What’s going on in the world of home inspection:
* InterNACHI is taking over the world one city at a time. The Inspector Marketing Tour
focuses on helping home inspectors effectively market and promote their businesses. The best part is, it’s free (sort of). The $99 entry fee buys you a $99 voucher for home inspection products, services or InterNACHI membership. The tour
kicks off in Wichita, Kansas on August 13.
* Our Communications Director is a little obsessed with homes overrun by snakes. This story has given her nightmares all week long.
If you’re feeling confused, flustered or aggravated by some aspect of your home inspection business, you’re not alone. These five resources are godsends for both new and seasoned inspectors. In addition to getting answers to your questions, these online hotspots will connect you with other inspectors and keep you up to date on the latest news in the industry. Get your bookmarks ready. Here they are, in no particular order:
There’s a reason that 1.5 million visitors have flocked to this site. Jam packed with info on virtually any and everything that’s happening in the industry, this free site’s primary strength lies in its active readership. If you need a little help getting started, head straight to this post.
2. American Society of Home Inspectors
It’s no surprise that ASHI makes our list thanks to their active membership, timely news posts and primary research on home buyers and inspectors. ASHI also gets our e-kudos because they want to help you find and retain clients. On top of providing easy-to-reach Standards of Practice and State Regulations, the organization also offers a list of continuing education and training institutions as well as an inspector search engine that can help clients find you. Even inspectors who aren’t ASHI members can benefit from the site’s comprehensive resources.
3. Joe Ferry
Ferry’s site is a veritable explosion of info on the legal aspects of home inspecting. A lawyer who specializes in home inspection cases, Ferry produces article after article designed to help protect inspectors should they run into trouble. This site covers everything from arbitrations to inspection agreements. Ferry’s great about answering questions from the crowd, even ours.
When it comes to info on how to do what you do, InterNACHI is tops. The organization’s site offers updates on the latest news, active forums for questions and debate and a solid home inspection blog that anyone can access regardless whether they’re an InterNACHI member. Like ASHI, members can also list their businesses in InterNACHI’s inspector search engine to drum up clients too.
5. Tap Inspect’s Blog
We may not be the biggest home inspection site out there, but we do provide tons of original articles that offer insider knowledge on the ins and outs of inspections. Plus our blog has one of the biggest collections of interviews with working inspectors available on the web. Happy surfing!
Having trouble getting motivated? You’re not alone. Research from psychologist William Knaus shows that it’s tougher to get chronic procrastinators to quit their habit than it is to wean alcoholics off of booze. Despite the obstacles, there is hope. Here are four scientifically proven ways to light that fire.
1. Think in the Concrete
Making more money and better business contacts may be the ultimate goal, but studies show that the key to accomplishing the abstract is to think concrete. According to a 2009 survey of students published in Psychological Science, those who thought about a series of questions concretely-that is, in terms of the who, what, where, when and why of each question-tackled assignments quicker and more completely than those who thought about the questions abstractly. For home inspectors, that means that breaking down larger goals into smaller, daily milestones can prevent procrastination and increase the likelihood of success.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Think you’re in the zone? Not until e-mail, Facebook and Angry Birds are turned off. According to the New York Times, the average employees wastes approximately two hours a day checking e-mail, getting coffee and doing other non-work related tasks. The good news is that eliminating distractions is fairly easy. To increase your chances of success, brainstorm distractions you may encounter and take measures to prevent them.
3. Tackle Hard Stuff First
Research shows that motivation comes in limited supply. According to the theory of “present bias,” people tend to choose the thing that’s most comfortable when immediately presented. That means that even though you know in the back of your head that coming up with a kick-butt long-term marketing strategy is the best thing you can do, instead you spend your time revamping your web site for the thousandth time or sending out more business brochures. To ensure that you’re tackling the most important tasks, frontload your day with the hardest, most pressing items first.
4. Create Periodic Deadlines
The good news is that you run your own business; you get to set your own timeline for tasks! The bad news is that you get to set your own timeline for tasks. A 2002 study by researchers Klaus Wertenbroch and Dan Ariely shows that students who opted to tackle a project on one big deadline were less likely to finish than those who divided the task into three periodic deadlines. Regardless of your goal, breaking down major tasks into smaller, more manageable bites automatically increases your chance of success.
The busy season is beginning to rev up again. To kick your butt back in gear, here’s what’s happening in home inspections:
* Building safety professionals-this one’s for you. April 29 through May 8 in Dallas, Texas, the International Code Council hosts a series of hearings regarding changes in building codes. Inspectors, engineers, architects, contractors and safety pros are encouraged to attend. Click here to register.
* If you’re still some continuing education credits short, the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector Association can hook you up. The group offers three separate continuing ed opportunities in Asheville July 27-28, New Bern August 17-18 and Greensboro August 24-25. Early birds who register in advance get a sweet discount.
* If you missed the Atlantic City Inspection Conference this past weekend, don’t sweat it. The 2012 Pittsburgh Inspection Conference running from September 7 through 9 is now registering attendees.
* We know we’ve run this for two months now, but it bears repeating: InterNACHI is hosting a series of free webinars in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy on home performance, energy efficiency and sustainability. The next one runs on May 16 at noon Pacific time, 3:00pm EST.
* Just for fun, Forbes’ list of the best and worst places to buy a home right now.