Chairman's Message

By: Steve Carroll, MCI, CCI

Dear CREIA Member,

In 1976 CREIA was started in a Los Angeles garage by a group Home Inspectors who wanted to learn and grow from each other. Today, CREIA’s Mission goals reflect this same original vision:

The California Real Estate Inspection Association promotes excellence in the real estate inspection profession and is committed in supporting every member in achieving the highest level of expertise in the industry.

A few years before CREIA was created, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe and from that came the saying “The only constant in life is change”.

That doctrine has held true throughout CREIAs existence. For many years in-house management helped the association to grow. The benefits of hiring an outside management company soon became obvious. In 2014 Sterling Strategic Management became our second management company. Recently Sterling Strategic Management merged forces with Group Concepts headquarter in Long Beach. Group Concepts is a 3rd generation family owned company, formed the same year as CREIA, specializes in Non-Profit Associations. The merger brought us a new Executive Director, Michele Blair. Michele Hyson, our Executive Director from the start with Sterling Strategic Management leaves big shoes to fill. After she announce her family was moving out of state, Sterling Strategic Management began a national search for her replacement. Michele Blair was selected as our new Executive Director, due to 18 years of experience, proven track record and advocacy work in the California legislature.

Speaking of legislation, there were no Bills directly affecting Home Inspections for a year and then come the firestorm. CREIA realized the need to reenact the Legislative Committee chaired by Dave Pace MCI. The Board of Directors wisely saw the need for a Legislative Advocate. Jerry Desmond Esq. of Desmond & Desmond was selected and continues to do an outstanding job. California Home Inspectors Legislative Action Coalition (CHILAC) was formed to be the outreach and fundraising arm. Through the efforts of the Legislative Committee and Jerry Desmond language was added to AB 2731 that would make irrigation inspections optional rather than mandatory. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature. We are also working with the 2018 Swimming Pool Act sponsor on a revision that is more aligned with our Standard of Practice. While we were unable to dissuade the Legislature moving forward with SB 988 (the CSST bill), we were able to add language to better define the exposure of the home inspector. That bill is also on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature. The Legislative Committee was able to assist in killing a bill that would have required home inspectors, depending on gross receipts, to collect sales tax.

After the Path to Success was formed one of the main hurdles was passing the difficult National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE). Rick Zack chairman of the Membership Committee saw the need to assist our Associates with this endeavor and helped create the NHIE Online Study Group. The first of its kind in the country. The study group meets once per week for one hour and covers one chapter of the NHIE Study Manual. Becoming a CREIA Certified Inspector (CCI) is a great achievement. However, to go from CCI to Master CREIA Inspector (MCI) is a very difficult task that few inspectors in the state accomplish. The main hurdle for MCI is earning an International Code Council certification as a Residential Combination Inspector [R5] which includes the four following individual certifications: Residential Building Inspector [B1], Residential Plumbing Inspector [P1], Residential Mechanical Inspector [M1] and Residential Electrical Inspector [E1]. Most municipal inspectors don’t have all those certifications. So how can CREIA help? CREIA has formed the Traveling Road Show Committee. The first series of Traveling Road Shows will bring seminars for the individual certifications to select local chapters. This benefits the members, by make it more convenient than spending two extra days at the Conventions. It also benefits the local Chapters as they will keep half of the proceeds for their part in assisting with the event. The other half of the proceeds benefit CHILAC, where our advocacy fees alone are over $30,000 a year.

Our Immediate-Past Chairman Ken Collins has come up with the idea that instead of holding a Leadership Day once a year, we should have quarterly online meetings. Our first Chapter Leadership Meeting had over 30 participants from Chapter Officers as well as members of the Board of Directors. The meeting gave Chapter leadership a venue to stay current on programs, events and support available to the membership. The setting also created an information exchange not only between the Chapter leaders but also to the Board.

There have been many changes from the early days when CREIA started our association with Sterling Strategic Management. This is due in large part to creating a Strategic Plan in early 2015. The goal was to determine where we were, where we wanted to go and a road map of how to get there. However, that was almost four years ago. Group Concepts is in the process of scheduling a Strategic Plan review before the first of the year. Surveys were sent to the membership about how we may better serve them and incorporate Board vetted ideas into the Strategic Plan. Subsequent focus groups will be held to obtain further input from the membership. If you have any thoughts for CREIA please let us know as only communication will foster change.

Yours in Service,

Steve Carroll
Chairman of the Board