June, 2002
From the ASHI President.
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Volunteering

MICHAEL CASEY

“To improve is to change;
to be perfect is to change often”

  —Winston Churchill

As the above quote implies,  change is good. ASHI, as a society, and we, as business persons, must always be looking to improve what we do. This usually includes change. Some of us may be resistant to change, especially if what we are currently doing is working fine. This is called the comfort zone. Most of us like to be in our comfort zone. However, going outside of the comfort zone can open our eyes to new ways of performing inspections, operating our business, or serving customers. Remember, because you’ve been doing something a certain way for 15 years doesn’t mean it will work for the next 15 years. Just something to think about.

Ways to volunteer

As you have probably noticed, the theme of this issue of the Reporter is volunteering and association participation. Obviously, I consider participation in the Society an important part of my professional life, and have chosen to be active at the National level. This is not for everyone. For one thing doing so requires a huge time commitment.

Other ways to volunteer include serving on a committee or the Council of Representatives, and participating in local chapter  activities. Many chapters and individuals have been responding to legislative activity in their states, spending time and resources trying to shape the process and outcome. Chapters are also involved in community service projects, providing an opportunity to promote ASHI while contributing to the community’s welfare. 

There is much to choose from. Even promoting ASHI and ASHI Inspections in your own business provides support for the organization. Every level of Society support is important. Pick something and do it.

Get to know your peers

Another reason to participate, particularly on the Chapter level, is to get to know other inspectors. I have had the pleasure of networking with my fellow inspectors in several chapters. Not only is this important for ASHI, but also for our businesses. I call this being “friendly competitors.”

Much more is possible with group participation when it comes to marketing the ASHI Chapter to local homebuyers and real estate professionals. Another benefit is the referral base you build through chapter participation. Successful inspectors get busy and sometimes are unable to work within the timeframe needed by a potential client. What is his or her next question? That’s right, “Can you refer someone?” Well, sure I can, and it will be one of the home inspectors I know from chapter meetings, because I know and trust their competence.

Get to know the other inspectors in your area. Go to chapter meetings. If there is no chapter nearby, start one.

If you agree with Winston Churchill, you may want to give change a try. And, maybe volunteer activities are one of the ways you’ll choose to step out of that comfort zone. Good luck.

Take care, we’ll talk next month.