The Home Inventory Industry: A State of the Union – Industry Home

There comes a time through the course of every industry’s life to take a look at where its been, where it currently is, and where it’s headed. For large corporations, this is usually done at an annual shareholder meeting. For countries like the US, the time for introspection is at a State of the Union. For an industry like the home inventory industry, it’s done here, in a blog article. This is not an indictment on the small nature of the industry, but rather it is a glimpse into the last days of an idea before it becomes something that will no longer be and cannot be limited to a simple blog post.The home inventory industry, like many industries started with a few core ideas: The idea that insurance could only go so far in protecting a home; The idea that it wasn’t fair that households were losing thousands of dollars because they couldn’t remember everything they owned; And the idea that a family shouldn’t have to frantically scribble down their livelihood onto a sheet of paper to regain some sibilance of the home they made. For far too long, households were not only losing their valuables, but the ability to even replace them. What good was insurance if the items lost, the only proof of ownership, were reduced to ash?The concept of an inventory is not a new one. Companies from retail to construction have all taken inventory of their stock for ages. So why hasn’t the inventory of a home followed suit? For starters, there was always a disconnect between a home and a business. Businesses had thousands of dollars in stock that kept them afloat. They knew that if what they owned was suddenly gone, so would their ability to conduct business. What was never realized was that a home is run almost exactly like a business. A home can’t function without the items within it.Unfortunately, households didn’t have access to the same types of inventory expertise and equipment that businesses did. If one wanted to protect the items within their house, they had to purchase insurance, save receipts and pray nothing bad happened and as they’re known to, bad things did happen. These families were now stuck with trying to remember what they owned. The great idea of saving the receipts was out the window because paper was first to burn in the fire, turned to pulp in the flood, or blew away in the tornado.Michelle Patrick of Statewide Inventory in Florida agrees, “I see our industry growing substantially over the next two years as most asset inventory services locally only positioned themselves to provide this valuable service to businesses. But asset inventory service I find is equally necessary and useful to the homeowner.”There was a time when taking photographs of everything in a house was just not cost effective but technology has finally gotten to a place where high res pictures and descriptions of an entire home can be stored on a card the size of a matchbook. This means now that every home is able to have an inventory with written description and high quality digital photographs. This documentation can be saved on a hard drive and easily made multiple copies of to store off site.Now in 2011, there are Home Inventory Professionals across US who recognize the importance of personal property documentation and want to provide that service to others. Anyone who wants to have their home inventoried can do a simple Google search and find a qualified Home Inventory Professional in their area. “Right now the home inventory industry is primed and ready for growth says Scott Pantall of Blue Spruce Inventory in Littleton, Colorado. People are starting to look for ways to be prepared both physically and financially and they are starting to look for home inventories.” The industry is born. So where is it headed as it learns to walk?The natural progression of the home inventory industry is for the professionals within it to band together and organize. Going it alone is fine, but strength in numbers can accomplish so much more. Forming an organizing body similar to what the National Association of Realtors is to real estate agents, is a proposed direction to head in. Leading the inventory forefront is Michelle Ketterman who runs the Inventory Institute in Dallas, Texas. The Inventory Institute was created to establish ethical practices and security measures that all Home Inventory Professionals should adhere to.Ketterman also has a certification program to train and aids Home Inventory Professionals to make sure they are providing the absolute best product for their customers. Michelle and other pioneering Home Inventory Professionals are pushing forward to establish legitimacy in the eye of the public. There are many plans in the works to aid the public in making sure they’re home has a properly documented home inventory including incentives and legislation. “I see the home inventory business as becoming a requirement like a home inspection for insurance.” says Jessica Renteria of Secure What’s Yours Home and Business Inventory in El Paso, Texas.In closing, the home inventory industry is on the brink of something big. No longer is it just an idea, but it is a movement. This movement consists of a group of dedicated professionals who not only see inventories as a business venture, but as a way of life aimed at providing peace of mind for families across the country.