November, 2018
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Want to Make More Money?

TIM BUELL

I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline-powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too. 

Steve Martin, Actor

One of my goals for 2018 has been to provide opportunities for ASHI members to make more money. Thanks to the efforts of ASHI staff members Mike Rostecu and Michele George, along with ASHI board member Bryck Guibor, I can share with you an opportunity ASHI members have with the Association of United States Postal Lessors (AUSPL).

AUSPL provides education and training to its members by making available experts in lease negotiation, building inspections, maintenance, property taxes and other services lessors need to better manage their investments. Additionally, AUSPL offers technical expertise, advice, informative publications in print and online, and customized insurance for postal buildings, exclusively for members. Through lobbying efforts, AUSPL strives to ensure that leased postal facilities are fully considered as a means of ensuring that the United States Postal Service (USPS) meets its universal service mandate, especially to people in rural America.

There are more than 25,000 leased post offices that need inspections at least every five years in order to renew their lease with the USPS. We are proud that AUSPL has chosen to work closely with ASHI on this project to meet the needs of their members. 

When and why should a post office lessor inspect his or her building?

  • A post office lessor always should consider an ASHI-developed inspection plan before negotiating a new lease with the USPS. Knowing the extent of necessary or expected repairs allows lessors to negotiate fair rents to help defray those costs.
  • If it has been more than a few years since the last building inspection, a lessor should again consider an ASHI inspection under the program. It’s prudent to always be aware of the condition of their property.
  • Any time a major repair has been performed on the building, it is a good idea to consider an inspection by a qualified member of ASHI within the warranty period to ensure there are no signs of defects in the repair.

This opportunity and required training is FREE and available to ASHI members. Here’s how to participate:

  1. Go to the ASHI Online Learning Center and log into www.homeinspector.org/onlineeducation.
    1. Click on the banner of AUSPL INSPECTION PROGRAM (shown here), which will take you directly to the Welcome page. 
    2. Study the PowerPoint slides.
    3. Take and pass the test to become an AUSPL post office specialist You will receive a certificate at the end.
    4. ASHI automatically knows when you passed and will forward your information to AUSPL.

  2. You must use software specifically designed for postal-leased buildings (Horizon), which will be made available to you through AUSPL.

  3. You will need to review and execute the recommended inspection agreement with AUSPL, and send a copy to your errors and omissions (E&O) insurance carrier for approval. Do not market to or solicit inspections directly from a post office. If someone from a post office contacts you, refer them to AUSPL to obtain proper government approvals for the inspection.

  4. AUSPL will contact you when a post office in your area needs an inspection.

  5. The hired member of ASHI will schedule the inspection with the post office lessor.

  6. The report will automatically be uploaded to AUSPL (cloud-based) website for review to ensure compliance with USPS.

  7. Once the report is approved, the inspector will be paid by AUSPL within 10 days.

    Questions? Contact Bonnie Bruno-Castañeda at ASHI Headquarters (847-759-2820 or bonneb@ashi.org).

I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity! It is way to make money while providing a much-needed service. This is an excellent opportunity for multi-inspector firms.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers

On another note, I created a task force, chaired by ASHI board member Bronson Anderson, to look at better ways to utilize the ASHI Reporter. Based on the task force’s report to the Board in July, we’ve decided to include articles by the ASHI President and the ASHI Executive Director on a quarterly, rather than monthly, basis. This will allow us to use more pages for advertising, as well as offer more features of chapters and members, more information about ASHI benefits and other important topics.

 

ASHI President, Tim Buell