Home Inspection Associations – Which One?
When you are a new home inspector (or even an experienced one) you may find yourself asking that question. I remember many years ago when I first started in the home inspection industry, that was one of my big questions. But in the cloud of information that is out there, how can you make the right choice?
Making the right choice is important because the association you join actually helps define some aspects of how you and your company operate in certain ways. So before we discuss the associations that are out there, consider the following points to help you make the right decision for your area:
- Which associations does everyone in your area belong to? This seems like it may be an odd thing to consider because you may want to stand out in the crowd – not join them. But I remember years ago in my market that there was no licensing, so almost every inspector belonged to a certain organization. If you didn’t belong to that organization, certain agents (even to this day) would not recommend you because they thought you were not qualified. There are still areas like that.
- What are your goals? Some organizations are more education oriented, some are more experience oriented. Some help you market more, and some work more in gaining experience. Whatever your goals are, be sure that the organization you belong to fits your goals. There are a lot of associations out there, so find one that lines up with your goals and your outlook on the industry.
- What benefits come from each organization? Each one has benefits, so be sure you like the ones you get. Be sure to research each one thoroughly.
- Where are you located? There are national associations that most inspectors belong to, but there are also local ones. FABI is located in Florida, and CREIA is located in California – to just name two example, but there are a ton more. Canada has several as well. Check your area for a local association in addition to the national/international ones. Even though there are local ones though, a national/international association still has incredible benefits that should not be overlooked.
Now keep in mind that you can always belong to more than one organizations, and many inspectors do. So you are not “stuck” once you pick one. In fact, most organizations make it pretty easy to belong to more than one.
Since there are so many smaller associations, we will just focus on the big ones here. When it comes to the major associations that the vast majority of home inspectors belong to, it really comes down to two of them: InterNACHI and ASHI. So what are the benefits of each of these two organizations? Let’s take a look.
Please note: As of the writing of this blog, we are not including the organization NAHI. NAHI’s website (NAHI.org) now redirects to ASHI’s Website on a landing page (http://www.homeinspector.org/Join-ASHI/NAHI-Anniversary). We aren’t going to go into all of the details of this, but basically, as ASHI’s landing page explains, NAHI members have been absorbed into ASHI. That being the case, we are not going to present NAHI in this blog.
InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) lays the claim of being the world’s largest home inspector association. In fact, they boast over 16,000 home inspectors in North America alone. They are a truly international home inspector association though. In fact, just before writing this blog, a home inspector looking for SEO services contacted us from South Africa and he was associated with InterNACHI.
InterNACHI also boasts some incredible things that really make them appealing as an association. Right on their website’s homepage, they lay it all out.
- 45 home inspection certifications. These certifications are gained through courses – very good courses too. You end up learning a lot from each one.
- 736 hours of free continuing education for their members. Again, awesome courses that make everything clear and concise.
- Also, “NACHI.ORG has more than 200,000 pages of home inspection articles, tutorials, courses, videos, images, and more”, according to the InterNACHI website.
They also operate many other websites that generate leads for home inspectors. According to the latest numbers displayed on their site, they have sent 17,058,117 leads to home inspectors. The number was literally going up as this was being typed.
InterNACHI’s claim to fame has always appeared to be some of the best online training out there. Many States accept InterNACHI training and CE”s for licensing.
They also list out many of their member benefits here: InterNACHI Member Benefits. It is a pretty extensive list. Taking all of this into consideration, their dues are pretty reasonable: $499 per year, or $49 per month. You can cancel anytime, but I don’t know why you would.
ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) has been called the oldest home inspector association in the world. Founded in 1976, they have been around since before most States ever recognized home inspections as a trade. In fact, ASHI membership was a requirement in some markets to get referrals. I remember being younger and that was the only term you would hear when talking about an inspector’s qualifications.
Being well founded, they have a lot of experience in the home inspection field. In fact, a lot of common practices in the inspection industry, and even many home inspection laws (in States where home inspections are regulated) came from ASHI and/or ASHI members.
ASHI has many benefits to being a member, such as the following:
- ASHI works hard for its members. They still work to shape laws and raise the bar in the inspection industry.
- ASHI has very close chapters. Whenever I talk to an ASHI member, they almost always belong to a local chapter, and those guys really back each other up. In fact, their website says there are over 80 chapters.
- They provide a great training, especially hands-on. There is always an experienced inspector in one of their chapters that is usually willing to help a new inspector out.
They lay out a lot of their benefits here: ASHI Member Benefits. ASHI also has its members start at a certain level, and then you work up. Per their website: “Everyone joins as an Associate. As you complete the requirements you move up to Inspector and finally to ASHI Certified Inspector. Click here for a detailed description of membership categories and requirements.”
All considered, ASHI has done a lot to shape the home inspection industry and is a staple in the home inspection community. Membership cost is well worth it at $399 per year with a $25 application fee. Again, you can stop whenever you’d like, but why would anyone want to?
So whatever home inspection association you choose (or if you choose multiple ones) be sure to use them to the full. Any association is a lot like a hammer – it doesn’t do much sitting on your workbench. You need to take it and swing it to make things happen. It is the same with the association you choose, and how you utilize their benefits.