There seem to be dozens of associations out there for home inspectors to join and give their hard-earned money to in exchange for credibility. There are regional, state, and national associations. The only certainty is if your state requires licensing, you must get that license in order to perform home inspections for a fee.
But, which one to pick? How do you know which one is best? While we can’t tell you which one to pick, we can give you some insights on what to look for when choosing one.
1: What do the local agents preFer?
Home inspections is a relationship business. The relationships we establish, build upon, and maintain for nearly a lifetime are with the local real estate agents. They are our business partners and networking contacts. Why? Because 9 out of 10 home inspections are the result of a real estate agent referring you. While the association you belong to isn’t the most important factor real estate agents consider, it’s near the top of the list.
The reason why is agents need to know the inspector they’re referring is held to a strict standard of quality. Agents know which associations hold the inspectors to what standards. Call a few agents in your area and tell them you’re starting your home inspection business and ask which association they prefer for their home inspectors – if any. The local agents’ perception of the most beneficial association has a lot to do with how quickly you may be able to ramp up your business.
2: Which one oFFers the most beneFits (VaLUe)?
ASHI and InterNACHI are two VERY different organizations. While they’re similar in providing a platform for home inspectors to demonstrate quality and commitment to their craft, they have very different goals and objectives for how to accomplish it.
Take some time to visit their websites and discover what they offer. While they both offer continuing education, whether you pay for it is different from one association to the other. Other things to look for:
- How much information do they try to throw at you?
- How professional and easy to navigate is the website?
- What are all of the benefits they offer through membership?
- What is the cost and how do they bill you?
3: Which one do YOU like?
All things considered, if you don’t like the association, neither you nor the association will benefit from your being a member, right? The good news is you may be able to pay monthly, so if you go on the chat forums and decide you’re not a good fit with the inspectors in the association, making the switch should be easy.
I’ve been on a lot of chat forums within several associations, and, believe me, each seems to have its own personality and style. Some may not suit your personality, and you should be prepared to decide to take your membership elsewhere. Remember, it’s YOUR money and YOUR membership. The reason we have more than one association to choose from is because some folks were so dissatisfied with the existing choices, they broke out on their own and started a whole new association. Variety is good and any association should work to earn your business just like your favorite restaurant.
4: Continuing eDUCaTION, or, continuing CeRTIFICaTION?
Whether it’s for licensing, maintaining membership or both, there’s a lot of room for procrastination with those 16-32 hours we need to get every twenty four months.
Some associations will allow you to take the same classes you took for continuing education units (CEU’s) the last time by simply retaking the quizzes or exams. For the procrastinator, it’s wonderfully efficient because you can bang out those CEU’s in a couple of evenings the week before your license/membership expires and be good for the next 23 months and 29 days. The downside is, you’re not learning anything new but you are internalizing information and skills this way.
But, what if you’re the studious type? What if you’re that person who sits down one night every week or two for a couple of hours to learn new things about your craft? You’ll want an association that’s constantly adding new material and publishing new information all the time.
If you can’t discover whether an association has what you need or want for certification, call them up and ask. As we established earlier, they DO want your business and are usually willing to help.
HI-TEC thinks like a school AND a business. We meet all the prelicensing requirements in every class we teach. We may not be a school that’s looking to offer a lot of continuing education because there already exists more places than you can shake a stick at to get them. It’s how we give you the high ground advantage in your new career. We’re better because we only focus on the core competencies you need to get started. We’ve worked for the biggest schools in the country. We know what students need to be successful, and how to best provide everyone with the knowledge and skills required to make home inspections a lifelong career. We don’t make sales pitches in class, and we teach the marketing in every class so you can get licensed, get marketing, and start recouping your investment right away.
Give us a call at 877.51.HI.TEC and let one of our admissions experts help you get the answers you need!