April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
18 Jan 2018

Tennessee Inventory Professional Achieves Appraisal Examiner Certification

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

certified blue check markPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Jenny Cossett, owner of Lighthouse Inventory Services, LLC, 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 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 Decherd, Tennessee, Lighthouse Inventory Services offers residential and business asset inventory services and appraisal services to the metropolitan areas of Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Knoxville, and Nashville. Other states served are West Kentucky, North Georgia, and North Alabama.

11 Jan 2018

Texas Inventory Professional Achieves Industry Designation

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Angela Austin for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

Red Ribbon-CertifiedThe National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Angela Austin, owner of  Austin Inventory Specialists, has 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,  Austin successfully completed 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. She then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this distinction.

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 Austin has gone the extra mile to ensure that she provides quality inventory services.

Austin stated, “Over the past 16 years in the insurance industry, we have witnessed many catastrophic claims. Many of the clients were not prepared for such devastation. Insurance companies often require an inventory of items stolen, ruined or damaged. We recognize the importance of a client-centered inventory experience, which inspires us to create strong and long-lasting bonds with each of our customers.”

Based in  Denison, Texas, Austin Inventory Specialists offers residential and business asset inventory services in the Texoma area. 

 

04 Jan 2018

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Yesterday TomorrowThe end of the year encourages people and organizations to assess their successes achieved, as well as look forward and plan for the coming year. As we look back, we are pleased with the changes that took place this past year. The most obvious change is the upgraded website, utilizing new options for layout and design. What isn’t apparent to most people, though, is the ADA compliance that we incorporated into the project. We are fortunate to have Mary Gillen as an Associate Member of NICA, as she is an excellent web developer and expert with ADA compliance. Knowing our site is accessible to everyone is a goal we are pleased to meet.

2017 brought improvements and positive changes for NICA:

  • Added 2 new courses to the curriculum
  • Developed a new website that is ADA compliant
  • Added 3 new Associate Members – Mary Gillen, Renovation Angel, and Nationwide Inventory Professionals. All 3 see the value in supporting NICA and have the desire to work with those in our industry.

Planning for 2018:

  • A committee will be researching the possibility of and ultimately submitting for a recognized National Home Inventory Day.
  • We will meet NICA’s educational goal of 2 new courses per year added to the curriculum for continuing education.
  • To help NICA provide you with the course topics you seek, please answer this one-question survey. Just click on this link to let your voice and choice be heard 

If you have any additional ideas or suggestions for NICA, please be sure to contact the office. We are here to serve you, our valued members.

19 Dec 2017

New Course: Insurance Knowledge for the Inventory Professional

Donna CourtneyIt’s here! We are very excited to have this often-requested course now available – Insurance Knowledge for the Inventory Professional. It includes basic education and knowledge about the insurance industry. This information will enable you to have a professional insurance discussion with your clients as an inventory specialist – not as an insurance agent.

We thank Donna Courtney for sharing her expertise with our association through writing this course. She comes with superb credentials. Donna is a NICA member, retired insurance agent, and now is the owner of Courtney Inventory in Little River, South Carolina. Having both the experience in P&C insurance and as an inventory professional, she understands what inventory specialists need to know to present the benefits of your service to prospects as well as to promote your business to insurance agents with confidence.

The course, written exclusively for the National Inventory Certification Association, will also help you establish the many reasons why a personal contents inventory is needed and includes claim scenarios and statistics surrounding recent wildfires, floods, and hurricanes in the United States. You will also be able to help your clients locate the area of their homeowner policy requiring them to provide an inventory in the event of a filed claim. In addition to becoming more informed about basic property insurance concepts and understanding the claims process, you learn how to effectively market your inventory services to insurance agents and restoration companies.

The course is presented in 3 modules:

Module 1: Insurance Coverages and Terms introduces you to insurance coverages, terms, and definitions and will help you to have a knowledgeable discussion with your clients about the need for a personal property inventory.  You will discover the importance of a spoken disclaimer whenever you have insurance conversations with your client.

Module 2: Insurance Claims gives statistical information on insurance claims and the recovery process, actual claim scenarios, the process required by most insurance companies to file a property loss, and where to find the personal property inventory requirement in most homeowner policies.

Module 3: How To Market to the Insurance Industry helps you in your marketing efforts by suggesting the how, when, why, and where to introduce your inventory business to property insurance agents. In addition, there are additional job sectors you may want to add to your marketing mix.

This course provides 3 CEUs, and a great way to help achieve your 5 CEUs required to retain your certification for 2017. If you already have achieved this requirement, you can take it in 2018 to help you achieve your 5 CEUs for next year.

Visit the link learn more about Insurance Knowledge for the Inventory Professional, as well as the variety of other courses provided by NICA.

07 Dec 2017

Tennessee Inventory Professional Achieves Industry CIS Designation

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Jenny Cossett for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

Jenny CossettPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Jenny Cossett, owner of Lighthouse Inventory Services, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms knowledge to provide professional residential and small business contents inventory services.

 

To earn the CIS designation, Cossett successfully completed 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. She then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this designation.

 

Having an industry certification is not required for the contents inventory industry. However, 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 she has gone the extra mile to ensure that Lighthouse Inventory Services provides quality 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.

 

Cossett stated, “My experience as an insurance adjuster has shown me the need for people to have an inventory of the contents in their home and business. A major loss can be extremely harmful to their financials after facing a disaster.”

Based in  Decherd, Tennessee, Lighthouse Inventory Services provides residential and business asset inventory and appraisal services. Certified, bonded, and insured, they serve clients in Tennessee – including the metropolitan areas of Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Knoxville, and Nashville. Other states served are West Kentucky, North Georgia, and North Alabama.

30 Nov 2017

Alpharetta, Georgia Member Achieves Industry Certification

Congratulations to member Tina Taylor for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

Tina Taylor

PRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Tina Taylor, owner of Home and Business Inventory Consultants has 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, Taylor successfully completed 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. She then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this 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 Taylor has gone the extra mile to ensure that she provides quality inventory services.

 

Based in Alpharetta, Georgia, Home and Business Inventory Consultants is bonded and insured, providing inventory services for homeowners, renters, business owners, farms, and storage units in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. 

 

22 Nov 2017

Virginia Member Achieves CIS Designation

Congratulations to member Julie Ulrich for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

Julie UlrichPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Julie Ulrich, owner of  TimeWise Inventory Services, has 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, Ulrich successfully completed 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. She then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this 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 Ulrich has gone the extra mile to ensure that TimeWise Inventory Services provides quality inventory documentation for residential and business inventories.

 

Based in  Chesapeake, Virginia, Julie Ulrich, owner of TimeWise Inventory Services, offers residential and business asset inventories in Virginia and northeast North Carolina. She also provides this service for collectibles, pre-nuptials, separation of assets, and estate planning and estate settlement. 

02 Nov 2017

Marketing Ideas and Tactics Ebook Preview

Mary Gillen
Mary Gillen

Associate Member Mary Gillen‘s soon-to-be-released ebook, 367 Marketing Ideas & Tactics for Your Business, provides great tips to help you market your business. She is generously sharing some items with us this month – let’s call it a preview of her marketing knowledge and creativity. Following is just a sample of what is included in her book.

Stand Up and Market – Can’t afford to exhibit at conferences? Make the most of the question and answer periods during workshops and presentations. Stand up and ask a question, throwing in a reference about your business. Example: “As a Web Designer, I would like to know how you think the Internet and World Wide Web will impact your industry.” Make sure your question is intelligent and pertains to the matter being presented. This process can help you make more connections.

CPAs & Attorneys = Mucho Referrals – Looking for referral business? Make sure that the CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) and lawyers in your local area know that your business exists. These professionals can be a major source of referral business, as they are important influencers on how their clients spend money and conduct business. These types of professional referrals can provide you with a consistent flow of qualified business.

Try something unusual!

Sometimes, you just want to do something different – or crazy – or unique. An unusual marketing initiative might be just what you need to build your business. 

Marketing with License Plates – Many state motor vehicle departments in the US offer customers the option to purchase personalized license plates. A math tutor in Herndon, VA, bought personalized tags that read “MATH TUTR”. No matter where she goes, she receives countless inquiries about her tutoring services from folks who read her license plates. Her “license plate marketing program” sends her a steady supply of students.

Step Out of “Character” – A CPA we know always makes it a point to send his clients birthday cards. Yet he takes it one step further. He calls each client and actually SINGS the traditional HAPPY BIRTHDAY song to them on their special day. And who cares if the only singer in his family is the sewing machine? His clients love him, and he has more business than he can handle.

There are many more – actually 363 more – ideas and tactics in Mary’s book. We will let you know when it’s available to purchase.

26 Oct 2017

Dynamic Art Market Requires Regular Value Updates

Autumn Leafs by Leonid Afremov
Autumn Leafs by Leonid Afremov

Most serious fine art collectors are aware that, for insurance purposes, their scheduled pieces require regular value updates to be compliant with their chosen insurer’s coverage policy. The art market is one of the most dynamic categories of personal property, if not the most. The market (collectors of art) are continuously monitoring auction events to determine a value basis for their next acquisition attempt. A motivated buyer, in a single auction event, can spur an upward value trend of impressive scale. Likewise, a single disappointing auction event can send ripples through the market, shaking the confidence of previously excited enthusiasts.

Insurers understand sometimes rapid fluctuation in values, as well as trending values over time. For this reason, insurers require regular value updates of items that have been scheduled. An update of your fine art is typically required every 2-4 years, depending on the insurer. It is important to understand, unless a piece or the collection has significant value, the insurer is unlikely to monitor and contact you to request the value update.

However, that doesn’t get you off the hook if you have a claim. Your claim will be submitted, and it is likely to generate a requirement from your insurer to “get an appraisal to determine the current value.” Of course, if you are submitting a claim it is probably because the piece(s) are damaged, destroyed, or missing – making a value update problematic and satisfaction of your claim problematic. The answer – understand your insurer’s value update requirement and adhere.

Nugent Appraisal updates the values of hundreds of fine art items every month, typically from previous appraisals the owners have. Insurers typically allow us to utilize the descriptions and images acquired by a previous appraiser to identify items. With this reliable information, we secure the latest market data to bring the values current and satisfy the insurers’ requirement. If a previous appraisal is not available because it is lost, then you certainly can secure the images and descriptions Nugent Appraisal requires. So, the next time you – the inventory professional – are in a home that has fine art ask the question “are your fine art insurance values current so there is no concern if you must submit a claim?”

Remember, you are adding value to your service by providing your client critical information while at the same time creating an additional revenue stream for your business. You will earn $25-$50 for each fine art piece that Nugent Appraisal updates.

You’ll never walk into a home and look at art the same way again!

 

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.