There are national and state home inspection associations, and at both levels there are plenty of members. Then there are state-level chapters of larger associations, too. There’s no shortage of opportunities to belong to one of the many home inspection organizations, but what’s in it for you?
The short answer is that there’s plenty of benefit to becoming a member of any reputable association. It will invariably help you in your career, both at the personal level and in the service that you provide to your clients.
You’ll Have Continuing Education Opportunities
Membership makes you smarter! If you think that your education is over once you earn your ICA School certification, you’re in for a surprise. Education is a lifelong endeavor for everyone, and that’s especially true for inspectors. Things change. And your continuing education helps you keep up with those changes.
The Standards of Practice might change. And you know that systems in and around the home will change, too. Many of them have changed in recent years, such as smart thermostats and ultra-efficient water heaters. Think about how much will change in the future.
With association membership, you’ll have opportunities to keep learning. There are seminars and workshops at national conferences, and smaller, local associations or chapters likely offer the same opportunities.
Association Membership Gives You the Best of Both Worlds
Stay the Lone Wolf, but keep a network of friends. That’s what belonging to an association can do for you. You probably got into the home inspection business to be your own boss. That comes with a lot of perks, including no one looking over your shoulder.
But all of that freedom comes at a price, which is isolation. Even if you prefer to work alone, as many inspectors do, you still need peers to bounce ideas off and to consult with if you ever run into something that you need help with.
When you belong to an association, you have a built-in set of home inspector peers. You might see some of them only once a year. But the professional friendships can last a lifetime.
Your Location Might Stress Membership
More and more, the real estate industry is stressing that buyers should invest in a home inspection before signing on the dotted line to buy a house. That’s great news for your business, but there’s a caveat: Buyers are also cautioned about what to look for in an inspector.
As home buyers become more savvy, they’ll look for inspectors with association memberships. They’re learning that membership means the inspector has achieved a certain level of education and that he’s required to follow the Standards of Practice.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be required to join any membership. But if all of your competition in the area has already joined, you probably don’t want to be the odd man out.
There’s no single best association. ASHI is a large, national one, and CREIA in California is one of the Founding Fathers. That’s true, even though it’s at the state level. Check out the listing at the American Home Inspectors Directory to find one that suits your style.
Becoming a member benefits you as well as your customers. It can help make you a stronger home inspector in many ways. And it gives your customers the confidence to hire you, and also to recommend you to their friends.
Ready to join the ranks of up-and-coming home inspectors? Enroll now and you can study at your own pace.