National Inventory Certification Association – Education and certification for industry professionals
12 Oct 2017

Mundane Marketing?

Mary GillenAre you finding yourself experiencing mundane marketing? If not now, you might hit that wall someday when you just can’t think of anything new to do or say to help promote your home inventory business. Check out these tips from our web developer and Associate Member Mary Gillen. These ideas just might be the spark you’re looking for.

 

Long domain name

 

Is your domain name too long to fit on car signage? Use your Twitter handle on the sign instead to attract prospects to follow you on Twitter.  Example of a Twitter handle: @marygillen

 

Spruce up your LinkedIn profile

 

The text under your name on your LinkedIn profile is called your professional headline. Be sure to include the keyword phrases that prospects will use to discover you in this headline.

 

Videos!

 

Create YouTube videos, and keep them between 1 and 4 minutes long. The reason for the short videos is that Google tests for relevance to see if YouTube videos are watched straight through, giving more SEO credit to videos that are watched from beginning to end.

 

Have an active voice

 

When writing your marketing copy, use the active voice. It makes the message shorter and more powerful.

 

An example of Not Active copy: “The new video developed by our company can help you increase your sales.”

Compare this to an example of Active: copy: “Our new video has 17 ideas to help you increase sales.

 

These tips are just a sample of you can learn from the book, 367 Marketing Ideas & Tactics for Your Business by Mary Gillen. Download it here.
05 Oct 2017

Appraisal Examiner Certification Earned by Easley, South Carolina Member

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Randy Bagwell of Accurate Inventory for achieving the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner.

Randy BagwellPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Randy Bagwell, owner of Accurate Inventory, has recently been awarded the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner (CAE). The purpose of a CAE designation is to establish recognition for this specialized service.

 

The growth of the personal property inventory industry has created an opportunity for contents inventory professionals to serve as Appraisal Examiners. This certification provides the education and the credentials needed to properly assist appraisers. The appraisal firms can locate and subcontract certified, qualified examiners to assist with the collection of descriptions and photos of items to be appraised. From this information provided by the inventory professional, appraisers are then able to create a certified report.

 

When completing an inventory service for residential and commercial clients, the inventory professional is often asked if they know the value of items, or if they can refer an appraiser. The CAE designation signifies that these contents inventory professionals have the knowledge required to collect and then submit the necessary information for an appraiser to assign value. This allows for a two-way referral opportunity between these two industries.

 

To help ensure that the inventory service provider is prepared to serve the appraisal industry, the Education Committee, consisting of NICA members, an established property appraiser, and the Association Directors, determined the requirements to achieve an Appraisal Examiner Certification.

 

Only those who have earned their Certified Inventory Expert (CIE) or Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) designation are eligible to apply for this additional level. The inventory professional is also required to successfully complete the Customer Service and Appraisal Examiner courses, plus an elective chosen from the NICA curriculum. The Appraisal Examiner course was co-written by a property appraiser to ensure integrity and provide hands-on processes for accurate collection of information.

 

Based in Easley, South Carolina, Bagwell offers residential and business asset inventory services as well as appraisal examiner services to South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.

28 Sep 2017

Working With Your Associate Members

MembershipAssociate Members of the National Inventory Certification Association have invested in their membership, just as each inventory professional has. They see the value in our industry, and the value in working with each of us. Their support of each member as well as the contents inventory industry is appreciated. Consider your needs as a home inventory professional and review the websites of those who support us and have chosen to work with NICA and all members.

Do you want an additional income stream? Nugent Appraisal!

Do you need a new or ADA compliant website? Mary Gillen!

Do you want to help save the plan and have a new service to introduce to your contacts? Renovation Angel!

Do you need or want to have legal assistance for your personal and/or business needs? LegalShield!

Are you ready to start your home inventory business or know someone who is? Nationwide Inventory Professionals!

In a previous post, Mary Gillen shared information about website ADA compliance. We value the relationship we’ve developed and her eagerness to share his knowledge. Watch for future blog posts as these Associate Members contribute.

22 Sep 2017

Wellington, Florida Member Achieves Appraisal Examiner Certification

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Dwight Saxon for achieving the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner.

 

Dwight SaxonPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Dwight Saxon, owner of Saxon’s Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner (CAE).

Growth of the personal property inventory industry has created an opportunity for contents inventory professionals to serve as Appraisal Examiners. The purpose of a CAE designation is to establish recognition for this specialized service. This certification provides the education and the credentials needed to properly assist appraisers.

This enables appraisal firms to locate and subcontract certified, qualified examiners to assist with the collection of descriptions and photos of items to be appraised. The appraisers are then able to create an accurate Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliant certified report from this information provided by the inventory professional. Additionally, the home inventory professional is able to grow their businesses through additional revenue opportunities.

When completing an inventory service for residential and commercial clients, the inventory professional is often asked if they know the value of items, or if they can refer an appraiser. The CAE designation signifies that these contents inventory professionals have the knowledge required to collect and then submit the necessary information for an appraiser to assign value. This allows for a two-way referral opportunity between these two industries.

To help ensure that the inventory service provider is prepared to serve the appraisal industry, the NICA Education Committee, consisting of NICA members, an established property appraiser, and the Association Directors, determined the requirements to achieve an Appraiser Examiner Certification.

Only those who have earned their Certified Inventory Expert (CIE) or Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) designation are eligible to apply for this additional level. The inventory professional is also required to successfully complete the Customer Service and Appraisal Examiner courses, plus an elective chosen from the NICA curriculum. The Appraisal Examiner course was co-written by a property appraiser to ensure integrity and provide hands-on processes for accurate collection of information.

Based in Wellington, Florida, Saxon’s Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services and appraisal services to Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, and Saint Lucie Counties. 

15 Sep 2017

Delaware Inventory Professionals Achieve Certification

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates owners of First State Inventory for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialists.

Jim Stinchecum and Vince StinchecumPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that brothers Jim Stinchecum and Vince Stinchecum, owners of First State Inventory, have recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms knowledge to provide quality residential and small business contents professional inventory services.

There is an increasing awareness of the necessity and benefits of having a prepared photographic and written record of one’s personal property. This knowledge and the ever-increasing busy lifestyles of homeowners and business owners alike create a growing demand for a professional inventory service provider.

To earn the CIS designation,  the Stinchecums successfully completed the required courses developed by NICA, agreed to conduct business according to the asset industry Code of Ethics, and accumulated a minimum number of Continuing Education Units. Jim and Vince then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving the CIS designation.

Having an industry certification is not required for the contents inventory industry. Choosing to invest in  continuing education shows a desire to learn and excel as a personal property inventory professional. Earning these credentials informs clients that they have gone the extra mile to ensure that First State Inventory provides quality inventory services.

Jim stated, “Vince and I have served clients through our previous businesses, and always enjoyed providing quality services. Combining our skills, customer service backgrounds, and desire to help others fits well with this new adventure in the home inventory industry. In addition to preparedness for a disaster, Vince added, “having a written document and photos of all of one’s assets is also essential for many other life events and business activities.”

Based in Lewes, Delaware, First State Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services.

 

13 Sep 2017

Benefits of and Marketing Your Appraisal Examiner Certification

Red Ribbon-CertifiedWe recently recognized our members who have achieved their Appraisal Examiner Certification. That prompted a few to call the National Inventory Certification Association office asking what this certification is, and the benefit of achieving the designation of CAE. Others have asked if there are other opportunities in addition to assisting Associate Member Nugent Appraisal by documenting the items they’ve been hired to appraise.

Benefits of the CAE designation

Since your inventory services are most likely the single revenue stream, you will be adding a skill set that enables you to serve the appraisal industry quickly and with knowledge.

These two industries go hand-in-hand. There are three main types of jobs:

  1. An inventory of the contents in a home or business.
  2. Only designated items to be appraised.
  3. The entire household or business needing inventoried with specific items needing appraised.

Being able to serve all three needs enables you to reap the revenue benefits, and call in the appraisal services as needed. Instead of providing only an inventory service, achieving your CAE enables you to gain revenue by being the point person and outsourcing the appraisal.

Additionally, when Nugent Appraisal secures an appraisal job, they will find who has achieved the CAE designation in that geographic area.

Marketing Your Examiner Service

There are a variety of ways to market this add-on service.

Include appraisal services on your website.

  • Add the CAE designation to your name on business cards, website, brochures, email signature line, etc.
  • Educate about the need for this service when posting about your business on Social Media.
  • Send a notice to your current client base informing them of your new appraisal service.
  • Notify the referral sources you currently work with, stressing that they now only have to work with one vendor rather than two.
  • When providing your inventory service to a new client, mention that you also offer appraisal services and can save them money (because you’ll have already collected the information the appraiser will need).
  • Notify appraisers in your area and offer to be a subcontractor/independent contractor for them.

When you are in a home or business as an Appraisal Examiner, it is completely appropriate for you to discuss your home inventory company. Take the time to share the many benefits of having a thorough record of all their contents, in addition to the items being appraised.

The majority of people don’t know that they will be required to provide a detailed item-by-item list of everything they will need to have replaced after a loss. Offering a brief education can turn an appraisal examiner client into an inventory client as well.

06 Sep 2017

Pennsylvania Inventory Professional Achieves Appraisal Examiner Certification

The National Inventory Certification Association announces that member Lavon Kearney has earned the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner.

Lavon KearneyPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Lavon Kearney, owner of Serenity Assured Inventory Solution, has recently earned the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner (CAE).

Growth of the personal property inventory industry has created an opportunity for contents inventory professionals to serve as Appraisal Examiners. The purpose of a CAE designation is to establish recognition for this specialized service. This certification provides the education and the credentials needed to properly assist appraisers.

This enables appraisal firms to locate and subcontract certified, qualified examiners to assist with the collection of descriptions and photos of items to be appraised. The appraisers are then able to create an accurate Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliant certified report from this information provided by the inventory professional. Additionally, the home inventory professional is able to grow their businesses through additional revenue opportunities.

When completing an inventory service for residential and commercial clients, the inventory professional is often asked if they know the value of items, or if they can refer an appraiser. The CAE designation signifies that these contents inventory professionals have the knowledge required to collect and then submit the necessary information for an appraiser to assign value. This allows for a two-way referral opportunity between these two industries.

To help ensure that the inventory service provider is prepared to serve the appraisal industry, the NICA Education Committee, consisting of NICA members, an established property appraiser, and the Association Directors, determined the requirements to achieve an Appraiser Examiner Certification.

Only those who have earned their Certified Inventory Expert (CIE) or Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) designation are eligible to apply for this additional level. The inventory professional is also required to successfully complete the Customer Service and Appraisal Examiner courses, plus an elective chosen from the NICA curriculum. The Appraisal Examiner course was co-written by a property appraiser to ensure integrity and provide hands-on processes for accurate collection of information.

Lavon stated, “Whether someone wants just one item appraised, a few items, or a whole house, I am now able to confidently and professionally collect the information and forward it to a USPAP certified appraiser. I am very excited about this additional service I can now offer my clients.”

Based in Export, Pennsylvania, Serenity Assured Inventory Solution offers residential and business asset inventory services to the metropolitan Pittsburgh area. 

21 Aug 2017

Easley, South Carolina Inventory Professional Earns CIS Designation

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Randy Bagwell for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

 

Randy BagwellPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Randy Bagwell, owner of Accurate Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms his knowledge to provide quality residential and small business contents professional inventory services.

There is an increasing awareness of the necessity and benefits of having a prepared photographic and written record of one’s personal property. This knowledge and the ever-increasing busy lifestyles of homeowners and business owners alike create a growing demand for a professional inventory service provider.

To earn the CIS designation, Bagwell passed specified courses developed by NICA, agreed to conduct business according to the asset industry Code of Ethics, and accumulated the required number of Continuing Education Units. He then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this designation.

Achieving certification is not required for the contents inventory professional. Choosing to invest in  continuing education shows  Bagwell’s desire to learn the industry. This informs his clients that he has gone the extra mile to ensure  Accurate Inventory provides quality inventory services.

Bagwell stated, “As a retired insurance adjuster, I have seen the financial loss people face due to being unable to remember every item in their house after a fire, tornado, or other disaster. I am enjoying the opportunity to help people prepare. It’s a great feeling knowing I’ve helped them preserve their financial future.”

Based in Easley, South Carolina, Accurate Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services in South Carolina, Northern Georgia, and Southern North Carolina

16 Aug 2017

Code of Ethics: Customer Service

We are very pleased about the growth of the National Inventory Certification Association, and with that grow has been the addition of Associate Members. Five have joined us to date, so we felt it was a good time to mention this Customer Service Code of Ethics statement:

Serve customers with respect and courtesy.

As we are all aware, there is often more than one customer or client per project. When working with or for an Associate Member, you have two direct clients.

The first customer is obviously the client. When you are providing a service for another company, you are in essence representing that company as well as your own. Always provide the ultimate in customer service, such as being on time, removing or asking if you should remove your shoes, being courteous, etc.

The second customer is the Associate Member or other company that has hired you to perform your service. Once you’ve completed your part of the project, it is of utmost importance to complete your tasks professionally and on time, and delivering them to the customer as expected/requested.

Example including an Associate Member

For example, Nugent Appraisal hires you for an Appraisal Examiner project. You serve the homeowner customer by providing your service, and doing so on time, efficiently, and politely. Nugent is also a customer, as you are providing them with your expertise and the photos and typed report. This report must be presented to Nugent professionally and on time, so they in return can complete their part of the project completed and delivered to the homeowner by the promised date.

For both (or more) customers you will have with each job, remember to:

  • Respond to all correspondence quickly and completely
  • Confirm your appointment
  • Notify the hiring company when you have completed your on-site process
  • Clarify any questions prior to or while on the job (if possible)
  • Notify the appropriate person if you have difficulties

Keeping all customers in mind at all times will ensure a successful relationship with our Associate Members and the opportunity to work with them (or any company who sub-contracts you) again.
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11 Aug 2017

Florida Inventory Professional Achieves Certification

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Dwight Saxon for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

PRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association™ (NICA) is pleased to announce that Dwight Saxon, owner of  Saxon’s Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms his knowledge to provide quality residential and small business contents inventory services.

 

There is an increasing awareness of the necessity and benefits of having a prepared photographic and written record of one’s personal property prompted. This knowledge and the ever-increasing busy lifestyles of homeowners and business owners alike create a growing demand for a professional inventory service provider.

 

To earn the CIS home inventory industry designation, Saxon passed specified courses developed by NICA, agreed to conduct business according to the asset industry Code of Ethics, and accumulated a required number of Continuing Education Units. He then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this designation.

 

Being industry certified is not required for the contents inventory professional. Choosing to invest in  continuing education shows  Saxon’s desire to learn the industry. This informs his clients that he has gone the extra mile to ensure that Saxon’s Inventory provides quality inventory services.  He stated, “As a retired firefighter, I saw so many people lose everything they own. If each of these people would have had a document of their belongings, I know the recovery process would have been easier, faster, and more financially equitable. I can now help people prepare in case they face a loss; it’s a great feeling knowing what good my service will do for others.”

 

Based in Wellington, Florida, Saxon’s Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services throughout Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, and Saint Lucie Counties.