January, 2006
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Web Press Releases a Success

SANDY BOURSEAU

Web-distributed release nets 704 estimated pick-ups in 12 days

Selected ASHI press releases now are being distributed through a public relations Web site with dramatic results. For example, within 12 days, the release announcing the addition of an audio guide to the Virtual Home Inspection on ASHI’s Web site was estimated to have been picked up 704 times according to a report from PR Web. (This number is an estimate of how many times the story was picked up by media outlets; it does not tell you many times it appeared. Pick-ups indicate media interest.)


More 12-day results
  • 67,073 reads (The number of times the release was accessed from PR Web and other distribution points where PR Web has the ability to measure a click-through.)
  • 48 prints (The number of times someone printed the press release, measured by the number of times the “printer friendly version” link was pressed.)
  •  61 PDF downloads (The number of times the release was downloaded as a PDF document. This may be reflected in “Reads” and “Estimated Pick-up” statistics.)


Specific placements

In addition to the results from PR Web, ASHI’s public relations representatives reported the number of times the press release was housed on or downloaded from major search engines and was found on desirable Web sites.

Search engines:
  • 222 placements, per Google
  • 957 placements, per Yahoo
  • 1,218 placements, per MSN


Real estate Web sites:

Here’s a sample of what the electronic media found to be so interesting.


ASHI Web site Launches Audio Guide for Virtual Home Inspection
Industry-First Tool Educates Consumers on Expectations, Standards of Practice


Des Plaines, Ill. – According to recent surveys, consumers are increasingly dependent on the Internet to help make their home buying decisions. At the same time, home inspectors are using the Web more to promote their businesses.  Now, with the help of a new online tool, homebuyers and sellers can learn about and virtually experience a home inspection—one of the most important components of the real estate transaction—before they call in a professional.  Consumers can access the American Society of Home Inspectors’ (ASHI) audio-enhanced Virtual Home Inspection (VHI) at www.ASHI.org.


Copley News Service picks up Business Operations Study stats
James M. Woodard wrote “Home Inspections on the Rise” for Copley News Service. A story published by a major news service is assured of nationwide placements. The article extensively cited ASHI’s new Business Operations Study, which was introduced to the media via traditional press release distribution.
Visit www.ashi.org, media and publicity, to view ASHI’s press releases.


Members in the media
“The Awful Truth” was the perfect headline for the Washington Post story featuring Arthur Lazerow, Alban Home Inspection Service, Inc., Bethesda, Md. That’s exactly what Lazerow found during an ASHI Standards inspection arranged by a Washington Post reporter for a reader who had contacted the newspaper with concerns about a house she had purchased without an inspection. Lazerow was well aware that the hot sellers’ market in his area had many buyers agreeing to drop the inspection contingency. He hoped an article on the subject would help educate buyers about the risks they were taking. The Saturday, December 3, real estate section lead story used photographs and quotes from the ASHI Inspector to describe the condition of the house, and documented in detail the homebuyer’s despair as she realizes she will have to tear down or completely repair a house she now considers uninhabitable.


The article also reported a significant downturn in business for Washington, D.C.-area home inspectors, as buyers felt pressured to waive inspections.


Lazerow said he was pleased that both ASHI and MAC-ASHI were mentioned in the story, and he concluded, “I couldn’t have bought better PR.”


Lazerow also was quoted with Joseph Walker, Claxton Walker and Associates, Washington, D.C., and Brian Koepf, Brian Koepf & Associates Inc., Reston, Va., in a Washington Times article also reporting the “Washington-area’s seller-driven real estate market” had motivated buyers to offer contracts without the home inspection contingency. But, as suggested by the title “Phones of house inspectors ringing again,” this story was about how a change in the market and buyers’ bad experiences seemed to be causing a backlash against the practice.


Identified as a licensed home inspector and 14-year ASHI Member, Jack Fehlandt, Mr. P Inc., Streamwood, Ill., advised readers of the Hoffman Estates (Ill.) Chamber of Commerce and Industry Newsletter “Selling, Buying, Maintaining a Home? Get Help!” His article was published in The Small Street Journal column of the newsletter. It closed by directing readers to the ASHI Web site or Fax-on-demand for a list of qualified home inspectors. Fehlandt said he has been a member of the local organization since he started inspecting homes in 1992.