Thinking about starting an InterNACHI Chapter in your area? Forming your own Chapter is easy and fun. And we'll help you. Besides, being an officer of your own local Chapter of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors is great for your business.
If you're worried about finances, don't. We provide our Chapters with a "Reward Without Risk" Policy, which addresses financial scenarios and situations that InterNACHI Chapters or heads may encounter when holding an InterNACHI meeting or event.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOLDING A CHAPTER MEETING:
If you want to hold an InterNACHI Chapter meeting, here's how to get it up and running:
Get a website made. Think up a name for your new Chapter. (For example, many chapters have chosen their name based on their local geographic region so their meetings will be attended by inspectors from the surrounding area.) InterNACHI will have a large banner made for you at no charge. To get started on your chapter website, email our Director of Communications Lisa Endza at Lisa@internachi.org and tell her you want to start a chapter in your area. She’ll help you through the setup process. Here are a few good examples: the Jacksonville Chapter, Oklahoma Chapter, and the Colorado Chapter.
Write a Chapter description. This is for the “About” page, which will be the landing page for your site -- the first thing people will see. Put all important information here.
Get in on our Reward Without Risk Policy and learn about how you can get protection from financial loss for holding your events.
Plan your first event. Schedule a time and place for your first meeting. Many industry speakers are available for presentations (including vendors, instructors, Realtors, Certified Master Inspectors®, etc.). Booking a conference room at a local hotel, especially if it offers free refreshments and discounted room rates, is a popular option. A local restaurant that has a banquet room located away from regular seating is another option, especially if you can get a deal on meals or a buffet and you want to hold your meeting around the lunch or dinner hour. InterNACHI will not reimburse you for food or beverage costs, so it's best to price those options out and clearly state them on your website so that attendees can plan accordingly. (Do not offer an open bar, if you offer one at all, as there are serious liability issues involved.) If the hotel or restaurant requires a deposit, InterNACHI will provide you with the necessary funds so that you can secure the facility. If you need this, we require 60 days' notice, along with 45 days' notice if you want us to advertise your event on the InterNACHI website, which we will happily do. If you want to line up speakers, they'll probably need at least that much advance notice, as well. Once you decide what kind of event you want to host and on what date, let us know what kind of help you need.
Get a speaker. If you want a speaker for your first event, we can send you a list of prospects, including InterNACHI Founder Nick Gromicko, if he's available and plans to be in your area. Consider speakers from a local businesses, such as a foundation waterproofer, HVAC contractor, electrician, civil engineer, CPA, attorney, Realtor®, environmental consultant, chimney sweep, pest exterminator -- anyone who can deliver an informative talk that's relevant for inspectors.
Announce your event. Once you've posted an announcement for your event on your Chapter website, email firstname.lastname@example.org so that InterNACHI can advertise your event (and don't forget about our minimum 45-day notice). InterNACHI staff will email a formal announcement to all nearby inspectors on our mailing lists. We'll also post link to the formal announcement on several pages of www.NACHI.org. And we'll inform and remind all nearby InterNACHI members by email. You can post the event on various message boards. If you're a member of another national or regional association, post it on your association's message board, chat room, e-forum or website. Create a postcard and mail it to everyone. InterNACHI will pay for printing and postage. Call the local newspapers and ask them to cover the event. Send the local newspapers press releases announcing the event.
Invite the public. Email the invitation to every inspector within 400 miles. You can use the Internet to find email addresses. This is the most important step. Just like in any endeavor, advertising is key. Email nearby states, too. People have traveled long distances to attend an InterNACHI meeting. Invite local real estate agents. This invitation is an especially great marketing piece for your business. Make sure the invitation states that you are the local Chapter head, and include your home inspection business contact information. Drop off the invitations to all the local real estate offices in your area. It's good for your business and will enhance your position in your local market.
Get freebies for your event. Try to get some freebies to hand out, such as radon kits, inspection reporting software, tool catalogs, discount coupons, literature from your speakers, etc. Ask and you will receive! These sponsors will gladly ship you door prizes to give away. Contact them directly and have them ship to you ahead of time. Contact InterNACHI at email@example.com and we'll have additional door prizes shipped to you. Many sponsors will provide you with a certificate (instead of the actual door prize).
Follow up on everything. Keep checking in periodically with the hotel and caterer, etc., to assure that the room, coffee, refreshments and snacks will be ready. Or, if you’re meeting at a restaurant or cafe, keep checking in to make sure that your space is still reserved.
Enjoy your meeting! To prepare for your meeting, hang your Chapter banner, provide name tags, and set up a sign-in sheet to get the names and addresses of all the attendees. Have a great time, and remind everyone there when the next meeting will be held.
Invite local real estate agents. They may not come, but receiving an invitation from you is good for your inspection business. Being the President of your own Chapter of InterNACHI enhances your position in your local market.
InterNACHI Chapter meetings are open to ALL inspectors, so expect to have many more non-InterNACHI members than InterNACHI members in attendance.
Attending a Chapter meeting counts as one hour toward your Continuing Education requirements.
Most Chapters do not charge dues but do charge for the dinner, if they have one (usually $20-$35). InterNACHI will cover any unexpected expenses.
Upon request, InterNACHI will build and host your Chapter website at no charge.
InterNACHI will NOT cover cost overruns for "secret" or closed-door meetings. You are free to hold such meetings without having InterNACHI create and send out a live-linked, formal announcement, but cost overruns for such meetings will not be reimbursed by InterNACHI. Only open-door meetings for which InterNACHI was given proper notice (at least 45 days after the event is posted on your Chapter website) to adequately advertise them will qualify for cost-overrun protection. If you're concerned that you'll come up short when it's all over, don't worry. Simply submit to InterNACHI the information noted below, and your cost overruns (if any) will be quickly reimbursed to you. Most Chapters charge enough at the door to cover all their costs (and then some). Chapters may keep any extra money they collect. Read our "Reward Without Risk" Policy.
HAVE InterNACHI ADVERTISE YOUR CHAPTER MEETING
To have your Chapter meeting advertised via USPS and email, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details at least 45 days prior to the meeting date:
your shipping address;
your phone number;
your email address;
the name of your Chapter (example: Arizona Beach Chapter);
the day and date of the meeting;
the start and end times of the meeting;
the names of any guest speakers (example: John Smith of Smith Heating & Plumbing);
the location (example: Holiday Inn Ocean View);
the address of the venue;
the phone number of the venue;
the website for the venue;
any applicable room discount for overnight guests (if you acquired one);
any meal menu and the expected cost (usually $20-$35 per person); and
other instructions to include in the formal announcement.