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Organizing a PHPIC meeting group

In the past, we have asked some members to consider organizing a regional meeting. We hope this will give you a better idea of what's involved and what members get from them.

There are no hard and fast rules, however the meetings should generally be about 2 hours long to earn 1 CEC and they should be about home inspection, the profession and the business. If you think you may be interested, give us a call and we'll help you get started.

 

PHPIC regional meetings are a great way to learn about the systems of a house, to network and share tips with other inspectors, and to earn CECs for your PHPIC membership. Being an organizer, by the way, can earn you extra CECs.

Here are some tips on organizing one (many thanks to the Ottawa group):

 

Where

  • A place central to your region works best for everyone.
  • A restaurant may allow you to meet there if a minimum of food is purchased. Restaurants may welcome you if you decide to meet when they're not busy. It's new business for them.
  • Another option - a non-profit group may have space they will rent to you very cheaply.

When

  • Hold meetings maybe once a month from Sept to April/May. Summer is too busy for most inspectors to get to meetings.
  • Have a set date, eg., every 3rd Wednesday of the month, so that people can put it on their schedule.
  • Ask members what time of day will work best for them. Something like 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning is good for many and is probably after the morning rush for a restaurant, so they may welcome you.

Who

  • Invite all inspectors, not just PHPIC members. Open it to OAHI, NACHI, unaffiliated, others - most have knowledge they can share with others and being open to all might attract others to join PHPIC ;-)

What

  • ask people what they want from the meetings.
  • Contact trades, electricians, HVAC, plumbers, etc., to talk about what's new - eg., instantaneous HW, combo heating systems, solar. Ask what you should know to inspect these systems. You should be able to find trades willing to do a presentation for free since it's an opportunity for you to get to know them and possibly refer them.
  • Ask some of your members to present. Many will probably have a background in a relevant field.
  • Schedule a "field exercise". A couple of times a year, find a house to inspect and afterwards discuss the issues found in it. Team an experienced inspector with a newby. It's good practice for everyone - keeps the experienced inspectors on their toes and is a good simulation of a TIPR for the newer ones. It's worth more CECs too.
  • At each meeting, have someone show pictures on a theme for discussion. The theme can be anything and the pictures can be taken at an inspection. Every member can take a turn.
  • Don't forget the business side because you are running a business and it may be a weaker topic for most. Maybe once a year, before year end or tax time, find someone to talk about running a small business.

Other tips

  • Share the workload - ask others to take minutes, take attendance, maybe rotate the job of finding a speaker.
  • Try to keep the meetings free/inexpensive. A 50/50 draw can help with the expense.
  • Many guest speakers will want to show a PowerPoint presentation on a projector. Check if you or someone else in the group knows of one you can borrow.

As your plans develop, let us know and we'll help you publicize it through the Constant Contact mail outs. We may have funds to help an on-going group too.

Regional Meetings - A Personal Experience

We asked Jim Lepine, a member of the Ottawa Group, to share what he gets out of the monthly meetings. Jim keeps track of attendance for the group, sends out meeting reminders and prepares the minutes. This is what he said:

  • This is a unique group for sure.
  • All are willing to share their knowledge and learn from each other.
  • Everyone agrees we are NOT Experts and that knowledge is power (the more we learn, the more we know we need to learn)   
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Very supportive to new members 
  • The male Taterstron is left in the parking lot, this I find is key to success in any group   
  • Very positive feedback from new members due to the above mentioned item  
  • Sustained education format in place by Greg and Doug - access to information is upfront

Oh and last but not least - Someone always has a good story to tell during the off meeting breakfast session



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