeting them, talking to them about specific struggles that do not normally impact the men in this field and encouraging them in any way I can.
I also enjoy the time I get to share a room, meals, evenings and the gala. This allows me time to get to know inspectors on a level that opens up an opportunity to discuss issues that may be more personal or not something that would normally be covered in a class or presentation.
I have also enjoyed getting to know the ASHI staff. There was a situation last year where I needed a letter from ASHI and, because I was familiar with the staff , I believe that this request was easier to make and was handled immediately.
These are reasons why I come back to IW year after year!