March, 2011
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Survey Reveals What Consumers Know and Don't Know

SANDY BOURSEAU

Harris Interactive conducted a survey on behalf of ASHI to gauge current consumer perceptions about the purpose and value of a home inspection. Among the results: 88 percent of all homeowners believe home inspections are a necessity, not a luxury.

That news is worth a pat on the back — years of investing in programs to educate consumers about home inspections and ASHI continues to pay off. But the purpose of commissioning the survey as part of this year’s public relations program was not self-congratulation. Its true value will be realized when you see the data and supporting materials published across the country, in print, online, even blogged and tweeted.

More good news from the survey:

• Nearly three in four (72 percent) U.S. homeowners agree the home inspection they had when they purchased their current primary residence helped them avoid potential problems with their home.

• Almost two in three (64 percent) noted, in the long run, they saved a lot of money as a result of their home inspection.

But…


In addition to the good news, the survey revealed where ASHI needs to focus future educational efforts because many consumers incorrectly believe certain components are included in a standard home inspection. For example, septic systems, electrical wiring and plumbing behind drywall and swimming pools are commonly mistaken as items that are included when, in fact, they typically are not. With the introduction of ASHI’s auxiliary standards for inspecting pools and spas and conducting pre-drywall inspection, there will be opportunities to enlist the media in educating consumers about the questions they should ask before hiring an inspector.

Education to continue

Gibbs & Soell, ASHI’s public relations agency, developed the questions, commissioned the survey, organized the results, then wrote and distributed a press release and support materials, which married the media-attracting data with positive information about ASHI inspectors and the society while correcting misconceptions.

And, of course, the basic message remains consistent and clear: ASHI encourages home-owners and buyers to get an ASHI home inspection to protect their investment.

Clips from here and there

Amanda Gengler, a writer from MONEY Magazine, published an article that includes a quote from David Tamny. This article appears in the January/February double issue, which is on newsstands now.  

• “The Four Season DIY Home Guide”

Melinda Fulmer, a freelance reporter, interviewed Jack McGraw and featured his quotes in an article that appeared on HGTV.com: 

•“5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home”

The article, written by Marilyn Kennedy Melia from Content That Works, includes a quote from David Tamny. It is still receiving coverage and was recently featured in: 

Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.)   

 An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discusses the importance of a professional home inspection and mentions contacting an ASHI Certified Home Inspector: 

• Local Real Estate: “So now we have the home inspection report; what happens next?”

InspectionWorld attendees receive template

ASHI members were encouraged to use their educational experience at InspectionWorld to promote themselves in their local markets. To help them do so, Gibbs & Soell provided a template press release that was available to members at the ASHI InspectionWorld booth and was included with the evaluation forms e-mailed to attendees following the conference.

 When the information is presented professionally, community newspapers and real estate-related newsletters welcome news about local business people. The template made it easy for conference attendees to take advantage of this opportunity to be in the news.