One of the great strengths in America (and Canada) is the competative nature. One company starts doing something, then another company comes along and does the same thing, only for less cost and / or at better quality and / or with added value. In otherwise, just better. The first company either adapts or goes out of business.
ASHI’s problem, at least in my area (I live 5 miles from ASHI national headquarters) is that they got fat, self important and just disregarded NACHI and did so with arrogance.
Many ASHI members, in Illinois, were former tradesmen. With the union mentality, they looked upon NACHI members as a bunch of apprentices and scabs. They saw us as incompitent scabs.
Now, most NACHI members in our area have college degrees, know how to use computers, know how to employ the new technologies (deep probing moisture meters, electrical circuit analyzers, thermal imaging, etc) and apply more of the theoretical aspects of building science to the inspection.
I have always been curious about one aspect.
Our state HI law has a definition of a particular type of defect. I believe it was taken directly from the ASHI SOP.
Significantly Deficient: A system, component or item that either doesn’t function or is unsafe.
Unsafe: A system, component or item that poses a significant risk of personal injury or property damage because it is damaged, deteriorated, improperly installed or changes in current construction standards.
The changes in “current construction standards” is taken to mean national code changes.
So, a house built in the 60s and without GFCI protection is significantly deficient.
The only problem is that most ASHI guys I talk to, the older ones, mostly, will say no. They will say that it is “functioning as intended”.
When pressed, they talk about the local codes and gransfathering provisions and all that. They think of themselves as code inspectors, mailny because around here, the code inspectors have all the authority.
Maybe it is because they came from the trades and maybe it is just because the don’t want to rock the boat. Maybe they want to insure that they don’t offend their Realtor base.
I see it as a cop out. They work for the cleint and MUST have the client’s best interest at heart. That’s fiduciary responsbility.
But, NACHI is a new breed. In a little less than 3 years, I have seen ASHI go from, (in the minds of Realtors, because of the “branding” campaign) from being synonymous with being licensed to being almost meaningless.
This was done, at least around here, by:
- Extensive education of the NACHI HIs.
- Massive mentoring of the new guys by the older NACHI members.
- Strong NACHI Chapter programs.
- Breaking the backs of the ASHI (and NAHI) CE educators. Better courses, higher quality and at about 1/4 of the cost (for NACHI members. About 1/2 for non-NACHI members).
- Letting the Realtors come to us, based upon our repuation and quality, rather than NACHI members courting and cow-towing to the Realtors.
- Realtor education. Most of them had no clue as to what HIs actually were required to do, according to our state law.
- Reaching out to members of other associations and forming common interest groups, to work for the interests of all HIs (political lobbying, state representation, etc). The state authorities take us much more seriously if we are all on the same page rather than sqabbling between ourselves. Last year, this group, working with the Illinois Association of Realtors, got the Radon disclosure act passed. This year, we are working on a similar discloure act for Home Inspectors.
- The arrogance of some (by no means all, or even many) of the old school ASHI and NACHI “leaders” who thought that they were going to be on top of the heap forever. Many of these “leaders” were also profiting off their membership by over charging for state required CE and just putting on totally easy, lazy, rote classes that one could sleep through and still pass, easily. Thanks to efforts from some of our NACHI Chapter members, these people have had disciplinary action taken against them, by the state, for the mock classes.
I have always reached across to members and leaders of other associations, to work for the betterment of the entire industry. I will continue to do so, as long as it helps. But I will always be a NACHI member and continue to help NACHI first.
I also hope that NACHI members will never make the same mistake that ASHI members did and get fat, overconfident, lazy and complacent.
Do your best, improve and try to change the old paradigm where it needs changing. Let the market decide.
Hope this helps;