December, 2005
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Washington, D.C. Media Tour

SANDY BOURSEAU

Several times a year, ASHI's president meets the press on media tours arranged by the public relations consultants. Earlier this year, ASHI President Don Norman conducted walk-along inspections and met with reporters, editors and publishers in St. Louis, Mo., and again in Des Moines, Iowa. In October, he and PR counsel Lisa Gunggoll traveled to Washington, D.C., where they met with editors at the following publications and did a mock walk-along inspection.

Hanley-Wood
Hanley Wood (H-W), LLC, is the premier business-to-business media network serving North America's residential and commercial construction industries. Norman and Gunggoll spoke with editors for Remodeling; Custom Home; Building Products; Products Remodeling; and Replacement Contractor.

Topics included an introduction to ASHI; how ASHI can work more closely with contractors in terms of sharing leads and educating contractors on the benefits of recommending inspectors to clients in advance of remodeling projects; an overview of inspectors' responsibilities and common problems found with an inspection; how home inspection can be a good career choice for people with building industry knowledge; and a snapshot of 2005 Home Inspection Business Operations Study results.   

Outcome: Since the tour, Remodeling Senior Editor Leah Thayer requested and received the completed Business Operations Study and is working with Gunggoll to include some information from it in an upcoming issue. Don Norman also will be writing an article for the "In Person" section about what remodelers and inspectors can learn from one another.

Norman and Gunggoll also met with Rick Strachan, the H-W publisher in charge of Remodeling; ProSales, Tools of the Trade; Journal of Light Construction; Replacement Contractor; El Nuevo Constructor, and Coastal Contractor.  

Outcome: Various opportunities exist for ASHI to partner with H-W on editorial content, product distribution through ASHI's online store, educational and speaking opportunities at expos, and potential ASHI participation in existing H-W industry trade shows.

50-Plus Housing Magazine
50-Plus Housing Magazine, formerly Senior's Housing News, is a trade publication of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Norman and Gunggoll met with Jeffrey Jenkins, assistant director of the 50-Plus Housing Council. The Council targets the 50-plus housing market from the builders' perspective. It publishes a monthly e-newsletter and magazine.

Outcome: Norman expressed interest in ASHI Inspectors becoming certified as  Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) so ASHI can expand its resources to better support the 50-plus community with their "aging in place" housing needs.  CAPS is offered to contractors and other professionals serving the senior housing market who want to learn how buildings can be built or remodeled to better accommodate people as they age. There also is opportunity to share editorial information via copy swapping in the Council's and ASHI's e-newsletters and magazines.  

Washington Post   
Norman and Gunggoll met with Sandy Fleishman, real estate reporter, to discuss pre-remodeling inspections, legislation in the D.C. area, hot housing markets prompting homebuyers to forego pre-purchase inspections, and life situations that call for an inspection aside from homebuying and selling.  

Mock walk-along inspection
Prior to the tour, WTTG-TV (FOX) expressed interest in attending a mock walk-along inspection in Alexandria, Va. Unfortunately, WTTG-TV canceled due to a breaking news story (one that made national news coverage the next day). Since Gunggoll and Norman were already on-site at the selected home, Norman conducted a cursory inspection of some major systems and Gunggoll took a number of photos that can be used in the future.

Members in the media
Richard Berger, AeroHome Inspection Services, Stoughton, Mass., was interviewed by a reporter for Banker & Tradesman who was interested in profiling New England-area home inspectors who dedicated their time to hurricane relief efforts. Berger has been a Disaster Safety Officer with FEMA since 1999, and recently was responsible for training and inoculating over 6,000 FEMA disaster relief workers.

Kris A. Prestidge,
Prestidge Home Inspection, Deer River Minn., reports he has been talking about home inspections and home maintenance on KAXE, the community radio station in Grand Rapids, Minn.; for 20 minutes a month. He takes calls from listeners on some shows, and on others he is interviewed on the air by the station director. Prestidge said his appearances were developed from a 10-minute phone conversation he had with the director early this year.

Kurt Mitenbuler, Kurt Mitenbuler & Assoc., Inc., Evanston, Ill., was quoted and identified as an ASHI Member in a MarketWatch article entitled, "Home Buying Season Coming to an End: Be sure the home you purchase is termite free."

Frank Libero, United Inspection Consultants, Garnerville, New York, was quoted in the The Staten Island Advance on October 21, in an article focusing on licensing of New York state home inspectors.

ASHI President Don Norman was quoted on the This Old House Web site's Special Section: Surprising New Fire-Safety Recommendations.

Chapters in the media
Northern Illinois, Central Illinois and Great Lakes Chapters continue to run their full-page ad in Illinois REALTORĀ®.

Here and there
Philadelphia Inquirer (Knight Ridder) - ASHI was featured in Alan Heavens' Oct. 9 article: "Gulf realty market unreal after storms." Result: Article was picked up by several news outlets, Austin-American Statesman, BayouBuzz.com, and The Herald (Bradenton, Fla.) among others.