Stephen, thanks for getting out that information. As far as the advertising goes, there’s no reason to toss your old advertising stuff unless it runs afoul of the rule against misrepresenting one’s experience as an inspector. Have a local printer make you up a stamp that says Licensed Home Inspector #XXX on it and then stamp it on your materials - or simply write it on by hand.
I think that the fact that they couldn’t pass the NHIE is going to be a wakeup call for inspectors that didn’t pass it on their 1st call. It is, after all, a test of very basic knowledge. I’ve said for years that anyone that’s been practicing the business (conscientiously) for 3 months or more should be able to pass it. Now that those folks have had to spend so much money to take and pass that basic test, maybe they’ll be a little more motivated to keep up with the technical requirements of their profession - especially since many of us that were unaffiliated with any association, which is supposedly the majority of inspectors in the state, will now have to garner at least 24 CEU’s every license cycle. I just got 15, now I’ve got 11 months and 27 days to get the other 9 hours.
As far as it being a “marketing” ploy, that’s just J.B. spouting off.
Before licensing, some inspectors that bothered to market used their various associations’ status to try and puff themselves up to look better than their competition. They’ve been doing that in Texas where licensing has been around as long as ASHI has, so I’m sure that after licensing they will continue to do that in Washington state; I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon.
Before licensing, some inspectors that bothered to market used their past experience in one or more of the construction trades to try and puff themselves up to look better than their competition - even in Texas where licensing has been around for as long as ASHI has. They will continue to do that; only now, in Washington State at least - they’ll have to differentiate between their time in construction and their actual time doing home inspections - no more, “I’ve got 35 years of experience;” now it will have to be something like, “Before I was an inspector I worked in construction for 30 years and I’ve been inspecting homes for five years.” That’s hardly an onerous change for an inspector to make. I’m sure that they’ll continue to try and leverage their previous experiences here in Washington State and there will be nothing wrong with that as long as they provide full disclosure or what their actual home inspecting experience is so that the consumer isn’t hoodwinked into believing that they are more experienced than they actually are.
Before licensing, some tried to make people believe that because they are members of an association that has “certified” in it’s title that their qualifications have somehow been vetted and they are therefore more competent than others - even in Texas where licensing has been around for as long as ASHI has. I’m am absolutely certain they will continue to do that.
Before licensing, those with more experience actually inspecting homes claimed that their additional experience at inspecting homes made them better inspectors than those who’d jumped into the business yesterday from another profession - even in Texas where licensing has been around for as long as ASHI has. I’m absolutely certain that they will continue to claim that.
Before licensing, some didn’t market at all, and relied on past clients to spread the word about their companies - even in Texas where licensing has been around as long as ASHI has. We will continue to do so.
Here are the differences a consumer will see:
- Uniform minimum standards to enter the profession.
- Mandatory inspection contracts that will tell clients what to expect from an inspector - even for pre-listing consultations where inspectors aren’t producing written reports.
- Because of rules, inspectors are no longer motivated to try and up-sell the consumer on certain repairs that the inspector can make for them at additional cost.
- Because of rules, inspectors must disclose to the client any special relationships or arrangements they have with anyone referring them, and kickbacks and pay-for-play to be on a preferred providers list are now illegal.
- Because of rules, inspectors can no longer legally misrepresent their experience to the client.
- Uniform reporting requirements that require all inspection reports to contain certain basic information.
- A single standard of practice instead of an alphabet soup of standards (AII, ASHI, NAHI, NACHI, ISHI, etc.).
- An agency with the power to do something about it when a consumer has a complaint against an inspector, instead of the situation before licensing where, if a consumer complained to the inspector’s association, the association’s power to do anything about it, when/if the allegation is proven and turns out to be a violation of standards or conduct, was limited to nothing more severe than kicking the inspector out of the association.
- Future inspectors trained by courses that have been vetted and approved that will have to spend time on actual inspections, write actual reports, and then be tested, twice, before being allowed to legally practice in the state.
There are other benefits to the consumer but this is a pretty good start.
ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!
Mike O’Handley, LHI
Your Inspector LLC.
Wa. Lic. Home Inspector #202
Editor - The Inspector’s Journal™