Let’s face it, at the time of this writing, real estate markets in many areas are down, and the common theme heard in our chapters is the slowdown of everyone’s business. Some even claim to be dead in the water. Well, don’t despair. If you’re in this business for as long as many of us have been, you realize real estate-related businesses are no different from other businesses. All businesses have cycles… there are peaks and valleys in the real estate economy as well, and we are in one of those valleys.
Now is the time to focus on your business and education. Opportunities are all around us. If you haven’t done so recently, I suggest visiting your local chapter. You will encounter peers addressing similar issues about the marketplace, learn about business strategies that may work in your area to help generate business, and find continuing education to reinforce what you already know or to open your mind to new information. It takes a spark to start a fire, and a fresh idea realized while attending a meeting may launch your business or services in a new direction. The catch is you have to attend to get the spark.
And there’s more. The small effort it takes to attend a monthly meeting adds vitality to the chapter, expands your personal perspective about the industry, and brings a much-needed infusion of dollars to the efforts to promote chapter members. It’s a give-and-take relationship. Through your participation, your chapter grows stronger and you become exposed to new ideas. A strong chapter is able to promote what ASHI is, what we stand for and what we do. This is the stuff that helps generate business leads through public exposure and networking with peers in the region.
And, while we’re talking about education, let’s not forget InspectionWorld ‘07 in Anaheim, Calif. There is enough educational material packed into this event to please the most discerning inspector. This year, I have been to a number of conferences and inspection shows and I can say, unequivocally, ASHI InspectionWorld is by far the best event available anywhere, by any group, and at any price. Take advantage of this slow business cycle to learn from and interact with some of the best in the business.
By now, you should know that ASHI never sleeps. Your ASHI dues dollars are hard at work, promoting the benefits of using the most qualified home inspectors in the country, every day we open our doors on Lee Street. We continually send a message to the home-buying consumer to use the ASHI Web site to find an inspector and as a resource for related information. Our Web site has resources for three groups: homebuyers, real estate professionals and home inspectors, plus a membership-only extranet. We have something for everyone.
The membership-only extranet includes an online discussion board. This is the place where you can post a question, seek advice and have a professional response (or 20) by end of the business day. What’s more, you can post an inspection idea, share inspection techniques or ask for a product review. You might be pleasantly surprised to read about how many inspectors there are who have tried the same things, with the same frustrations you are experiencing. Also, take advantage of the discussion board to acquire feedback on hardware and software products before committing to expensive investments claiming to enhance your business or inspection performance.
You belong to a community of individuals who lead an industry struggling to become a true profession. ASHI is the go-to place for media outlets wanting straight answers on the things that bother consumers purchasing homes and inspectors desiring to apply their craft with accuracy and integrity.
During this slow time, consider increasing your participation in ASHI. The benefits are mutual; your participation is complemented with national and local outreach efforts to home-buying consumers who are reached through media outlets and groups interested in reporting on what we have to say about the home inspection business.