April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
05 Aug 2020

New NICA Member Offers Sub-contracting Opportunity

Young & AssociatesYOUNG & Associates (YA) is excited to be a new member of NICA. YA is a Building Consulting firm that provides estimates and inventories for their clients – the insurance carriers throughout the United States and Latin America.

The YA Contents Division provides commercial and residential inventories to its clients, which include Replacement Cost Value and Actual Cash Value. They are seeking Contents Consultants to be sub-contractors with YA. Responsibilities include the completion of the physical inventory after a loss, complete pricing information, and audit restoration company and conservator estimates, and invoices.

As a growing division within their company, they are always looking to add additional qualified contents consultants. If you have previous contents consulting experience and are interested in finding out more about opportunities with Young and Associates, please forward a letter of interest and a current CV resume to the following e-mail address: careers@youngonline.com.

 

25 Jul 2020

Marketing Minute – Seminars, Trade Shows, and Conferences

Mary GillenAttending business functions provides great opportunities to meet referral sources and inventory prospects. Whether you’ve paid for a trade show booth, or are attending trade shows, seminars, and conferences, be sure to take time to make connections.

You Hosted a Seminar – How About the Folks Who Didn’t Attend?

A prospect who has made a reservation to attend your seminar or webinar but, for some reason, doesn’t attend, may still count as a “qualified” lead. Follow up. Offer to reserve space for him/her at your next seminar. Better yet: use the phone call as an opportunity to question them about their needs.

How to Easily Gather Prospect Email Addresses When Hosting a Trade Show Booth

Getting folks to sign up for your email mailing list from your busy trade show booth can be a challenge. Here’s an option to make it easier for everyone.

  • Have folks send you a text message with their email address from their mobile phones as a request to subscribe. You can add this information to your list after the show.
  • Create a subscription form on your website, a page no wider than 600 pixels so it can easily be viewed on a mobile phone. Prospects who visit your booth can complete the sign-up process right away, filling out the subscription form from their mobile. This can save you a ton of work after the show.

Stand Up and Market

Can’t afford to exhibit a trade show or conference? Be an attendee. 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 home inventory professional, I would like to know if you have any unique tips for those who market to homeowners.” Make sure your question is intelligent and pertains to the matter being presented. This process can help you make more connections, as everyone in attendance now knows what you do.

 

Mary Gillen has 24 years of Web development experience to build responsive, accessible websites for tech companies, associations, non-profits and small businesses, blending professional design with measurable business results. She is also an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor, providing website testing & remediation for compliance with Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 A, AA & AAA Guidelines. Her experience also includes testing and fully remediating Adobe PDFs, Microsoft Office documents and pre-recorded videos.

15 Jul 2020

The Importance of Excellent Customer Service

Thumbs UpAs life returns to somewhat “normal” again, people will be seeking services for their homes and businesses. As a result, you will now be focusing on scheduling appointments.

This means that you will most likely be competing against other services that many have put off.

As you speak with prospects, referral sources, and current clients, consider stressing the most important feature of a service business – a Code of Ethics. Also, include this information when posting on your social media pages.

Two key elements of the industry Code of Ethics are within the category of Customer Service. Detail how you provide excellent customer service, stressing the following points:

  • Place customers’ needs first.
  • Strive to exceed customer expectations.

By implementing these two items with every interaction, you will gain trust and earn referrals.

13 Jul 2020

Indiana Home Inventory Professional Earns Additional Industry Certification

National Association is pleased to congratulate Andy Miller for achieving the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner.

Andy MillerPRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) has announced that Andy Miller, owner of Amani Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner (CAE). He chose to add this second industry educational achievement to the previously-earned Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) designation. The CIS designation is an all-encompassing industry recognition while the CAE focuses specifically on the inventory professionals’ role serving the appraisal industry. 

To help ensure that this additional education prepares the inventory professional properly, the NICA Education Committee, consisting of NICA members, an established property appraiser, and the Association Directors, determined the requirements to achieve the Appraiser Examiner designation.

The inventory professional must first achieve the certification as a CIS before pursuing the CAE. They must 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 certified property appraiser to ensure the integrity and proven hands-on processes for the accurate collection of information.

Growth of the personal property inventory industry has created an opportunity for personal property inventory professionals to serve as Appraisal Examiners. This enables appraisal firms to locate and subcontract certified, qualified examiners to record the descriptions properly and take photos of the items to be appraised. The appraisers are then able to create an accurate Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliant certified report from the information provided by the inventory professional. 

Based in Harlan, Indiana, Miller offers residential and business asset inventory services in Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio

09 Jul 2020

Code of Ethics Course

BooksA Code of Ethics is extremely important, especially when offering a service where you are invited into clients’ homes and businesses. Therefore, we are highlighting the course titled Code of Ethics this month. Included in this course, the sub-category of Customer Service details the many facets of providing excellent customer service to your clients.

This course is the foundation that establishes the standard for all inventory professionals to conduct business. These standard business practices help to ensure a reputable and respected industry. Members of the National Inventory Certification Association agree to adhere to the standards set forth for the betterment of each individual professional and the inventory industry as a whole.

The four modules in this course cover the topics of Professionalism, Integrity, Confidentiality, and Customer Service.

25 Jun 2020

Tips For Certified Appraisal Examiners

ValuePros LogoAs you begin marketing and reaching out to prospects and referral sources, you’ll want to remind them of the variety of services you offer. Here are some quick reminders to restart your inventory business by including appraisal examiner services:

  • Include your relationship with our Associate Member ValuePros in your newsletter, social media posts, and on your website.
  • When on-site conducting an inventory, mention your CAE designation and how you can arrange for an appraisal of their high-value items.
  • Contact insurance agents, financial planners, and estate planners to inform them of this additional service you can provide to their clients.
  • Add “appraisals” to your website’s keywords and include a page or section about your appraisal services.
  • Include appraisal services in your Google My Business and other public sites where you are listed.
16 Jun 2020

Harlan, Indiana Home Inventory Professional Achieves Industry Designation

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Andy Miller of Amani Inventory for achieving Certified Inventory Specialist designation.

Andy MillerThe National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Andy Miller, owner of Amani Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms that he has gained knowledge to provide professional residential and small business contents inventory services.

To earn the CIS designation,  Miller 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. He then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this designation.

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. 

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 Miller has gone the extra mile to ensure that he provides quality inventory services for homeowners, renters, and business owners. 

Miller stated, “We are all about serving people in any way that we can. Sometimes we serve them in the midst of their need, and other times we serve them before the need arises. Providing professional inventory services allows our clients to have peace of mind. We chose ‘Amani’ for our business name, as it is the Swahili word for peace, and our services give our clients peace of mind.”

Based in Harlan, Indiana, Amani Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services for Northern Indiana and Northwest Ohio. 

12 Jun 2020

Marketing Minute – Using Twitter to Help Grow Your Business

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Find Prospects Near You.

Using the Twitter Search Function, you can find new prospects to follow by entering a keyword phrase, location, and even a radius of miles.

Example: If you are looking to follow Insurance Agents within 25 miles of Boston, enter the following information into the Twitter Search box: “Insurance agent” near:Boston within:25mi

Who to Follow for Increased Business

  • Prospects
  • Local business professionals, such as insurance agents, CPAs, and lawyers, who can provide referrals
  • Other business folks for possible joint ventures

Use Retweets To Gain New Followers

Be sure to spread the wealth about your followers’ knowledge by “re-tweeting” their Tweets to your followers. This is a terrific way to build relationships on Twitter and gain more followers.

08 Jun 2020

Missouri Inventory Professional Achieves Industry Designation

Craig PlassmeyerThe National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Craig Plassmeyer, owner of Capital View Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms he has gained knowledge to provide professional residential and small business contents inventory services.

To earn the CIS designation,  Plassmeyer 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. He then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this designation.

Plassmeyer stated, “Technical Knowledge, Education and Experience are all vital parts of any organization when they seek to provide a quality product or service for consumers.  The decision to seek certification through the National Inventory Certification Association (NICA)  provided the foundation for Capital View Inventory’s commitment to serve our clients with professional, trustworthy and top notch customer service.  The Core Values and Vision that drive NICA made partnering with them a very easy decision because they fit perfectly into Capital View Inventory’s Mission to provide the best Personal Property Inventories to help families move forward after the unthinkable happens.”

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 Plassmeyer has gone the extra mile to ensure he provides quality inventory services for homeowners, renters, and business owners. 

Based in Ashland, Missouri, Capital View Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services for the area including central, western, and eastern Missouri.

04 Jun 2020

Safe Work Practices

Protection PlanWhen you begin providing your residential and commercial inventory services, using safety measures will be greatly appreciated by your clients. When scheduling or confirming your appointment, mention the steps you will take.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers suggestions to help you stay safe, using extra precautions while Covid-19 remains an issue:

  • Refrain from shaking clients’ hands upon entry and exit.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from customers and other individuals, whenever possible.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Follow CDC recommendations to sneeze or cough in the crease of your elbow or cover your mouth with a disposable tissue.
  • Wear PPE during your process and dispose of those items properly at the completion of your inventory or appraisal job.
  • Encourage payment by electronic means or over the phone rather than handling credit cards, debit cards, or cash.