Jump to content

The ASHI Branding Campaign


Michael Brown
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 58
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

At the suggestion of Mike, I am starting this thread with two main questions. They are as follows:

1) If you are a member of ASHI, do you support Branding? As far as I know, this question has never been asked to the membership.

2) If you are not a member of ASHI, why?

To get the ball rolling, I am opposed to Branding. I think it is a huge waste of money and it is a desperate attempt for ASHI to remain relevant in a licensed home inspection environment. I will probably not a be member of ASHI in the near future because I will not pay for Branding and will be thrown out. It is sad for me because I have been a member of ASHI for almost 20 years (member #433).

Steven C. Hockstein, AIA

Editor's note: I've moved this post, in order to be able to provide Steven a poll. Please, if you are not an ASHI member, do not vote in this pole. I know it will be hard to resist, but Steven is trying to determine from those affiliated with ASHI, outside of the ASHI arena, whether those affiliated feel it is a wise move. Let's be fair and allow him to do that without interference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good question, impossible to answer in binary fashion (at least for me, anyway).

The branding thing is not a bad idea, and in certain context, is a good idea for the organization.

The single objection I have @ this time is the absurd amount of funding being lavished on the consultants and on the "rollout" @ InspectionWorld; I would rather the money be spent on actual advertising, not creating "buzz". I could go into detail, but am not inspired enough to do so.

I could see very clearly where the campaign could benefit membership by alerting civilians to the benefits of ASHI membership. OTOH, it could be a bust; we'll get to see just what is going on in a year or so.

My largest concern is policing of the membership; if we are selling the idea of competency, we better be able to deliver. Just how we deliver is a very large question, as yet unanswered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Kurt but I think that a large part of the marketing should be to educate the consumer.

They are buying the low ball inspection because they don't know what a good inspection is or what it should include.

People don't shop price when they are hiring a doctor or attorney, why is the first question they ask us "How much will it cost?

Because they don't know any better.

They don't go to a fine dinning restaurant and say "What does this cost? They order what they want because they have an expectation of what they will receive.

If the branding program is going to work it needs to focus on educating the consumer so they know what to expect. Then we will be able to set ourselves apart from those that don't meet that expectation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The branding campaign is the only thing putting on the brakes keeping me from joining ASHI. I took the NHIE and passed, have well over 300 inspections, but the costs involved along with some things that have happened are keeping me away. My state requires me to belong to an organization and I have gotten alot of mileage from my NACHI membership. NAHI is sitting quietly on the sidelines looking very tempting at this point. I am looking to belong to more than one organization as a safety net and for more resources.

Seeing many ASHI folk leaving and disgruntled are a few of the items that are keeping new blood like myself from hopping onboard. I hope that the powers that be are aware of this.

I am not here whatsoever to start any trouble. I am not pro any particulat organization, nor do I want to bash any other. I just want to share some valuable information.

I actually get very few inspection from the NACHI site, but enough to pay for the membership. I am sure I would get enough from any other organization website to pay for the costs but that is not the point.

Scott P. states that he gets alot of business from the ASHI website but he is one of only 100 home inspectors for the entire state he lives in. In some of our PA markets there are over 100 in a 30 mile radius. Results may vary by area.

Anyway, getting off topic. Bottom line is that the negative vibes from the many/few/whatever of those leaving ASHI along with the additional costs (Mandatory) make other inspectors reluctant to join. I am already busy and successful without a second membership.

Any comments? (like I had to ask)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many hundreds (if not thousands) of ASHI folk, I still have not seen the emperors' new clothes, and therefore cannot render a fair and complete judgement of it [:-blindfold]. Until such time as I have reason to feel differently, I have been and continue to be opposed by default.

Frankly I'm reluctant to go very far into this topic off of the ASHI website. For now, I will say this: I believe leadership mishandled the entire affair from the word go, and badly so. I really dread the coming weeks of turmoil and venom spitting that are sure to come between the big unvieling in 2 weeks and the time when all have either paid -up or dropped-out [:-headache].

Brian G.

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop [:-scared]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Utilizing Brian's apt aphorism, I also have not seen the emperor's new clothes. I don't buy things I haven't seen and don't understand. I haven't seen ASHI Branding, I don't understand it, and a sufficient effort has not been put forth by ASHI to accomplish either one BEFORE forcing me to make a choice.

For that reason, I have chosen to allow my ASHI membership to expire, though I'll greatly miss the ASHI Forum and, somewhat, the ASHI Reporter.

When I've seen the emperor's new clothes, I'll then make another choice to participate or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I can say is I’ am behind it and will support it, Kurt and I both attended a meeting that gave us both a lot of insight into what is going on. I have had more insight than Kurt and I can honestly say that the money is being spent with care. (Lesson’s were learned at IW 2003[:-jump2]), the consultants learned that home inspectors want the facts without hype.

As ASHI is the first home inspector origination to ever attempt anything like this, the consultants had no history to rely on. The consultants have told us time and time again that we are like no other group they have worked with. Everyone has their own opinion; none of us trust anyone and everyone wants instant results. What a challenge!

The cost is a hard pill to swallow, but if everything falls into place (as it has been doing), this years assessment will be the highest and it will then decrease. I am not involved in the finance but this is how it has been explained to me. Many ways of developing revenue (not from the membership) to support a massive program like this have been developed, the initial supply of funds needed to come from the members, as there was not other source at first and they will be the ones that will benefit.

If we all get behind it and give it our best effort it will work, but if we sit on the sidelines and wait to see if it will work then it will fail. The best thing about this program is that everything that has been accomplished has been designed to be self supporting or freestanding. In other words the parts of the program that have been completed do not depend on future items to maintain them. So if for some unknown reason the board of directors decide to stop the program a year or two years from now nothing will be lost. This is a safety feature that the BoD and the consultants built into the program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George, I'm glad you found your way over to O'Handleys joint. You're definitely a [:-banghead] on occasion, but brilliant people often are.

I was a major Branding basher initially; not so now. Too much has been stated about Branding that simply isn't based in reality.

There is no single "focus" on realtor marketing; realtors are definitely included in the marketing mix, but there are several other directions. I haven't advertised to a realtor in >15 years; it's repulsive to think about. Then again, business is repulsive; I ain't in this for artistic fulfillment fer chrissakes.

I have my own little marketing plan to bounce off the ASHI branding thingiemabob, & it absolutely includes realtors. Face it, we aren't the deal; the realtors are the deal.

We are the fact finders; a single component of the deal. If you want to be a component of the deal, percentages say it is smart to (at least) let the deal people know you are there. Someday, when people finally wise up & start using the internet to its full potential in real estate transactions, realtors will fade away, albeit slowly. Until then, ignoring realtors in a marketing plan is childish. Focusing on them exclusively is wrong, stupid, & several other distasteful things, but excluding them is not business, it is something else. Maybe relegion, which makes no room for anything other than itself.

The art direction in the campaign is quite nice; it's stuff that would catch my eye in a magazine & make me interested, & I am almost immune to advertising. The advertising folks out of Indianapolis are pretty sharp; I think folks will be surprised.

And finally, back to business; I'm hedging my bets & playing poker by laying down the additional $250. Folding my cards & watching others play is not good business; what if it works on a grand scale? If it does, I plan on being somewhere in the lineup, not watching it crest by me. If it doesn't work, I'm out $250, which stings, but I can only wish I wasted $250 every year on stupid crap. On the horses, I'm always in for the $2 Quinnella; long shot, but if it hits, nice payoff. Branding is the same way.

Small bet, decent odds. Place your bets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by swarga

I agree with Kurt but I think that a large part of the marketing should be to educate the consumer.

They are buying the low ball inspection because they don't know what a good inspection is or what it should include.

People don't shop price when they are hiring a doctor or attorney, why is the first question they ask us "How much will it cost?

Because they don't know any better.

They don't go to a fine dinning restaurant and say "What does this cost? They order what they want because they have an expectation of what they will receive.

If the branding program is going to work it needs to focus on educating the consumer so they know what to expect. Then we will be able to set ourselves apart from those that don't meet that expectation.

Scott,

Regardless how one feels about marketing to agents, the very fact that they have been "allowed" to be the "gatekeepers" by the majority of inspectors, is the number one reason why inspection fees are "surpressed".

I pitty the first agent selling a $750,000 home, (making over $30,000 in commission,) who makes a remark to my client like, wow, that $700 fee you paid your inspector was too high.

BTW, I am another 20 year ASHI member who refuses to associate with an organization that continues to play along with the "gatekeepers".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by denableScott,

Regardless how one feels about marketing to agents, the very fact that they have been "allowed" to be the "gatekeepers" by the majority of inspectors, is the number one reason why inspection fees are "surpressed".

I pitty the first agent selling a $750,000 home, (making over $30,000 in commission,) who makes a remark to my client like, wow, that $700 fee you paid your inspector was too high.

BTW, I am another 20 year ASHI member who refuses to associate with an organization that continues to play along with the "gatekeepers".

It's all a matter of perception; if one believes the realtors to be the "gatekeepers", then they are. If one simply runs their business & makes smart decisions, there is no gatekeeper other than oneself.

Inspector fees are "suppressed" because of all the other goofy inspectors who don't understand the basic fundamentals of pricing their product. When one simply provides a good service & charges accordingly, a magic thing happens; people pay. All this focus on how "realtors are keeping us down" is pathetic; I've got several realtors who keep me up, & tell their clients to pay because I'm worth it.

This argument is dangerously self fulfilling, like the "poor" brother in the ghetto who can't get out because "big brother" is keeping the thumb on them. I live in a freakin' ghetto, & I get to see the brothers who take charge & get goin', in addition to the stoners who don't.

It ain't about gatekeepers, it's about personal initiative, intelligence, hard work, & perseverance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jeff Remas

The branding campaign is the only thing putting on the brakes keeping me from joining ASHI. I took the NHIE and passed, have well over 300 inspections, but the costs involved along with some things that have happened are keeping me away. My state requires me to belong to an organization and I have gotten alot of mileage from my NACHI membership. NAHI is sitting quietly on the sidelines looking very tempting at this point. I am looking to belong to more than one organization as a safety net and for more resources.

Seeing many ASHI folk leaving and disgruntled are a few of the items that are keeping new blood like myself from hopping onboard. I hope that the powers that be are aware of this."

Jeff, let me describe why I, at about the same stage you're in, decided to join ASHI years ago. I had about 500 jobs under my belt and decided then to go through candidacy to full member as quickly as the rules would allow, and did so. My chief reasons were to belong to an association that had requirements for CE, and enforced them as well, and to belong to one with active chapters where I could enjoy some fellowship and learn some more as well. And joining and staying in ASHI for those reasons was satisfying. I don't know about NACHI, but I've been a member of NAHI even longer than ASHI, but I can't tell you much that I have gained from that professionally. I never found them to take their CE requiements very seriously, and when they finally watered down their SOP a year or so ago and eliminated the health and safety lines, I decided they were not to be taken seriously anymore, and did not renew. I also hear in the grapevine that there's a move afoot to change their CoE to allow HI's to do contract work after the inspection. If true, that's an additional reason to not take NAHI seriously.

I know there's been a lot of vocal stuff by ASHI people knocking Branding - but I don't have any real statistics about drop out rates, and you probably don't either. As for me, I'm skeptical, but I don't know anything about marketing except what has worked for me, so my view is limited. I'm going to give it a try, pay the extra surcharge, and see how it unfolds.

-David Lee in VA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not think that the ASHI branding campaign is well designed or well presented. However the real questions is am I willing to put $250.00 per inspector on the line to see if it works? I agree with Dennis the realtor angle is nonsense, Realtors around here recommend you if you are low cost and clueless. But we get enough jobs from the ASHI website to make it worth it. SOmetimes we get 3-5 calls a week, from there. So if branding brings in another few it is worth it for us. As I said I am not a fan of what I know about it, but people find me on there site so I am there. I must confess that I do not participate, in a chapter or anything other than reading the forums constantly and the Reporter. If it works great, if not I have wasted more money than that on advertising/marketing.

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi George,

I am glad you are on this forum; your HVAC talents are needed. As for my post, well I guess we are both passionate about our profession just in different ways. I wish you the best in your personal and professional life and I look forward to many of your post and the chance of meeting you in person someday.

Scott P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately it's almost impossible to have a discussion on this subject without it deteriorating into the verbal equivalent of a hockey brawl. Like I said, I truly dread what's coming soon over at the ASHI Forum. [:-crazy] [xx(] [:-fight] [:-gnasher] [:-grumpy] [:-irked] [:-nonono] [:-ouch] [:-scared] [:-taped] [:-timebm] [:-banghead] [:-boggled] [:-censored] [V] [:-headache]

Brian G.

If I Just Close My Eyes Really Tight, Will It All Go Away? [:-blindfold]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Brian G.

Unfortunately it's almost impossible to have a discussion on this subject without it deteriorating into the verbal equivalent of a hockey brawl. Like I said, I truly dread what's coming soon over at the ASHI Forum. [:-crazy] [xx(] [:-fight] [:-gnasher] [:-grumpy] [:-irked] [:-nonono] [:-ouch] [:-scared] [:-taped] [:-timebm] [:-banghead] [:-boggled] [:-censored] [V] [:-headache]

Brian G.

It's much ado about (almost) nothing. Whether or not it is critical, important, or anything else will only be determined in the coming years, not months, years. It's $250, roughly half of one inspection.

It has very little to do w/ "gatekeepers" (jeez, I love that term; if I ever get frustrated, now I have someone to blame), but does not ignore realtors. It's a marketing campaign; as such, it tends to focus on selling, which is an odious thing for anyone of intelligence to have to dwell upon. If one is selling, one might look around for those that might have a "stake" in the process. ("stakeholders"?.

For those that have built reputations upon negative connotations of other professions, this is all very exciting & something else to focus on. For those interested in running their business, it is simply another business operation. This is business, isn't it? When I need to prove my ethics & morals, I spend time @ my local elementary school reading to disadvantaged kids.

Bidness is bidness.

And this isn't hostile or angry, at least not yet. This is Mikes Joint, everyones' been real friendly, we actually get to debate, & I hope it keeps up. It's just a lot of 1's & 0's in cyberspace, not something to get all heated up over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kurt,

I'm sure your comments were not directed towards IHINA or its members. IHINA does not exposé "negative connotations". Exposing the truth may come across to some people as being negative. The following links are examples of exposing reality. If you happen to get along with the other "profession" then the information will have "negative connotations".

I happen to get along w/ anyone that sends business my way; I am the founder and charter member of the EORR (Equal Opportunity Referral Receiver). Let's not play coy; of course I was talking about IHINA & its members. The simple sentence above of "exposing truth" is sanctimonious to a degree that is breathtaking. The links provided merely document the daily screwing of poor souls by the unethical, something that is hardly limited to real estate. Gee whiz, someone got screwed in a business deal. Also in an educational deal. And a legislative deal. I think I got screwed this afternoon down @ my neighborhood greengrocer; the avocados I bought are all spoiled. Dammit, there should be laws to protect all of us from all possible unethical possibilities. I'm gonna call my legislator & have them get right on it.[:-idea]

I think IHINA is a really good organization; unfortunately, it has several bedrock tenets that I can't get on board with; the "truth" that the real estate (profession/business/insert acceptable moniker here) is inherently unethical, that IHINA members are the arbiters of ethical conduct within the real estate profession, that referrals from real estate agents are an inherent conflict of interest (sometimes yes, sometimes no), and that to associate or market to realtors is unethical.

The next decade is going to see the real estate industry decimated by the ultimate ascension of internet marketing & sales models; the next generation of home buyers is going to glom onto internet marketing modes & the old wink, wink smiley handshake sales model is toast. The real estate profession/industry/evil empire will scrabble like banshees to hang on, & they won't go away quietly, but they will go away. Enacting laws that provide the illusion that consumers are being protected is a nice idea, but only an idea. It is an idea that also prevents ethical realtors from behaving ethically. For those that think ethics can be legislated, it might seem like progress.

That isn't progress, it is an agenda that benefits particular business interests. Sounds like business as usual to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys,

Come'on, the poll asked about branding and you're hijacking it into a debate about IHINA. You both have been down this road a hundred times and are as far apart as oil and water where IHINA's concerned. Why not just agree to disagree and leave it at that? If you want to debate the merits of IHINA vs. marketing to realtors, why not start another thread and then beat each other to death over there?

(Just trying to avoid too much thread drift, and not trying to limit your debate.[:-boggled]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting quotes. I'll be honest with you.

Originally posted by denable

I happen to get along w/ anyone that sends business my way; I am the founder and charter member of the EORR (Equal Opportunity Referral Receiver). Let's not play coy; of course I was talking about IHINA & its members. The simple sentence above of "exposing truth" is sanctimonious to a degree that is breathtaking. The links provided merely document the daily screwing of poor souls by the unethical, something that is hardly limited to real estate. Gee whiz, someone got screwed in a business deal. Also in an educational deal. And a legislative deal. I think I got screwed this afternoon down @ my neighborhood greengrocer; the avocados I bought are all spoiled. Dammit, there should be laws to protect all of us from all possible unethical possibilities. I'm gonna call my legislator & have them get right on it.[:-idea]

Lots of people get screwed lots of ways, so its ok? Pitiful.

I think IHINA is a really good organization; unfortunately, it has several bedrock tenets that I can't get on board with; the "truth" that the real estate (profession/business/insert acceptable moniker here) is inherently unethical, that IHINA members are the arbiters of ethical conduct within the real estate profession, that referrals from real estate agents are an inherent conflict of interest (sometimes yes, sometimes no), and that to associate or market to realtors is unethical.

This I can identify with. That's about where I'm at.

The next decade is going to see the real estate industry decimated by the ultimate ascension of internet marketing & sales models; the next generation of home buyers is going to glom onto internet marketing modes & the old wink, wink smiley handshake sales model is toast. The real estate profession/industry/evil empire will scrabble like banshees to hang on, & they won't go away quietly, but they will go away. Enacting laws that provide the illusion that consumers are being protected is a nice idea, but only an idea. It is an idea that also prevents ethical realtors from behaving ethically. For those that think ethics can be legislated, it might seem like progress.

This guy had me nodding my head before I was through. Does he have an organization?

I'm not out to offend you Dennis, I just live in a reality where I had to choose between marketing to realtors and committing professional suicide. I have 3 brokers and 3 or 4 agents out of 7 counties who are willing to work with me on my terms, and they provide 75% of my business at this point. Frankly, even when the day comes that I no longer need them I'll still be going the extra mile to get their work out. They've supported and defended me in the RE community from the start, and I'm grateful for that.

Brian G.

Coping With My World, Best I Can [:-hspin]

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...