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There are a lot of minds @ ASHI; anyone that thinks the organization is a set piece of single mindedness has apparently not spent much time talking to Directors, Officers, or staff @ HQ.

The Branding thingiemabob grew out of a lot of differing opinions & input, but as near as my backroom investigative work can tell, there was big push from one Exective Director who managed to convince several folks that this was a good idea.

There are still several Directors who think it is a bonehead idea. Do not look to the general staff @ HQ as the culprits either. ASHI is lucky to have a number of very dedicated folks @ HQ who just want to do what we want them to do; don't blame them. The push to the big organizations (realtors, Home Depot, etc.) seems to be thought of as a good idea by the advertising agency ("we negotiated a deal w/ Home Depot!"), and Mr. Executive Director ("I negotiated the deal w/ Home Depot!"). There are many rank & file that like the ideas, but they didn't come up w/ the idea(s).

As near as I can tell, Branding is going off w/ all the force of a baked potato popping in the oven, i.e., "did you hear something?".

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Originally posted by allspec33351

I and some others left ASHI because of branding to Realtors vs home buyers. Now I see this.

Has ASHI changed its collective mind or is it something else?

http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjourn ... einsp.html

Captain

It's something else. With all due respect, many people made their decision to stay or go based on rumors and abhorrent communication from HQ before the actual contents of Branding were known.

Life after Branding is virtually indistinguishable from life before, except the web site improvements have resulted in a few more inspections for us this year.

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Jim,

I agree and was just about to post the same thing you have said. I will add this.

As I have said before the Realtor marketing end of the ASHI Experience is really a very small part on the national end. From what I can tell more emphasis is being put into spreading the news of using and ASHI Inspector to the home buying consumer. Several weekly interviews similar to the one posted above are in papers across the country.

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Whatever it represents, it's good to see that attitude in print from the President. I've been reconsidering my own status with ASHI, so that's encouraging. Since I can't seem to get comfortable in or out, I may stay in to work for policies I'd like to see.

There's a lot said about it in that article, but I won't light off into the issue of paying realtors for ad space on this thread. Some other time. [:-yuck]

Brian G.

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Originally posted by charlieb

What are you people doing online in the middle of the day? There's hay in the field and the sun is shining.

The sun was shining down there? We were under a flash-flood watch for most of the day, rained like hell. I thought about starting a limmerick war with Brother Prickett, but ran errands instead. [:-devil]

Brian G.

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Originally posted by charlieb

What are you people doing online in the middle of the day? There's hay in the field and the sun is shining. Oh, sorry Scott I missed your truck at the expresso bar. I guess the dell pda works![:-eyebrows]

I just got back to the house. I had a 6000sf monster new construction that I started at 8 AM. Charged enough for an entires day work!

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Originally posted by jhagarty

How does being Licensed or operating within the COE of any Organization give you X-Ray vision to see under carpeting?

It doesn't. I think The Captain was commenting primarily on the ASHI Prez making public statements favoring the consumer over the realtor. That does sound like a shift from the Branding rhetoric.

Obviously the idea that the HI should have known what was under the carpet is highly suspect at best. From the description it must have been a conventional foundation, so maybe it would have been visible from the crawl space, maybe not. I also notice that the early statements about the damage sound very ominous ("..the floor had rotted through...", yet somehow it only cost a few hundred to fix in the end. Couldn't have been much floor. Take a few facts, add drama, and POOF!, you have instant story. Still, I'm glad to see any articles discussing the real and / or potential conficts of interest surrounding real estate and HI's.

Brian G.

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When Patricia Summers took up the carpet in the $160,000 home she had purchased just days before in Harbeson, she was horrified to find that the floor had rotted through because of water damage.

If it was that bad, there could have been other signs that the inspector missed.

-musty smell

-stained baseboards

-evidence in the basement/crawl

-signs of water entry from the source

Can't say either way fore sure, without actually seeing the house.

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Originally posted by Brian G.

I think The Captain was commenting primarily on the ASHI Prez making public statements favoring the consumer over the realtor. That does sound like a shift from the Branding rhetoric.

Brian G.

It's no shift at all. If you guys could get past your paranoia and think logically, you would realize that in the context of ASHI branding, the real estate community is nothing more than a vehicle to reach consumers, who have always been ASHI member's primary concern. Nothing has changed. No shift. No drift.

Why not advertise to consumers directly you say? (Obviously I've had this conversation before.)

Some of the marketing is targeted directly to consumers, and Chapters, who are an important part of the process can direct the marketing where they wish.

But it would be foolish to ignore the fact that 70% of home inspections originate from a referral from an agent. That's where 70% of the marketing should be targeted. Otherwise you are throwing away your money.

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Originally posted by mcramer

Some of the marketing is targeted directly to consumers, and Chapters, who are an important part of the process can direct the marketing where they wish.

All I've seen in that direction is the website, which was badly needed. Have an ads run anywhere? TV, magazines, newspapers?


But it would be foolish to ignore the fact that 70% of home inspections originate from a referral from an agent. That's where 70% of the marketing should be targeted. Otherwise you are throwing away your money.

Maybe, but focusing so much on them perpetuates the vicious cycle. Somehow we never wind up squeezing them out from between us and the consumer, except as scattered individuals. In the areas where Branding "success" had been achieved previously, the realtors were still very much the gatekeepers, were they not? The realtors who wanted "friendly" inspections were still able to get them (including from ASHI affiliated inspectors), were they not? How is that a "success" for the consumers, who have always been ASHI member's primary concern?

If you say we will never be able to eliminate them, I'll agree. Still, I think it may be possible to reverse those numbers in the long run (30 - 70 the other way). But we'll never do much of anything under the current format.

Brian G.

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If you say we will never be able to eliminate them, I'll agree. Still, I think it may be possible to reverse those numbers in the long run (30 - 70 the other way). But we'll never do much of anything under the current format.

Brian G.

It is a numbers game. Look at the number of real estate agents in the country. Just in little Mississippi we have over 7,500 real estate agents and only 157 Home Inspectors. Who do you think has more impact or marketing power?

The RE agents will always out number the HI, like it or not we need them worse than they need us. The RE agents control most of the buyers. Yes, the consumer if trained will look for a good inspector on their own, but I am not willing to risk that.

I know that I do not issue soft reports, I know that many agents will not send their buyers to me but it doesn't make me change the way I work or report.

As for national ASHI advertising that will be coming, if memory serves me it is scheduled for the summer or fall of 2005.

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I beg to differ. I truly believe, that with a concerted effort, we can change the way a potential buyer chooses an inspector.

Twenty years ago a very small percentage of home buyers even new what a home inspection was, and look at where we are today! Do you think the real estate agents put us on the map? Let's not underestimate ourselves.

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Brian Wrote: "Have any ads run anywhere? TV, magazines, newspapers?"

Chapters were asked to submit a grant approval form to National last month that includes proposed activities and budget. My Chapter is just waiting for the check and when received, we will immediately begin our marketing strategy.

BTW, every cent of our budget is being spent to target the consumer.

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Originally posted by chrisprickett

I beg to differ. I truly believe, that with a concerted effort, we can change the way a potential buyer chooses an inspector.

I agree. I don't know how far we could go with it or how long it would take, but I know it's the right thing to pursue. Not in a fit of anger or obsessive zeal, but with a smart, focused, long-term strategy. I'm getting the wheels turning on a few different projects now to free myself of any need for realtors, knowing it'll take time, a few years at least. Eyes on the prize.


Twenty years ago a very small percentage of home buyers even new what a home inspection was, and look at where we are today! Do you think the real estate agents put us on the map? Let's not underestimate ourselves.

Good point, that was definitely not done with their cooperation. We'll never out-number them and we can't out-spend them, but we don't have to. If we can find enough effective ways to get the message across, that'll go a long, long way. There's not much they can do to hide their conflict of interest, it's there.

Brian G.

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Originally posted by inspecthistoric

My Chapter is just waiting for the check and when received, we will immediately begin our marketing strategy.

BTW, every cent of our budget is being spent to target the consumer.

There you go Bill. Talk to the people, tell it like it is. When someone is telling it like it is, a lot of the rest of us have a little voice in the back of our head saying "Yeah...that's right." If you can get that reaction, they're listening.

Brian G.

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Originally posted by chrisprickett

I beg to differ. I truly believe, that with a concerted effort, we can change the way a potential buyer chooses an inspector.

Twenty years ago a very small percentage of home buyers even new what a home inspection was, and look at where we are today! Do you think the real estate agents put us on the map? Let's not underestimate ourselves.

Yes, real estate agents did put us on the map. If it wasn't for the proliferation of disclosure laws and the liability that got heaped upon the real estate community, we would not exist to the extent we do today.

I agree that we can influence the consumer, albeit very slowly. It's a 20 year process. Marketing today has to be targeted primarily to the people who influence buyers the most - the agents.

Also realize it's not an either or thing. There are agents who want good inspectors. If there weren't, I'd never get an agent referral. I still get 40-50% of my business from agents, without any marketing to them. Should we ignore that group and market only to consumers?

ASHI branding is aimed at all segments of the marketplace, as it should be.

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Originally posted by mcramer

Yes, real estate agents did put us on the map. If it wasn't for the proliferation of disclosure laws and the liability that got heaped upon the real estate community, we would not exist to the extent we do today.

Your talking the machine, I'm talking rank and file. Agents in the field, by and large, would rather we weren't there. Good inspectors are generally frowned upon by agents. The inspectors who came before me, fought an uphill battle. Disclosure laws came about more because of unscrupulous agents burning the consumer, than of a right-hearted RE industry looking out for the consumer.

I agree that we can influence the consumer, albeit very slowly. It's a 20 year process. Marketing today has to be targeted primarily to the people who influence buyers the most - the agents.

There is shift to the direction of the consumer, I think we should lean into that more.

Also realize it's not an either or thing. There are agents who want good inspectors. If there weren't, I'd never get an agent referral. I still get 40-50% of my business from agents, without any marketing to them. Should we ignore that group and market only to consumers?

You and I are in complete agreement on this. My percentages are very close to yours. In my case, the "good" agents came to me, via word of mouth. I have been able to grow to a three inspector shop, in less than three years without marketing to agents. There are strategies that we can use, that will have agents beating down our doors, without giving the impression that we are compromising our ethics.

My position is not to completely cut out the Realtor from the equation, but to take the air out of the "gatekeeper" scenario that's in place today.

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Originally posted by chrisprickett

Agents in the field, by and large, would rather we weren't there. Good inspectors are generally frowned upon by agents. The inspectors who came before me, fought an uphill battle.

Agreed. As far as I can tell the general popularity of serious inspectors with RE agents is about the same all over...lousy. If all we do is maintain the status quo, the guys who come behind us will suffer too.


(Mark) I agree that we can influence the consumer, albeit very slowly. It's a 20 year process. Marketing today has to be targeted primarily to the people who influence buyers the most - the agents.

(Chris) There is shift to the direction of the consumer, I think we should lean into that more.

Exactly. I've said before that I would not favor a sharp, radical shift in policy, or a law forbidding referrals. But we should be starting to turn the ship, making plans and discussing strategies. I'd like to see us slowly but surely moving to the forefront of direct marketing and consumer advocacy, eventually becoming very vocal and unapologetic about it.


(Mark) Also realize it's not an either or thing. There are agents who want good inspectors. If there weren't, I'd never get an agent referral. I still get 40-50% of my business from agents, without any marketing to them. Should we ignore that group and market only to consumers?

(Chris) You and I are in complete agreement on this.

My position is not to completely cut out the Realtor from the equation, but to take the air out of the "gatekeeper" scenario that's in place today.

I agree as well, it's not all black and white. But it is far more black than white, and we shouldn't accept that. We shouldn't accept an interested party having control of 70% of our business. If it takes 10, 15, or 20 years to turn that around, we should do it.

Brian G.

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