Jump to content

Business without ASHI


Recommended Posts

For those of you that have resigned from ASHI I was wondering if it has affected your business. Personally, I don't see any change except I have a few more $ in my pocket because I don't pay ASHI dues, assesments, Branding, etc.

Since April 1, I only had one person ask me about ASHI and I told them that I was a member for 20 years and stopped participating because I did not feel that they were serving my best interests so I helped to start an alternative professional organization in NJ. They were satisfied with my answer and booked the appointment.

I noticed that there are less price shoppers calling that used to find me on the ASHI website. My inspection fee is 25% higher this year than last year. There are still some companies (ASHI members) around here offering cheap inspections (50% less than my fee) but I have always lost the price shoppers to these companies. I will let them work twice as hard for more liability and less profit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 72
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I did NOT resign from ASHI, & my #'s are pretty much the same as last year, w/an improved margin due to my raising my prices; percentages are almost exactly what yours are.

I've gotten exactly one job from the ASHI website this year; all my jobs come from the same places they always did, i.e., satisfied customers telling their friends & a bunch of law firms downtown. I also know a couple fellas who have gotten a couple dozen jobs from the ASHI site, & they are not underpriced cheesey inspectors. Who knows?

I think folks think about this stuff too much, & then use it as an explanation for why they are doing so well in business. I propose that one does well in business because they are smart, do good inspections, & charge enough to cover their expenses. No one knows what the branding thing is going to effect, as it isn't even really off the ground.

Personally, I have suspicions that it isn't even going to get off the runway, as the overall membership response to the program thus far is a large yawn. As far as the public goes, 99% of my customers are amazed that there is a professional organization for HI's; they have absolutely no name recognition of ASHI. That, in a nutshell, is what the branding buzz is about; let people know that there is a professional organization, & that it's members are dedicated to quality inspections. Like all marketing, it is a blend of truth & fantasy. Who knows? Who cares?

ASHI is a large organization. Large organizations go through alternating periods of success, failure, brilliance, & rectal/cranial inversion. In light of the horrific issues going on all around us & in the world, ASHI branding just doesn't get on my radar screen unless someone keeps reminding me about it.

On a lighter note, I've discovered I'm on something called Angies List; what the hell is that? It's sent me 3 or 4 jobs this year that I'm aware of, maybe more that I'm not aware of. I checked, & people there say I'm wonderful. Howzabout that? I'm not even sure how I got on the list(?).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another view of this issue it that it really does not matter to anyone if you chose to leave an organization. Sure you will be missed by some if you were active in the organization, but after a few months you will have been replaced by another person who filled your slot. After a short period of time things will be rolling along back up to full speed as if nothing ever happened.

I learned a long time ago that everyone is replaceable, and the moment that a person thinks that they are not replaceable is the moment they need to be replaced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before branding: 1 inspection from the website in two years.

After branding: 3 in 3 months. Actually, I'm doing one today. So in essence, I've nearly quintupled my investment ($250 for branding) in 3 months.

To me ASHI is like a Harley. When I ride with my buddies who own metrics, they are always explaining why they don't ride a Harley. They make a very good arguement, but they are still asked the same question over and over. I ride a Harley, and never have to explain to anybody.

In my area, it's the same with ASHI. Whether you can make a good arguement against ASHI is irrelevant. It's about marketing (for me). Being ASHI adds to my credibility.

I have a current GC license, and pay for renewal, even though I haven't done a contracting job in three years. Why? The perception of credibility.

My business is growing at warp speed, I have high fees (for my area), and my kids are all eating. ASHI membership is playing a part in my success. If NACHI, NAHI, etc, ever become Harley, I'll join them too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a lighter note, I've discovered I'm on something called Angies List; what the hell is that? It's sent me 3 or 4 jobs this year that I'm aware of, maybe more that I'm not aware of. I checked, & people there say I'm wonderful. Howzabout that? I'm not even sure how I got on the list(?).
Hi Kurt,

I checked that out when Dennis R. began using their logo for his avatar. It's basically a bulletin board with over 250 categories of businesses listed. You got on the list by doing a good inspection for someone who subscribes to it. You can't sign up for it, can't join and can't post information about your business. Only their subscribers can. Be glad they are saying good things about you, 'cuz they also list companies that their subscribers think did not provide good service. That list is moving westward but it will probably be a few years before it shows up in Seattle.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine is running at double the pace of last year, but it has nothing to do with ASHI either way. The market is much better and I'm more established...that's all.

There's very little ASHI can do to help or hurt me in my little corner of the world, but in my opinion subsidizing your HI organization to help them become better known in your market than you are is nuts. To paraphrase one of the other members,"I want them to think Brian = good inspection, not ASHI = good inspection." The marketing yap about "strengthening your micro-brand" is plain hogwash.

If nothing changes by October I'll probably move off and join elsewhere, but I don't want to. Love 'em or hate 'em, ASHI has more impact on the industry than anyone else by far.

Brian G.

Administratively Suspended (Didn't Pay, Didn't Quit)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Steven Hockstein

I did no intend this thread to restart the ASHI Branding discussion. I was just wondering how being suspended or resigning from ASHI has impacted businesses.

I see that Chris has had a successful investment in Branding. Has anyone else seen similar results one way or the other?

I have. I got a couple grand worth of business off the site in the past month. My company paid for all three of our inspectors to be branded so it looks like it is paying off. If I got one inspection a year off the old site, I considered myself lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted on Fri, Apr. 30, 2004

It's not all about me.

ASHI makes stuff like this article happen, every day, all around the country. If you can't see the value in that, I guess you can't really see any reason to belong to any organization, because there's nothing in it for you.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Home inspection crucial in buying process

DESPITE HOT MARKET, SKIPPING STEP NOT ADVISABLE

By Caille Millner

Mercury News

Home inspector Roger Robinson has a tip for home buyers: Stop looking at the paint.

``That's one of the biggest mistakes my clients make,'' said Robinson, who owns the Star Inspection Group in Oakland. ``They get caught up in the house's new paint job or whatever looks good to the naked eye, when they need to be concerned about the foundation and the electrical wiring.''

At the very least, home buyers need to take the crucial step of walking through the home on which they've made a successful bid with someone like Robinson before they buy. This process is known as a home inspection, and it's a crucial step in the home buying adventure.

It's also a step many buyers are tempted to skip in the Bay Area's heated housing market, where homes are often snapped up within 24 hours of being listed. But in a housing rush, getting an excellent inspection with the right inspector is even more important.

A pre-purchase home inspection is a complete physical exam of a home's safety and working order. The inspector will evaluate the house's foundation, wiring, roofing, framing, drainage, plumbing and heating, along with important fixtures such as the fireplaces, stairs, ceilings and floors. It's the buyer's chance to learn exactly what she is purchasing before completing the deal -- and to give her the chance to back out in case the house turns out to be a lemon.

``Home inspectors are the buyer's best friends,'' said Stephen Gladstone, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors. ``We can discover things about the house that the average buyer would never find out from an agent or seller, and we can tell them what to do about it.''

But the buyer only gets that magic from a good home inspector, so it's imperative to pick the right one. The two most common options are to get a recommendation, usually from a real estate agent or a friend, or to find one yourself.

If you decide to go with a recommendation, it's important to do the same research you would if you were looking for an inspector on your own. That means asking questions and checking credentials.

``In every instance, you need to know how many years the inspector's been in business, what he has in the way of background and experience, and what kind of specialties he has,'' Gladstone said. ``If possible, get a list of references -- and call them.''

And don't forget to check with professional associations. An experienced inspector should be part of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). These organizations enforce standards of ethics and provide continuing education for their members.

They're also great ways to find experienced inspectors yourself. For an inspector to get full membership in ASHI, for example, he must complete at least 250 inspections. Both organizations have Web sites that enable buyers to locate local members.

The inspection generally lasts between two and four hours and costs $200 to $500.

Buyers should be present -- it's the perfect opportunity to ask specific questions. Some of the most common red flags include any problem having to do with moisture (which spells rot, mold and water damage down the road) or sanitation (especially plumbing, which can be very expensive to fix). If your house has major problems, you should ask the seller to fix them, for a break on the sales price -- or even to get out of the purchase, if your contract allows it.

``If you don't ask, you won't get it,'' said Don Norman, president-elect of ASHI. ``And you must negotiate -- you don't want to buy a house with major structural problems that you can't afford to fix.''

That possibility is the reason it's vital to get an inspection, even in a crazed housing market like the Bay Area's. Some buyers, feeling a need to make their bids stand out, are offering to take houses ``as is'' and forgoing inspections. That's a mistake, Norman said.

Robinson, who has weathered 25 years of the inspection business and many different real estate cycles, encourages buyers to look at a home inspection as part of the long view.

``Even now, buyers need to be aware of what they're purchasing and be prepared to ask the sellers for high-cost improvements,'' he said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by mcramer

It's not all about me.

If you're saying it's not all about money (to me), I agree. If you're saying it's not all about the individual inspector, I disagree. At some point and some level every issue relating to a group is weighed and measured by each individual member of that group. It's a complex accounting of numerous factors, of which money is only one. The individual has no choice but to decide whether his personal beliefs, principles, ethics, and goals are relatively compatable with those of the group. If the day comes when the scales tip far enough for that individual to say they are not, then he must walk away or subvert his soul to the group. Blind loyalty belongs to higher orders than professional organizations.

Good people and good groups don't always make good decisions. People are people, we're all flawed. I respect the position of those who chose to try to ride it out, hoping for better days.

Brian G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I upgraded from a candidate to a full member I've started getting about 3 to 5 inspections a month from the site.

Some members haven't paid up and do not show up on the site. Others haven't went on the site and entered their name in the Metro area. Right now, it's 4 of us on the Metro site for Houston. Once they visit all 4 sites, I usually get the call.

People relocating here from other large areas such as the East, North East or Upper Midwest know the ASHI name. They never balk at my prices.

I didn't join for the business. It's like Chris said. It's about credibility. Someone on another board put it like this. ASHI is like the Special Forces of the HI industry. Not everyone can, or wants, to make it past the hurdles. If you do, your looked up to by those who know the difference and sometimes shunned by those that are envious.

When other organizations have the clout ASHI does, then I'll consider joining.

Donald

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Well, as Walt Jowers would say, I don't have a dog in this hunt, because I'm not a member of any organization. However, I have been a member of two in the past. I left purely because of philosophical differences between where I think we should be as a profession and where those two associations were going.

Take a look at Jack's figures. He garners about 3 to 4 inspections a month from the ASHI website. In my area, at my absolute bottom-dollar rate, that would be good for $11,520 to $15,360 a year, for an investment of about $250, besides membership dues, without the need to beat the pavement. That's not exactly something to scoff at.

Now, before you start making sweeping judgments about ASHI or any other association, based on rumor and innuendo heard on this or any other forum, consider the fact that so many inspectors belong to ASHI and ask yourself why any good businessman would continue to remain a member, if it weren't ultimately good for their bottom line.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan,

You have to go with what works for you. Being a member of ASHI, and much more importantly, my local chapter works well for me. I rub elbows with the best of the best and I learn a tremendous amount from them. Some of them are my very good friends. And though I don't have an MBA, I do have a BAM (big ass mortgage)which makes me appreciate the $30,000+ my company grosses in referrals from these folks.

All professional HI orgs have their benefits and liabilities, but anyone in this business who doesn't belong to one is denying himself professional, personal, and financial growth in my opinion.

Some of those benefits can be had right here on this forum, but to discount all orgs without having tried a single one is small-minded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by IntegrityFirst

This regulation by the state has greatly helped both the consumer/client AND tremendously helped the appraisal industry as a whole. There weren't any Appraisal "associations" that got the industry there either.

Just a couple of points from my wasted year in appraisal, for the sake of accuracy. The consumer has recieved very little help from appraisals being required due to the overwhelming dominance the financal institutions have over appraisers. 95% of them simply make the number work (the one the financial institute sent them). I actually had clients become furious with me when I told them the property was overvalued.

There is a large, powerful, well-connected appraisal organization which has been around for more than 50 years (Appraisal Institute). I believe the founders of ASHI modeled their organization after AI. They only offer 2 designations, but holding either one is a virtual guarantee of success and status. What part they played in the Feds requiring appraisals on RE transactions I don't know, but I'm sure they weren't passive.

Brian G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I joined ASHI about 5 years ago in the middle of the .com boom in Austin. Why? Because people moving into Austin knew about ASHI and had never heard of TAREI. It has paid off big time for me. Almost a third of my clients mention ASHI as a part of the path to my doorstep.

Back then, I was one of three ASHI members in Austin. Today there are eight, but I continue to get business through ASHI.

FWIW I also belong to four other inspector organizations just for the exposure and web links. I get 10 to 15 ASHI referrals for every one from other HI organizations. ASHI membership pays for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW, it looks like you guys have been having way to much fun, and I missed all the juicy bits I guess I gotta log on here more often [:-dev3]

Jimmy, how is the Kevlar holding out ??, would it not just be easier to move this topic into "Flame & Blame" so it disappears itself after 24 hours ??, would save you the trouble of having to moderate it at all !!!

regards

Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gerry,

Your concern is touching. I haven't needed to pull out any Kevlar underwear yet because no one is taking shots at me -yet. And you shouldn't feel like you missed anything. What we have here, is someone with an unpopular opinion who cannot express it like a professional -or back it up. When this is made apparent, nastiness ensues.

To anyone willing to listen:

Unpopular opinions are common in our field and on this forum. Perhaps when our friend gets a little HI experience he will learn, as we all must, how to communicate accurately, effectively, and with some tact and diplomacy.

Be professional or be gone,

Jim Morrison

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being of sound mind, I have nothing to say on this matter...except that I wish I'd signed on yesterday. Damn my home dial up service.

Wait, I do have something to say: I get at least 400 to go look at a house and I'm pretty sure that's not enough, but I'm anxious to get going so I'm cheaper than I want to be. Anyway..if you guys are getting 3-4 inspections a month that'd be a minimum of 14,400 a year for me in ASHI referrals. I'd spend 600 to NET 13,800 any day of the week AND continue to do the marketing I've always done. Hey, there's a novel idea... do both. The second I have 60 inspections I'll grunt up the dues to be a

candidate w/ logo priveledges. (The ten extra are because NOBODY is looking at my first ten)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(The ten extra are because NOBODY is looking at my first ten)

Ahh Chad, you are soooo wise!!

I still cringe when I go back and look at the reports from my first inspections. Your 60th should look a lot better than your 20th. Hopefully your 600th will look a lot better than your 100th.

Some folks never get this though.

Donald

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...