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Why Join an HI Org?


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I have lately been considering joining one of the national orginizations, but I'm not sure why. I have been in this business for 9 years, do little or no advertising and am very busy. I don't need a code of ethics, I have my own. I don't need standards, I am state certified and have to adhere to state standards. I don't need referrals. I get my "CE" by reading the IRC, participating in forums, etc. I try to give back by gratis inspections for low income buyers. I live in a small town in central AZ. and probably could not go too most meetings and seminars. Despite all this, I know many of my peers in my same position belong to and are active in ASHI and others. I know from ASHI mailings that Chris P. is very active. I would appreciate any info on the advantages of the national orgs. Is there a compelling reason to join? Feedback from any of the orgs. is appreciated.

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Originally posted by homnspector

I have lately been considering joining one of the national orginizations, but I'm not sure why. I have been in this business for 9 years, do little or no advertising and am very busy. I don't need a code of ethics, I have my own. I don't need standards, I am state certified and have to adhere to state standards. I don't need referrals. I get my "CE" by reading the IRC, participating in forums, etc. I try to give back by gratis inspections for low income buyers. I live in a small town in central AZ. and probably could not go too most meetings and seminars. Despite all this, I know many of my peers in my same position belong to and are active in ASHI and others. I know from ASHI mailings that Chris P. is very active. I would appreciate any info on the advantages of the national orgs. Is there a compelling reason to join? Feedback from any of the orgs. is appreciated.

1. If you join a national organization, you can bitch about the members of the other organizations.

2. If you join a national organization, you can bitch about the members of your own organization.

3. If you join a national organization, you can bitch about the inspectors who chose not to join any organization.

Anyway, that's why I joined.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I'm an ASHI member because for the following reasons:

1. It gives me a voice and a view in the local and national scene. While I don't agree with some stuff, most of what ASHI stands for is in line with my beliefs on where the industry should go. We have a strong lobby.

2. Education- ASHI is one of the places I go to "sharpen my axe" metophorically speaking.

3. Help the new guy. Not from a philanthropic standpoint, but from a self-preservation one. There are so many complete knuckleheads getting started in our business, that I feel a need to give back in the hope I'll help my industry and the reputation of HI's as a whole.

4. It's a place to go to bitch about Jim Katen.

5. In some circles it's a feather in my inspection cap.

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The most important work that an HI organization does (besides bitching), is all behind the scenes.

One case in point; the recent lobbying by banking & realtor groups to change/alter RESPA legislation in favor of banks & lending institutions bundling services was headed off, in part, by lobbying supported by ASHI. I am not going to go into a large discussion of what all that means (I've got too much real work to do), but in short, if the legislation had gone through as written, our entire profession could crumble into rubber stampers for realtors & banks. Google it up, read, & see what I'm talking about.

There are several more similar situations. There is one organization that is working to secure our future by organizing lobbying efforts and staying abreast of critical developments in the real estate industry. Anyone that wants to keep this profession alive & well might want to start contributing to organizations that work democratically @ fighting for the profession that puts frijoles on our tables.

Other organizations work hard at all sorts of things that folks seem to like; if folks like those things, I'll leave them to their good judgment. I would hope, though, that these same folks undersand where our profession has come from and have an inkling of where it could end up going if it is hijacked by individuals intent on making HI professional organizations their personal piggybank.

Personally, I get along w/anyone who's deeply committed to making our profession a Profession; I've found those people in only a few places. This place happens to have a few in residence.

One doesn't need an HI organization if one is looking for smiling faces & camaraderie; that's available lots of places.

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Legend has it: The "American Society of Home Inspectors" only narrowly beat "The Let's Bitch About Katen Club" for that organization's name thanks, in part, to some heavy behind-the- scenes lobbying by founder Ron Passaro.

Every few years, a proposal to change the name comes up, but the good ol' boys who run ASHI alawys shoot it down because the acronym isn't pronounceable.

If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'

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When I started my business in 1992, I joined just about every organization out there. AAHI, HIF, NAHI, ASHI, FREA and more. Some of these organizations simply required a check to join and I soon abandoned them.

As Kurt has mentioned, striving to be and appear professional is good for your business and the entire industry.

I've remained an ASHI Member and a NAHI CRI because I know that these organizations promote professionalism, keep us informed regarding late breaking and needed information and keep an ear to the legislative rail to protect us.

I also own a publishing company and as an industry vendor, I am a member of NACHI as well. Each association has its strong cards. As far as I can tell, all of them are committed to offering great education if that is what you seek.

As Jim has pointed out, the message boards can get pretty volatile. Egos sometimes abound. Just expect it.

I would encourage you to join any organization that is as Kurt said, comitted to making us and the industry more professional.

For most of us the cost of membership in each organization is just one home inspection fee. So, why not?

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In a state where we are now required to be licensed there is one main reason to belong to a home inspection organization and that is to get your required CEU education credits. There are a few extra benefits like group insurance and politics but they are much less important to most of us. I can't remember when the last client asked me if I was a member of any professional organizations.

Steve H.

PS: The same thing applies to being a member of the AIA. My architecture clients could not care less what organization I am in, just what are my abilities and how much will it cost.

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Originally posted by Steven Hockstein

I can't remember when the last client asked me if I was a member of any professional organizations.

On the rare occasions that it comes up in conversation, I've never had anyone not be surprised that there is a professional organization for HI's.

No one cares, at least not that I can tell.

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I joined ASHI 3 years ago . . . just because, I guess. I'm very indifferent about it. I built my business the first four years without any organization. Probably got asked three times if I was 'certified' or belonged to an organization. I guess I decided to join as it would be a 'feather in the cap' so they say and mostly be able to legitimately and honestly distinguish myself from the others entering the home inspection field in droves. In this state you can print some business cards and you're legally in business! There are no other requirements.

No complaints, just indifferent. If you do good work, people could care less "who you belong to".

Still to this day, I probably only get asked about three times a year what my credentials are, my certifications, experience etc, etc.

Belonging to an organization, I'm almost positive, has not really improved my bottom line.

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I need the official, verifiable CE for my state, though I know without question that I learn more from other HI's through these message boards than any other source. Next door in 'Bama you must be a member of an approved organization as part of licensing, so it serves me there too. As far as getting business from the orgs, it doesn't happen in my postage stamp market. That's okay, I didn't join for that anyway.

But the biggest reason is for the national and state impact of a large, well-organized, respected organization that can and does make a difference for our profession. Like Chris I don't agree with everything my bunch promotes, and on a few things I couldn't disagree more, but on the whole it's worth the effort. No matter who you join you can't have it all.

Bitching rights are just a fringe benefit, but one we all enjoy from time to time. [:-grumpy] [:D]

Brian G.

Black Belt Bitcher (ASHI & ICC) [^]

www.accuspecllc.com

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Nice answers, all. We don't have any CE requirements in Az (yet). Bitching rights may well be worth the cost of admission.

AZ uses the NHIE for certification so I would probably go with ASHI, one less hurdle. Besides, the NACHI exam scares me :)

Like you guys, I have only been asked a few times about any professional affiliation.

Kurt, I couldn't find much about RESPA but propaganda. If you have time sometine, pose me a link.

Thanks

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I think most vetran inspectors will tell you not to join a association thinking that it will provide you some sort of marketing prowess. You will be disappointed with any organization. Join for the education oportunities, be it seminars, monthly chapter meetings or just fellow comeradery. With this in mind I found it important to pick one that was active in my area. I have been active in meetings a seminars and rarely do I not leave with added knowledge about housing or the general buisness practices. I also believe in the representation of our profession at the political level so I also looked for one that was active in lobbying goverment on our behalf. To date the logos I display and actively market with have accounted for zero sales.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well Fritz,

It's been a while since I've been to these parts but I think I can answer your question.

I agree with the previous posts about this being a profession. As a profession we need to have continuing ed and an open exchange of information.

I am the Central District Director for AZ-ASHI,

that doesn't mean I don't support other organizations, last year I went to NAHI in Vegas, IW in TX, and the ICC in CA and Tucson AZ.I also went to one of Michael Levitt's classes for his organization (no offense intended, I just cant think of the name at 11:20 pm) This year I went to IW in Fl. and I will probably go to ITA in Vegas.

Here locally you need to keep in the loop to know what is going on.

The BTR rules and standards committee has re-interpreted the state standards, they didn't change the standards they just made it clear what they want to see.

Last month we had a class in Mesa on the changes and I believe we sent you a notice.AZ-ASHI is working on getting a PDF of the NEW evaluation sheet for our website. If AZ-ASHI did not make this information known and available, many people would not find out until it was too late.

This month we had a new construction class in Anthem and I believe we sent you another notice.

Next month you will have the chance to inspect the same house as 60-80 other inspectors and compare your notes.

There are always changes happening at the state level, and we are not only watching what effects our profession but working to prevent things that could damage our profession.

As a member of an org you can keep informed, learn and find others that want to here about the things you find. If you don't join we can't afford to keep sending you notices and improving our education for the inspectors.

You can do a lot of that here also. I am proud to call Jim, Kurt, Chris, Scott and Mike my friends. I would drop what I was doing to go help any one of them and I met them all here.

It's hard to find a better bunch, However, while I met those guys here, I shared a drink or dinner with them at HI functions.

Now that I've met them, there no longer someone I know from a board, there My friends.

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