April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
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.

02 Jul 2019

Structure Inventory Course Released

continuing education creditsOur newest course, Structure Inventory, has been developed and now available for members and non-members.

This is the 2nd-most requested topic for 2019’s course development. During a home or business contents inventory project, you might be asked about carpet, flooring, built-in bookcases, attached fixtures, etc. These items are typically not included in a personal property inventory report because they are considered part of the building.

There are times, though, when one needs to have documentation of a commercial or residential building and its fixtures – sometimes as a stand-alone service and other times in addition to a contents inventory. These structure reports detail the condition of the building interior and exterior, as well as additional buildings on the property, along with other structures such as walls and fences. This service is called a Structure Inventory.

In this course, you will receive guidance on how to develop, conduct, and market structure inventory services. Successful completion of Structure Inventory will provide you with 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for those working on achieving their CIS or for those renewing their certification.

Following are the modules and topics included in this course.

Module 1 – Introduction to Structure Inventory Services

  • What is a Structure Inventory?
  • Purposes of a Structure Inventory
  • Structure Inventory Report
  • Insurance

Module 2 – Preparing for and Conducting the Inventory

  • Preparations Prior to the Visit
  • Inventory Equipment – Materials and Tools
  • The Inventory Process
  • Storage and Updates

Module 3 – Marketing Your Structure Inventory Services

  • Marketing Your Services
  • Business Affiliations
  • Pricing Strategies

Click here to purchase this course.

30 May 2019

Structure Inventory Course To Be Released In June

NHIM LogoA survey was distributed late last year that asked for input regarding new topics for our Continuing Education Curriculum. In response to members’ interest, a new course is being created and near completion. The soon-to-be-released course is Structure Inventory.

Home inventory professionals are known for documenting the contents of a home or business. Often during an inventory project, discussions with the client turn to carpet, flooring, built-in bookcases, and attached fixtures. These items typically are not included in a personal property inventory because they are, by definition, part of the structure.

There are times, however, when one needs to have detailed documentation of a commercial or residential building and its fixtures. This is called a Structure Inventory. These reports detail the condition of the building interior and exterior, often in preparation for leasing a commercial building, renting an apartment or house, or for vacation rental property, to name a few.

Watch for the course outline and further information about this course in late June.

13 Feb 2019

2019 Curriculum Additions Announced

CurriculumA big THANK YOU to all members who took the time to complete our brief survey in January regarding your preferences of new curriculum to develop.

Since NICA is a member-driven association, knowing what interests you have, and what information you are seeking, helps us develop the curriculum that you – our members – want.

Each year, after we receive your responses, we tabulate and list the courses in order of most votes. We then seek qualified people to develop the content for these courses.

The results and the two courses we will offer in 2019 are:

  1. Marketing & Sales Techniques for Home Inventory Services
  2. Structure Inventories

If you have qualifications to write and a desire to contribute for either of these topics, please contact our office.

13 Dec 2018

Why Choose to Be Certified?

Core ValuesThe following article was included in a NICA member’s newsletter.

When searching for a qualified service professional, do you often ask if they are certified? Many professions require an industry license or various levels of certification.

These achievements are not required for a home and business contents inventory professional. So why go through the time and expense of achieving this milestone? There are many reasons to become certified. The main one being the opportunity to gain industry-specific education. Certification also indicates excellence, expertise, and a true commitment to serving our clients.

Certification, according to Wikipedia, “is a designation earned by a person to assure qualification to perform a job or task. Many certifications are used as post-nominal letters indicating an earned privilege from an oversight professional body acting to safeguard the public interest.”

We chose to be certified by the National Inventory Certification Association because of their core values of confidentiality, ethics, integrity, and respect for each client’s personal property. Being a member of this association falls in line with our inventory service and company philosophy.

In addition to achieving certification, there is also a requirement to earn a set number of Continuing Education Units per year to retain the designation. This is an opportunity to commit to refresh or gain new skills and knowledge.

Being certified is our commitment to remain professional and valuable to our current and new clients.

 

01 Nov 2018

Loss Inventory Course Now Available

personal developmentThe most requested course in our December 2017 survey has now been developed and recently made available. All NICA members and also any other professional seeking this valuable information can now log in and take this online, self-directed course.  Members will receive 3 CEUs toward their certification renewal.

When someone faces a loss due to fire or natural disaster, they are overwhelmed with emotion. There are insurance standards that state what a policyholder is required to do after a loss. Add that to the many emotions one deals with and the time required to complete the recovery process, and most have a need for professional assistance.

Documenting their losses, one piece of personal property at a time, is a time-consuming and difficult process. For the home inventory professional, having the knowledge and a plan to document the contents of a client’s home or business is essential to assist them in achieving an equitable settlement. When conducting a loss inventory, it is important to know what is salvageable vs. unsalvageable. Sorting items that can be considered for “allowances” and also those that might need appraisals is a large responsibility that many homeowners and business owners don’t know how to do or have the desire to tackle this difficult task.

There are challenges an inventory professional will likely face during a loss inventory that aren’t encountered in other types of inventory services. These challenges can include standing water, no power or lights, contaminants, and personal safety issues. Information is provided regarding how to deal with these hazards.

Additionally, this course includes information about marketing loss inventory services, the importance of developing business affiliations, and options regarding how to price this extremely important service.

Module 1 – Introduction to Loss Inventory Services

  • What is a Loss Inventory?
  • Insurance
  • Your Role as an Inventory Professional
  • Challenges You Might Face

Module 2 – Preparing for and Completing the Inventory

  • Preparations Prior to the Visit
  • The Inventory Process
  • Inventory Equipment
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Module 3 – Marketing Your Loss Inventory Services

  • Marketing Your Service
  • Business Affiliations
  • Pricing Options
12 Jul 2018

Announcing Launch of New Course: Giving Effective Presentations

booksAdding to the NICA curriculum, we are pleased to announce that the course, Giving Effective Presentations, is available. The top request on our most recent survey, this course covers how to prepare and deliver a professional talk, as well as tips on how to find and grow your speaking adventure.

Always aim to give a clear, well-structured delivery; know exactly what you want to say and the order in which you want to say it. Think “outline.” Clarity of ideas, good organization, and engaging your audience will help result in a lively, logical, and compelling message delivered confidently and professionally.

Having a well-thought-out and planned structure will help alleviate any nervousness you may be feeling in the build-up to your talk.

Module 1 – Planning For Your Presentation

This module introduces the five types of presentations and the key components required for an effective presentation that will meet your objective. Knowing your subject, having the right content, and proper verbal and non-verbal elements in your delivery are essential to establish professionalism. You will also learn tips on how to find speaking engagement opportunities and how to identify and interact with your audience.

  • What Is A Presentation?
  • Audience
  • Purpose
  • Objective

Module 2 – Preparing Your Content

This module helps guide you through deciding on the topic, creating the content, and planning your script. Your presentation tools and methods you’ll use will assist with the often difficult process of writing the content and presenting it properly.

  • Topic Development
  • Planning
  • Presentation Methods
  • Writing Your Presentation

 Module 3 – Practice and Delivery

This third module covers the importance of preparation and practice to ensure a quality delivery of your information. Other essential information includes your appearance, body language, and the quality of your handouts.

  • Preparation/Practice
  • Presenting/Delivery
  • Closing
  • Post Presentation

This course is assigned 2 CEUs, which can be earned to achieve or retain the Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) designation. As all other NICA courses, Giving Effective Presentations is provided in an online, self-directed format to fit in with today’s busy lifestyle.

30 May 2018

New Courses To Be Added in 2018

CurriculumOne of the goals that were established by the Education Committee is to add two new courses to the National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) curriculum each year. The purpose of this is to offer more detailed and topic-focused courses in addition to the general, foundation courses. For example, the Collections Inventories course hones in on that one specific type of inventory, following up on the general overview of the Residential Contents Inventory course. In addition to industry-specific topics, the committee also felt a need to offer business-related courses, such as Time Management and Customer Service.

With this in mind, we surveyed you to learn what topics interest you the most for new curriculum. The results are in and we thank each of you who took the time to respond. The three courses that received the most requests are Loss Inventories, Giving Presentations, and Sales & Marketing.

We are currently securing professionals to create these courses. Two will be available this year. The Presentation course is tentatively scheduled for a June release, followed by Loss Inventories available in the fall. The Sales & Marketing is tentatively scheduled to be released in early 2019.

Releasing two courses per year enables us to remain true to our Mission Statement that says, in part, “To provide quality education and certification for inventory professionals by creating a business- and industry-related curriculum that contains the knowledge and skills required to achieve success.”

By you giving just a minute or two of your time, we are able to focus on the topics that you, our members, have stated interest. As always, we appreciate your input on these brief surveys.


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.