April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
02 Apr 2020

April is National Home Inventory Month

NICA’s mission is “To provide awareness and education” for the home and business inventory professionals. An annual effort that began last year was to establish April as National Home Inventory Month (NHIM). The intent, which supports the mission statement, is to create additional awareness by focusing on the need for an inventory of one’s contents. Personal property inventory professionals inform others about this industry on a regular basis. A concerted effort by the association, its members, its associate members, and other inventory professionals each April will help raise awareness of the many life events that require or benefit from having an inventory prepared.

The link on the top of the NICA website will take you to the NHIM page for detailed information.

Resources have been developed specifically for our NICA Members. To access this information, sign into the NICA website using your member credentials. Then just click on the link that says “National Home Inventory Month Resources” on your My Page. You will be able to download a list of posts to share on your various social media accounts. You can also download photos and an icon to use on your website, with your social media posts, in your newsletter, on marketing materials, etc. A press release template is also included that you can download and quickly add your personal information to submit to your local media. These tools will be very helpful so you can easily promote and participate in National Home Inventory Month.

All certified members who participate will receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) towards the annual recertification. The number awarded depends on the extent of activities you choose. When applying for renewal of your CIS at the end of the year, you will be able to include the details of your NHIM participation.

18 Mar 2020

Marketing Minute – Solving Your Prospects’ Pain Points

Mary Gillen

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.

 

Have you heard that people buy a product or service because it eases or solves a pain of some type?

Often in general conversation, when people learn what service you offer, they will share why they don’t have one. By talking to the prospect and listening for their pain points, you can be a “pain-solver” for them.

A few examples:

PAIN: They know they need to create an inventory, but would rather spend time with family or friends.
SOLUTION: You can do the inventory while they spend time with loved ones.

PAIN: Fear financial loss if they have a fire, theft, or natural disaster.
SOLUTION: An inventory helps the client receive an equitable settlement.

PAIN: Concerned that family arguments will happen when serving as the executor of an estate.
SOLUTION: Provide an inventory for the property now to help prevent issues later.

PAIN: Possibly uncomfortable transition prior to marriage when merging 2 families.
SOLUTION: An inventory is less costly than a prenup and provides details of each person’s assets.

PAIN: Having so many collectibles they can’t remember all of them.
SOLUTION: Provide them with a Collections Inventory.

PAIN: They know they need an inventory but don’t know how or even where to begin.
SOLUTION: They feel more confident when a professional completes the documentation.

By determining the prospect’s pain points, you can let them know you can help.

27 Feb 2020

Network, Network, Network

NetworkingMost home inventory professionals state that networking is one of the best ways to get the word out about their business. If focusing on growing your business is one of your new year resolutions, the course Networking for Business would be a great place to start.

Networking for business is not about selling, but about building relationships. These relationships, then, will in time result in sales or referrals for sales.

All too often people enter a networking meeting, hand out business cards to as many people as they can, grab some food, and then leave. These are also the people who are saying that networking doesn’t work, they never get a sale at a networking event, and that it is a waste of time.

This course offers guidance for a successful network experience.

Module 1: Prepare for Networking Success

  • Face-to-face networking
  • How to choose the right events
  • Prepare for the event

Module 2: Attending Networking Events

  • Have a plan
  • Techniques to work the room
  • Be a conversationalist

Module 3: After the Event

  • Review your results
  • Follow up
  • Building the relationships
  • Evaluate

This course will earn you 2 CEUs … a great start in recertification for 2020!

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.