It’s been several weeks since Frequently Asked Questions about branding were sent to the entire Membership. If you had questions, I hope you found answers to them, and are now anticipating the next stage of this truly exciting undertaking. This month at Chapter Leadership Day, chapter leaders from all over the country are getting their first look at the ASHI Experience materials, and will be bringing back what they learn to their chapters. There’s sure to be more questions and more answers as we move forward. But at the risk of being redundant, I want to repeat here several of the questions and answers from the FAQ list you recently received. The list was lengthy, making it easy to overlook answers to the single greatest misperception we’ve heard — that ASHI is trying to make everyone the same.
The questions and answers dealing with that misconception are repeated here. I hope you’ll review them and will understand that making everyone the same is not our direction. This is not what we desire. The implementation of the ASHI brand is well underway and the excitement continues to build. All of us involved in the delivery of the ASHI Brand are confident that once you have the actual materials in hand, you’ll begin to envision how you can make best use of The ASHI Experience for the benefit of your business. I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to express your support and even your concerns. Your engagement in ASHI and desire to be a part of the success of the Society is one of its greatest assets. If we have not yet addressed your question about branding, let us know. E-mails are welcome - firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is ASHI trying to make all of us the same, like a franchise operation?
The idea that branding will make all inspectors the same is the single greatest misperception that we have heard. Branding the organization and its entire membership makes each and every one of your own micro-brands stronger, giving you the strength of a solid and well-conceived brand on top of all of the talent and personality that you bring to your business.
This means that you will still compete based on all of the uniqueness that makes you who you are. However, the ASHI Experience will provide strength to your overall effectiveness.
When you tell your customers that you have been trained and are committed to the ASHI Experience and bringing the very best service to everyone that you serve, you will stand out rather than blend in with your competitors.How can I remain an independent inspector if I am forced to perform inspections just like the other ASHI members?
The Standards of Practice today require that you perform the basic technical aspects of an inspection just like your fellow ASHI members and those who have been afforded a license through a state using the ASHI Standards. As that second group, licensed inspectors, is growing with great speed, there is no differentiation made to the customer. Our research with homebuyers showed that they already expect a certain level of technical expertise from every inspector in their area. Technical expertise and certifications no longer provide the ability to differentiate you from others.
By providing the ASHI Experience, you are letting your customers know, explicitly and directly, that although many inspectors will say they meet ASHI standards, using an ASHI Inspector will provide them a different level of education, support, respect and follow-up. ASHI inspectors are simply the best at what they do.
For you the inspector, these new qualifications and skills only enhance what you do to maintain a healthy business. Each of the skills and tools will be practiced differently with a unique voice, quality and expression that is uniquely you. This is not very different than what you do today; there will just be more tools and techniques to choose from.I have plenty of business right now — why do I need branding to give me more?
For many home inspectors, this is a time when business is booming. This is the best time to invest in your business and the long-term strength of your micro-brand. ASHI is dealing both with a booming home buying market, as well as the changing regulations and licensing practices in over 30 states. The branding efforts will build momentum over the next several years and will most likely compensate for changes in the market. Your marketplace will not always be this way. Times will change and your business will change too. We recognize that, and we are taking these steps now to ensure a successful future.
The branding effort is structured to ensure your vitality into the future; help you be more selective in your business, and increase your bottom line today. This “bottom-line” increase may not be about more inspections for you. This “bottom-line” increase may not be about more inspections. For some of you, the success of the brand will give you more time to spend with your family while making the same money, because you are able to charge more for each inspection.
For others, the brand could provide the opportunity to expand the business and bring on additional inspectors. However you would like to see the return on your investment, we are building the ASHI brand to provide it so long as you are willing to participate in it.
A few issues ago, I requested input from you on your exceptional service. What is it that sets you apart, that leaves a positive impression on your customers? While some of you have written, we’d really like to hear from more of you so we can share these ideas. Please send your information directly to me at email@example.com.