Survival of the Fittest? True or False
ASHI Poses Question to Industry Professionals
Chicago, Ill. (June 27, 2007) - The constant scrutiny of the housing industry coupled with record low existing-home sales (according to a recent article published by the Wall Street Journal) has made it clear that business owners who work together succeed together. As industry livelihood grows ever dependent on housing bubbles and bursts, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recommends that business owners consider ways to partner across specialties to weather industry downturns.
"We all share a common interest, and that is to provide quality service to our customers while maintaining the bottom line," said Frank Lesh, 2007 ASHI president. "When times are good we tend to forget about the importance of having allies in the field but when the housing market slows and our livelihood is threatened, we're reminded that our success is interdependent."
Identifying Friend or Foe
Every business owner should take the time to identify assets that can be leveraged within and outside of his or her area of expertise. ASHI recommends the following steps for developing and nurturing relationships with colleagues in allied industries:
- Identify a handful of industry groups that are most likely to provide referrals for your service (real estate agents, home inspectors, remodelers, interior designers, roofing contractors, mortgage brokers, etc.)
- Rank the importance of these professions as it relates to your business and reach out to the local and national membership associations to which these individuals or organizations may belong
- Determine networking opportunities via the organization's Web site or trade publication (trade shows, seminars, educational classes, social events)
- If it's a national organization, identify the editor of their monthly publication and offer to pen bylined articles or to serve as an expert resource for upcoming columns. If it's a local organization or chapter find out whether they distribute newsletters to membership and look for ways to provide content
- Host your own event via a lunch n' learn, cocktail hour or open house. ASHI recommends arranging this through the local or national membership organization first, to ensure member buy-in and participation
- Utilize the Internet. Web sites are a great way to share information with consumers and industry professionals. Identify the person responsible for making decisions about Web content and discuss a Web partnership - host links to affiliated resources on your site in exchange for having your information posted on theirs
- Brainstorm and be open to new ideas that allow you to work together. Participate in a charity event for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity or team up to auction off joint services at a silent auction
"These are examples people should consider if they're interested in reaching out to allied professionals," added Lesh. "Building relationships take time but the investment is well worth the effort if it keeps your doors open and new customers calling when business is slow."
ASHI Partnership Opportunities
ASHI offers a full suite of educational content on its Web site, www.ASHI.org, including the industry's first Virtual Home Inspection Tour (VHI), a narrated tour of the 10 main areas of the home that should be inspected in accordance with ASHI's Standards of Practice. To explore potential partnerships with ASHI or to find out how you can post the VHI and/or additional educational content on your Web site, please contact ASHI headquarters at 800-743-2744.
About the American Society of Home Inspectors
In its 31st year and with nearly 7,000 members, ASHI is the oldest and most widely recognized non-profit, professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the industry standard. ASHI’s mission is to meet the needs of its membership and promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession. For more information, visit www.ASHI.org or call 800-743-2744.