April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
03 Sep 2020

Missouri Inventory Professional Achieves Appraisal Examiner Certification

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

The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Craig Plassmeyer, owner of Capital View Inventory, 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 certification provides the education and the credentials needed to properly assist appraisers. 

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 Ashland, Missouri, Capital View Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services as well as appraisal examiner services.

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.

19 Sep 2019

Georgia Home Inventory Professional Achieves Industry Certification

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Trace Sargent for achieving the Certified Inventory Specialist designation.

PRESS RELEASE — The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Tracy “Trace” Sargent, president of Ryker Enterprises, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms she has gained knowledge to provide professional residential and small business contents inventory services.

To earn the CIS designation, Trace 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.

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

The home inventory services that Ryker Enterprises provide fit in nicely with her vast background that includes 20 years in security, law enforcement, training, and executive protection detail, and 12 years of experience with Homeland Security. With the focus of helping others during her extensive professional career, meeting the many needs for a home or business contents inventory is a great fit.

Based in Cedartown, Georgia, Trace offers residential and business asset inventory services in Georgia and Alabama.

29 Aug 2019

The U.S. ShakeOut

The U.S. ShakeOut

As home inventory professionals, we are all aware of natural disasters. Providing awareness of these disasters helps to emphasize the need for a contents inventory, as those affected will need to attempt to recover from their losses.

Every Fall, there is a ShakeOut Drill to provide information regarding safety when an earthquake happens. The U.S. ShakeOut Drill is scheduled to occur on October 17, 2019 at 10:17a.m. There are over 16 Million participants registered for the ShakeOut 2019 Drills worldwide. Wherever you are at that exact time (home, work, etc.), you are encouraged to Drop, Cover, and Hold On. This is to simulate your actions if there were a major earthquake. Stay in this position for at least 60 seconds.

ShakeOut

The main goal of the ShakeOut is to get everyone prepared for major earthquakes by knowing how to prepare, protect, and recover. Anyone can participate, from a single individual at home to a major corporation. If you want to participate, you can register here. There is no charge.

To share this information, as well as to promote your inventory services, use your personal or business social media accounts to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, using the hashtag #ShakeOut!  Follow and share their posts:

Click here for additional information regarding the ShakeOut.

31 Jul 2019

Ideas To Promote Your Inventory Services

Light BulbWe asked some seasoned NICA members to share the most successful ideas and actions they take to promote their inventory services and gain new clients. They offered great tips for those who have been in business for a while and looking for a new approach.

This list of online and in-person marketing ideas also provides excellent suggestions for new inventory professionals to follow to achieve success!

Below are their responses. We appreciate their contribution!

  • Strong website presence with keywords
  • Monthly Newsletters
  • Being active and consistent on social media
  • Speaking engagements
  • Networking with local Chambers of Commerce and other networking organizations
  • Network/build relationships with estate attorneys, insurance agents, realtors, financial planners, and fiduciaries
  • Sponsorships
  • Print advertising to develop name recognition
  • Placed an ad in church bulletins
  • Consistent messaging of professionalism, experience, and knowledge to build a reputation as an expert 
  • Promote NICA Membership and Certification(s) for credibility and recognition
  • Promote the variety of specialty services (collections inventory, loss inventory, appraisal examiner, etc.) to help appeal to specific needs

 

24 Apr 2019

The Goal: A Professional Insurance Discussion

Since this is National Home Inventory Month, we thought a recap of the course Insurance Knowledge for the Inventory Professional would be timely and prove of great value.

The ultimate goal of an inventory professional is to provide and deliver asset documentation for your clients. Knowledge of insurance is important so you can have a basic discussion of the areas of insurance that relate to home and business inventories. Essential information includes claim scenarios and statistics surrounding recent wildfires, floods, and hurricanes in the United States. You will also be able to help your client locate the area of their homeowner policy requiring them to provide an inventory in the event of a filed claim.

The course is delivered in 3 modules:

Module 1: Insurance Coverages and Terms

  • Disclaimer
  • Choosing An Insurance Agent
  • Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Coverages
  • Special Policy Limits
  • Insurance Terms and Definitions

Module 2: Insurance Claims

  • Statistics
  • Scenarios
  • The Process
  • The Inventory Requirement

Module 3: How to Market to the Insurance Industry

  • When Is The Best Time?
  • Relevant Marketing Strategies

In addition to becoming more informed about basic property insurance concepts and understanding the claims process, this course provides tips to effectively market your inventory services to the insurance industry.

03 Apr 2019

Referrals Are Key To Growing Your Business

Mary Gillen

Referrals are key to growing any business and especially important for home inventory service providers.

It Just Takes a Phone Call

A local dentist has built his successful practice one simple way… the follow-up phone call. He spends one hour of his busy day personally calling patients who were treated the day before to ask how they are feeling. This consistent calling campaign has brought him more referrals than any other marketing method.

You can use this same idea by calling your clients shortly after completion of the inventory project to verify that they were pleased with the results. (This phone call also gives you another opportunity to ask for referrals.)

Repeat Referrals

Looking for referral business? Make sure that the Insurance Agents, Financial Planners, Attorneys, and other business professionals in your local area know that your business exists. They 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.

Are you ready for an upgraded website? Maybe a completely new one? Mary Gillen will create YOUR site to represent YOUR business. She is also an excellent writer so she can create professionally-written content as well. Content and web design by someone who knows our industry!

06 Mar 2019

Preparing for National Home Inventory Month

NHIM LogoIt’s time to begin preparing for the 2nd National Home Inventory Month (NHIM), which is recognized in April. The first event was launched in 2018 and will continue annually. In preparation, we are updating the NHIM page on the NICA website and it will be ready by mid-March.

We encourage all home inventory professionals to participate with the intent to educate the public and bring awareness about the need for this documentation. Additionally, it will bring recognition to the industry as well as each individual professional who promotes NHIM.

Members will have access to download the NHIM logo in jpg and png formats. as well as 2 photos in jpg format to use along with their promotions. Upon logging into your account, you will be able to download these graphics, the press release template, and a variety of posts to copy and paste into your social media accounts during late March and the month of April.

Click here to learn more about NHIM and to get tips on how to create a successful campaign,

03 Oct 2018

Collections Inventory Course

CurriculumOne of our most popular courses is Collections Inventory, The reason for its popularity is that it offers detailed information to help you prepare and perform an inventory of collectibles. Many choose this course as the elective to achieve the Appraisal Examiner Certification because often collectibles are items that people request to be appraised. The course summary follows:

Everybody collects something. Common collectible items are photographs, event ticket stubs, trip souvenirs, athletes’ trophies … the list goes on and on. The reasons people collect are plentiful as well – for personal enjoyment by seeing their items displayed, creating a history to pass down to their heirs, for investment, competition with other collectors, social interaction by attending swap meets and exchanging information, to name a few.

Keeping these collectibles properly documented is important. For the home inventory professional, knowing the process of documenting a group of items in a specific category of diverse types and values is a benefit to their current service offerings.

Collections are not limited to individuals but also held by businesses and specific market sectors. As such, the collection should be documented in a logically organized repository consisting of photographs, bills of sale, and reference materials that allows for updates of additional information at any time – providing peace of mind for the owner.

In addition to learning processes and procedures to thoroughly document these special items, this course also includes information regarding how insurance plays a role in collecting valuables, how to market a collectibles inventory service, creating additional business through “upselling” this service, and how to price your service properly.

The three modules of this course are:

  • Introduction to Collections Inventory Services
  • Process Strategies
  • Monitoring and Identifying Success

If you are still needing CEUs to retain your CIS certification, this would be a great course to add to your library.

30 Jul 2018

Virginia Inventory Professional Achieves Home Inventory Industry Certification

Congratulations to member Julie Ulrich for achieving the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner.

Julie UlrichThe National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Julie Ulrich, owner of TimeWise Inventory Services, 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 certification provides the education and the credentials needed to properly assist appraisers.

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, this additional service provides the home inventory professional with 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 the Appraiser Examiner designation.

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 proven hands-on processes for accurate collection of information.

Based in Chesapeake, Virginia, TimeWise Inventory Services offers residential and business asset inventory services to in the state of Virginia and the Northeast area of North Carolina.