Attract Your Ideal Clients With Strategic Storytelling

Benefits of Membership

THE MANY BENEFITS OF BELONGING TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REMODELING INDUSTRY: NARI

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REASON #1 INCREASE BUSINESS First and foremost, we’re always looking for ways to help our members to make better connections, get more business and increase their income. Whether a remodel-ready homeowner begins their search at the national level or the local level, your company name is accessible to our collective 32,000 monthly visitors.

Besides getting free lead generation you can further enhance your online presence with a free webpage attached to the (national) NARI.org site. This is an example of one of our members who added descriptive text and photos to his free NARI listing. Here are step by step instructions to create your own page.

REASON #2 GAIN A MARKETING EDGE USING NARI TOOLS  NARI National also offers tips on maximizing social media options such as LinkdIn, Youtube and Twitter. It provides an arsenal of tools- from photos to articles on home improvement- for you to use on your website, blog or twitter feed. Press releases keep your name in front of local reporters. PowerPoints can be used to share your expertise with a local group; we want our members to viewed as experts in their field  by the consumer community. You also get to display the trade association logo to indicate to homeowners that you are a professional contractor. Consumers view the NARI logo as the mark of a professional and homeowners do take notice.

 

REASON #3 PROVIDE TRAINING TO YOUR MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES  NARI provides to its members education and certifications in many different levels of remodeling; from Certified Remodeling Contractor to Green Training to Certified Project Manager.  NARI’s schedule doesn’t work for you? Watch one of the many informative webinars on your schedule. Taking advantage of specific training and education opportunities will improve your company’s profitability and efficiency.

 

REASON #4 PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS RIGHTS NARI is on Capitol Hill and in Hartford to advance and protect the interest of small businesses and the remodeling industry. Through NARI’s respected vigilant lobbying presence, the association has demonstrated lobbying success that is protecting your business from having to operate in a climate filled with onerous regulations and legislation.

 

REASON #5 STRENGTHEN YOUR BUSINESS PROCESSES TO INCREASE PROFITS We search out and share with you the best tools and tips provided by professional remodelers and recognized industry experts

 

REASON #6 DISCOUNTS/REBATES NARI offers significant money saving programs to its members. Savings4members offers members 25+ deeply discounted business service programs (e.g. payroll, wireless services, office supplies). In addition, members  are eligible to enroll in The Home Depot rebate program, get discounts on select Ram, Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles and receive 50 free consumer surveys from GuildQuality. The aggregate value can easily exceed the cost of membership.

 

LOCAL BENEFITS Additionally there are benefits specific to our local chapter: The State of Connecticut recommends the members of our trade association to homeowners looking for a professional home improvement contractor.  The CT Department of Consumer Protection directs homeowners to hire remodeling contractors that belong to our trade association as a way to make sure they get home improvement contractors that are professional. In addition, they have our trade association listed under “Useful Links for Consumers” as well as United Way of CT – 211.

 

We further promote members by displaying their work on our local Facebook page regularly. Please encourage your friends to LIKE US on Facebook. We also have a feature on our website highlighting a different member each month. In addition, we have our own Pinterest board and Houzz ideabook for photos of members’ work. We use these channels, as well as our own Twitter feed, to promote home improvement ideas then encourage homeowners to use our site to find a professional contractor to help make their dream come true.

 

Lastly, we offer monthly member meetings. These are dinner meetings where contractors network with others in the industry and learn more about growing their business, building codes, techniques, and much more. Our meetings are held in Stratford at Ring’s End Educational Center and at J. Timothy’s Taverne in Plainville.


NOW is the time for YOU to become a part of a recognized professional community.  Be a part of a group of elite professional and support the remodeling community.  NARI members subscribe to a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and are committed to excellence and integrity.

 

JOIN/RENEW  All in all, this is an exceptional value, and we have been able to keep our membership fees at $450 a year ($375 for new members only during the month of April 2016).  We do, however, give contractors the opportunity to make 4 separate payments in 4 consecutive months by charge card. ($117.50 / month) ($98.75/month for new members joining in April 2016)  Please note that membership is by the company.  Once a company joins, all employees enjoy the benefits of membership.  If you would like to join, please fill out this application and send it with payment or payment information to RCA/ NARICT, 1 Wolcott Road, Wolcott, CT 06716
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Be sure to visit the website of the National Association of Remodeling Industry and the CT Chapter for more information.  Or, please feel free to contact us at info@narict.org

INSULATION ADDS VALUE TO HOMES

by Jordan NAIMALogo2CDoria, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association warmhouse

It’s been a really good month for insulation (which isn’t something you can say very often). Hanley Wood recently released its annual Cost Versus Value report, which compares the cost of 30 remodeling projects and estimates the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. housing markets. For the first time ever, adding fiberglass attic insulation was included among the projects at an estimated cost of $1,268 nationwide. According to real estate professionals responding to the survey, this upgrade would increase the price of a home at resale, within a year of the project’s completion, by $1,482. That’s a 116.9% return, higher than any other remodeling project considered.

Late last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in conjunction with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), released the first ever 2015 Remodeling Impact Report. The report provides data on the cost, recovered value at sale and customer satisfaction of 20 common renovation projects. The data on project cost and expected return of sale are derived through surveys of NARI and NAR members.

Among the projects included in the report was an insulation upgrade. The results in terms of expected payback  indicate an estimated cost of $2,100 for the project, which could translate to $2,000 in added value at the time of sale, resulting in a 95% percent cost recovery (excluding energy savings). These numbers are great, but why should a remodeler care?

  1. Insulation adds value to a home

This is what is new with these surveys. The traditional value propositions of insulation, improved comfort and lower energy bills, are well known and reasonably well understood by customers. However, now there is a whole new value proposition to bring to customers: more insulation improves the value of your home, and it does so more cost effectively than most other means.

  1. Lowering energy bills

There is a big gap between the energy efficiency homeowners want and the efficiency they actually have today. In fact, according to research conducted by the Demand Institute last year, energy efficiency is the top unmet need homeowners, cited by 71 percent at their top unmet need.  This came out ahead of kitchen remodels and other typical projects. From our own research, we know that at least 90% of US homes are under-insulated by current standards, so we know insulation is a viable means of addressing this unmet need for a number of homeowners.

  1. Enhancing comfort

This is the tricky one. Comfort has proven a difficult value proposition to sell on, because it is so subjective and nearly impossible to quantify. However, we know comfort is a driver of home performance upgrades, including insulation. More importantly, it is often cited as the major source of satisfaction for homeowners who have undertaken improvements, often more so than reductions in their monthly energy bill. Remodelers know, better than most, that numbers are all well and good, but remodel decisions are not purely, or even primarily, a numbers game for most homeowners. Look, feel and a “brag factor” are all very important. Comfort can be one of these subjective elements remodelers can use to sell.

While our association is very happy to see the results of these two surveys for insulation, we believe the findings have a deeper meaning. We think improvements to home value speak to the increasing belief that a home which is consistently comfortable, with lower energy bills, strongly appeals to today’s homeowners. Savvy remodelers will find a way to use these findings to augment the value proposition they deliver to today’s customer and, in so doing, differentiate themselves from their competition.

Visit our website to find a qualified, #professionalcontractor to make this project become a #dreamcometrue.  Remodeling Contractors Association, NARI/CT

 

On Line Referrals: Passing Fad or Remodeling’s Future

Online referrals

Facebook, Google, and Amazon are all jumping into an already crowded field, leaving many to wonder what the future will bring.

By Elizabeth Mack
Professional Remodeler

For someone drowning in remodeling projects on a 1905 farmhouse for two long, grueling years, the allure for an immediate price quote to hire a professional on our next project was too good to pass up. After a short Facebook message to Pro.com for a bathroom tile bid, I received an immediate message asking for my ZIP code. A cheery response with smiley emoji introduced my home project manager, who offered what she referred to as a “pre-estimate” if I could give her the total square footage and if I would be installing ceramic or porcelain. Simple enough.

After a three-minute wait, I received a message with my pre-estimate labor cost. I knew my floor was uneven, and when I pulled up the linoleum, I could see the room below through cracks in the rotten boards. How could they possibly give me an accurate estimate? My project manager asked what times work best to get a pro scheduled.

Whoa! After I rattled off several questions, my home project manager explained that pre-estimates are collected from several similar jobs in my area, but the final price is determined by my pro. I wasn’t comfortable having a pro hired for me, or scheduling a job before I had met the pro or signed a bid, so I said my Facebook good byes, inserted smiley emoji, and logged out.

A Widening Field

Online home-service marketplaces are popping up faster than dandelions in spring, and with a market of around $300 billion annually, it’s no secret why. Angie’s List recognized the need and a way to fulfill it—charging the homeowner a membership fee for quality pro referrals—20 years ago. Today, competitors looking to topple Angie’s List are flooding into the home-services market with their own business models, generating revenue not by charging the consumer, but by charging the home-service pro in the form of membership fees, a fee per online referral, or a commission on the total cost of the job.

Porch.com and Pro.com came on the scene two years ago and have been upping the ante ever since. Porch, a Seattle-based startup, is now in partnership with Lowe’s, which offers terminals in stores where shoppers can find a local pro for anything from replacing a toilet to building a deck. Porch’s latest move links Better Business Bureau ratings in the results. For the tech and social-media savvy, Pro.com offers “Text-a-Pro” and Facebook Messenger, the main selling point of which is instant, flat-rate estimates and scheduling on home-improvement projects right from your cell phone or Facebook page.

Google and Amazon have jumped into the fray as well. Amazon shoppers can simply add a pro to their online shopping cart at checkout, and the pro is charged a commission for the lead. Google is testing a beta program, Home Service ads, that returns search results when consumers do a Google search for home improvement projects like “install faucet.” Several options will appear at the top of the page for local plumbers with their contact info and even a picture of a company representative. For now, Google is only testing in the San Francisco area, so time will tell if it can carve out its own share in a crowded national market.

Other players, Thumbtack, Home Advisor, Contractors.com, Yelp, the list goes on, are all vying for a limited number of professionals to sign up for their referral services. The field is crowded and competition fierce, so what does this mean for remodelers?

“Marketing and lead generation are some of the most difficult challenges for businesses, and some of these services do this very well,” says Kermit Baker, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Baker believes that these programs can be a more efficient marketing process that effectively uses technology for targeted referrals.

Not for Everyone

“The primary disadvantage [of online referrals] is paying a fee for a job that we might have gotten without the assistance of one of these programs,” says Toby Asplin, president of Handyman Joe’s, in Omaha, Neb., and a pro on Angie’s List. Asplin has looked into other programs, including Amazon’s, but fails to see the value, though he believes they could benefit new businesses.

Some remodelers, especially those working on higher-end projects, look at it in terms of cost per lead. “How much investment am I making for one lead?” asks Robert Criner, owner of Criner Remodeling, in Newport News, Va. “As a higher-end design/build contractor, I’m going to put my marketing dollars toward attracting my target consumer,” Criner says. In Criner’s case, that’s Houzz, where he constantly posts his latest quality images of completed projects.

And while online referral programs may provide some business, the vast majority of remodeling leads, at least for today, still come from more organic sources. “Our reputation brings us 90 percent of our business,” says Tim Janacek of Janacek Remodeling, in Rogers, Ark., a rural market north of Fayetteville. “Our local home show brings in clients serious about remodels, and our company trucks work as mobile billboards, which brings in customers based on local name recognition,” Janacek says.

So, with all these tech plays, where does that leave the consumer? Asplin says he struggles to see the actual value for homeowners. “What do these [services] offer that isn’t already available? There are too many variables to get a real quote from any of the sites,” he points out. And if homeowners want an accurate estimate, it’s up to them to fill out the online forms correctly—something that Asplin says is often a struggle.

Most remodelers agree that a forward-thinking company with strong digital content and search engine optimization doesn’t need paid online marketplaces, though new businesses with no marketing budget very well might.

So, is an online marketplace for the home remodeling industry the wave of the future? The jury is still very much out. “I’m waiting for the dust to settle,” Criner says.

 

Visit our website to find a professional, ethical remodeling contractor in your area.