Whether you’re an aspiring, new, or established home inspector, you’re probably familiar with the term “home inspector association.” The process of inspecting properties is never the same across the board, and guidelines vary between different states. There are also some federal laws that govern the industry. In a few states, home inspectors don’t even need to be licensed in order to do their job. When you join a home inspector association, it helps to solidify your reputation and bring you and your business a level of credibility. So, what are these associations, and should you join one? We’ll take a closer look at what a home inspector association is, the benefits of joining, and more.
What is a Home Inspector Association?
A home inspector association is an industry-focused group or organization that maintains professional home inspectors as members. These associations typically charge a membership fee, but they do offer a wide range of helpful benefits. Home inspector associations also help to provide guidelines regarding the process of performing home inspections. They also help answer questions you may have about doing the job, so you can be sure you’re adhering to the latest standards and regulations. Most larger home inspector associations also provide training, and you can include their logo on your business card and marketing materials when you become a member. This may help to give customers peace of mind knowing that you’re a part of a reputable organization. It can also help to improve the way others view you in terms of your experience. Membership in a home inspector association shows clients that you take your job seriously.
InterNACHI vs. ASHI Home Inspector Associations
The two largest home inspector associations in the United States are InterNACHI, or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and ASHI, or The American Society of Home Inspectors. InterNACHI was formerly known as the National Association of Home Inspectors (NACHI) but has recently expanded to cover a broader reach that includes Canada, South Africa, and other countries around the world. Let’s take a closer look at InterNACHI vs. ASHI so you can see the differences between the two organizations.
InterNACHI was founded by a former home inspector who was also a very successful real estate agent. Today, they’re the largest home inspector association in the world. The organization is highly focused on providing valuable training and ongoing education to new and established home inspectors. This association offers an extensive online training program and a broad range of member benefits. Currently, InterNACHI provides a variety of certifications you can obtain as well as hundreds of hours of education you can take part in. The association website has thousands of articles, videos, courses, images, and tutorials that members can take advantage of. InterNACHI also publishes and maintains a range of websites that can generate leads for home inspectors, helping their business grow. The main thing that sets them apart is the intense and extensive variety of educational material, guidance, and training offered to paying members. Many states accept proof of training with the organization as sufficient in order to provide licensing to inspectors.
ASHI was established in 1976 by a group of experienced home inspectors. This American-based organization has a standard of practices for inspectors to follow, most of which are designed to help protect professionals in the industry. When you sign up, you’ll start as an Associate and work your way up to an Inspector until you reach ASHI Certified Inspector status. To achieve that status, you’ll need to pass an exam. This gives you “clout” when you become a member since it demonstrates that you have a solid knowledge of the home inspection process and the industry as a whole. Members must also pass a background check. ASHI has chapters located throughout the country that hold regular meetings, which is a great way to meet and connect with your fellow home inspectors.
Benefits of Joining a Home Inspector Association
Whether you join these two major associations or a smaller one, joining a home inspector association has many benefits. As mentioned above, when you join, you’ll get to include the association’s official logo or badge on your marketing materials to show you’re an expert in your field. Perhaps the most significant benefit of being part of a home inspector association is the access to education and training. Whether through videos, interactive courses, or in-person training, learning the ropes and staying on top of the latest guidelines is an effective way to ensure that you’re always one step ahead in your field. ASHI provides member networking opportunities, including local chapters where you can meet with other inspectors. InterNACHI provides members with a myriad of business success tools to help your business gain exposure and grow.
Cost to Join a Home Inspector Association
InterNACHI charges $49 per month or $499 per year for all-access membership, and you can cancel anytime. You’ll get over 1,000 hours of free continuing education, access to pre-licensing practice questions, and over 45 certifications that you can complete for free. They also provide unlimited e-signed inspection agreements, free legal documents, and access to their Home Energy Report. You can also download home inspection checklists and other forms and get rights to use images from their Graphics Library.
ASHI charges $45 per month, with the first three months paid upfront along with a $25 application administration fee. You may also choose to pay a one-time fee of $499 per year, including the $25 application administration fee. ASHI membership has three levels. You’ll start as an Associate after completing a background check and passing the ASHI Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics education modules. After a full year, you must start to earn 20 ASHI-approved continuing education hours. As you go, your level and benefits will increase. Inspectors must complete a minimum of 50 fee-paid home inspections. The final level is an ASHI Certified Inspector, which offers even more benefits. To learn more about the organization’s membership levels, visit their website.
Not only does joining a home inspector association improve your reputation as a professional, but it also gives you access to education, training, and many other benefits. While not all home inspectors join these associations, it’s always a good idea to consider it. If you’re a home inspector and need software that will make your job easier, be sure to visit Inspection Support Network to learn about our features and to sign up for your free trial today.