April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
13 Feb 2020

Marketing Minute – How To Find Out Who Is Asking Questions On Twitter You Can Answer

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Continuing with the focus on New Year Resolutions and Networking, you can network via social media. Take the time to answer questions people post in online forums! This can help home inventory professionals establish credibility and attract prospect attention to both potential clients and professional referral sources. So how can you do this on Twitter?

Take advantage of this Twitter Search Operator:

natural disaster ? searches for Tweets that contain the words natural disaster when asking a question. Be sure to include the space before the question mark.

You can also find questions being asked using the terms insurance, fire, probate, estates, collectibles, appraisals … any key term that would represent the services you offer or knowledge you can share.

It’s often beneficial to add a location (since your service is normally local) by including your state or city.

30 Jan 2020

Happy 2020!

2020Establishing new year resolutions is always a huge topic every January. What can NICA do to help you achieve yours? Our Associate Members can be the place to go.

If you’re thinking about updating your website, or have decided to have a whole new, fresh site this year, Mary Gillen is the person to contact. She created the NICA website as well as having developed many of the NICA members’ websites. Her knowledge of the industry is an added bonus when creating sites for our members. Her expertise in marketing, SEO, compliance, and other web-related topics will always keep your site current. If you already have a site, she can review it to ensure compliance.

Are you wanting to grow your business by adding additional services? Associate Member ValuePros offers onsite and remote appraisal services. What a great opportunity for you and your clients! Being certified as an Appraisal Examiner (CAE), you will be considered to provide examinations for appraisal jobs with ValuePros.

The new year often brings new plans and decisions. If you are needing to hire an attorney to create contracts, agreements, or other documents, or seeking assistance or guidance with any other personal or business issue, LegalShield is your attorney on retainer – at an extremely reasonable monthly fee.

And if you haven’t yet started your business, Nationwide Inventory Professionals can help you launch your business within 30 days! Key features of being a licensee are that they provide your first year’s NICA membership plus the cost to become certified, a website, monthly newsletters are written and distributed for you, and you also receive the very important unlimited mentoring – plus much more.

These 4 Associate Members are key to providing excellent services and opportunities for all!.

12 Jan 2020

Marketing Minute – The Rule of Thirds

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Creating YouTube videos is a great way to promote your home and business inventory services. Knowing where to place yourself or the person sharing the information will make the video more eye-appealing.
The Rule of Thirds
According to Wikipedia, “the rule of thirds” is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography, and design. The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.”

Keep this in mind when you are shooting your online videos for YouTube. We are all tempted to film the video subject in the center of the frame. As you see in the screenshot of the young girl, she is looking towards the center of the screen. By positioning the video subject to the left or right of center, you get a much more interesting shot for viewers to look at, and you are following the rule of thirds.

19 Dec 2019

Marketing Minute – Use Google Alerts For Business Prospecting

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

When you find a possible new business prospect on LinkedIn you would like to connect to, it helps to determine if this person and your business are a good fit. Using Google Alerts makes it easy to learn about them.

Include the person’s name and company name to conduct some basic business intelligence on this person.

Go to google.com/alerts in your browser.

  • Enter a search term for the topic or person you want to track.
  • Choose Show Options to narrow the alert to a specific source, geographic region, etc.
  • Select Create Alert.

To change your settings, click Show Options. You can change how often you get notifications and the types of sites you’ll see. When you’ve completed your changes, click Create Alert.

You’ll get emails whenever matching search results are found. This makes your research easier and specific to the type of professionals or clients you’re seeking.

11 Dec 2019

Specific Requirements for the California Consumer Privacy Act

CaliforniaThe CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) now includes a specific requirement for anybody doing business with California residents. This applies to all NICA members who are located in California or have clients located in the state of California.

Privacy Policy 999.308 states that privacy notices be accessible and have alternative format access clearly called out. This takes effect January 1, 2020, with fines ranging from $2500 to $7500 per instance.

The privacy policy shall be designed and presented in a way that is easy to read and understandable to an average consumer. The notice shall:

  • Use plain, straightforward language and avoid technical or legal jargon.
  • Use a format that makes the policy readable, including on smaller screens, if applicable.
  • Be available in the languages in which the business in its ordinary course provides contracts, disclaimers, sale announcements, and other information to consumers.
  • Be accessible to consumers with disabilities. At a minimum, provide information on how a consumer with a disability may access the policy in an alternative format.
  • Be available in an additional format that allows a consumer to print it out as a separate document.

This information was provided by Mary Gillen, who 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.

03 Dec 2019

As You Plan For 2020

2020For most business owners, the end of the year usually means reviewing their Business Plan. Two key areas most concentrate on are setting new goals and adjusting areas for improvement. Thinking about your business image is a key element when reviewing your successes in the past year.

One of the NICA and industry Code of Ethics is Professionalism. This helps provide a focus on being professional, establishing the way you will conduct business with clients, other business professionals, and those with whom you network.

Two key items in the Code of Ethics under the category of Professionalism are worth remembering when putting your business plan for 2020 together:

  • Fulfill all obligations in a respectful and business-like manner.
  • Conduct business in a manner that will not denigrate this industry or other inventory professionals.

What can you do to improve or add to your current policies and procedures to show your high regard for professionalism?

27 Nov 2019

Are We Friends?

Social MediaDo you follow NICA on Social Media?

We post links to our courses, inform of our Code of Ethics, welcome new members, promote each of our members on a rotating basis, promote our Associate members, and give general information about NICA. We also find and share articles that will help you grow or manage your business

Follow us so you don’t miss any information about your association. Just click the links below:

Friend us on Facebook

Link up with us on LinkedIn 

Additionally, sharing NICA’s posts will give you valuable content to share from your own social media accounts.

13 Nov 2019

Marketing Minute – Email Sign-up Forms

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

It’s important to continually add new subscribers to your list, as most email list owners lose about one-third of their subscribers every year.

Following are some quick and easy-to-do steps to help you grow your lists.

  • Place your email subscription forms at the top right corner of every page of your website.
  • Include a Facebook App on your Facebook Page that allows your fans to subscribe. TIP: Check with your email service provider about a Facebook App that will work with your subscription process on your Fan Page.

Other places for your Email Signup Forms:
1) At the bottom of each blog post
2) Integrated into your slide shows or videos
3) At the bottom of the last page of your site articles

Only ask one thing on your form. More folks will sign up for your email subscription list if you only ask for an email address.

30 Oct 2019

The Course That is the Foundation of the Home Inventory Industry

CertifiedIf you haven’t yet achieved your CIS designation, Residential Contents Inventory is one of the required courses. It is really the foundation of all other courses for those who are professional home inventory providers. It was created by reviewing home inventory service websites and interviewing members to learn what techniques and processes they use. Therefore, this online, self-directed course provides a variety of information from documenting clients’ belongings to compiling the information into a finished product to pricing options – and you can take it from the comfort of your home and at the pace that fits your schedule.

This is also a great course for those who aren’t yet ready to become certified but are just wanting to learn the basics to start their business. Some even take the course to see if this industry is right for them. Whatever your goal is, this course is essential for anyone in the home inventory industry. Following are the Modules and information you will receive when taking this course.

Module 1 – Home Inventory

  • Definition of Home Inventory
  • Definition of Personal Property
  • Insurance Basics
  • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
  • Additional Reasons for a Home Inventory
  • The Growth of the Industry

Module 2 – Documenting the Inventory

  • Office Equipment
  • Touring the Home
  • Determine Your Process
  • Photographic Record
  • Written Document
  • Tool Kit
  • Optional Tools

Module 3 – Providing Your Home Inventory Service

  • Establish Your Inventory Routine
  • Assets That Require Special Attention
  • A Systematic Approach for Your Service
  • The Final Product
  • Determine Your Fees
  • Additional Inventory Services
  • Best Practices
  • Safety
17 Oct 2019

Marketing Minute – The Importance of a Responsive Web Design

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Most likely, your most valuable and far-reaching marketing tool is your website. And equally as likely, people are viewing your website on their desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

A website should have one codebase to efficiently serve all mobile devices. This is called “responsive web design” (RWD). Responsive Web Design is the approach that a website should be flexible enough to adapt to the various screen sizes and platforms. This is important, as it will best serve your customers and prospects. This also makes the best use of your web development budget because the burden and expense of needing to maintain multiple versions of a website disappear.

Search engine optimization is also important, as 80% of business conducted today starts with a search. Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design. Rather than have sites for different devices that serve up the same content, make use of a single content site that Google can index efficiently. It also helps solve the SEO problem of being penalized for hosting duplicate content.

We thank Mary for her continued and excellent marketing tips. As an associate member of NICA, she knows our industry. Mary has created or updated many members’ websites, but they all have their own unique look. If you are seeking an upgrade or an entirely new website, the staff at NICA want you to be aware that she is excellent in creating responsive websites.