Should I Join A National Organization For Home Remodelers?
If you own a new home improvement business, your mailbox will soon be filled with opportunities to join organizations, participates in shows, and advertise in both print and online directories. How do you evaluate which opportunities are a good use of your time and financial resources? Other contractors you know may be willing to share some insights, but you must focus on what will give you the best exposure and the best credibility in your community.
Bridge The Confidence Gap
Keep in mind that when homeowners choose a remodeling contractor, they are taking a leap of faith. If they are novices to home improvement, they may not know what they want and are afraid that you will take advantage of that. You want to convince a new client that you have the knowledge and skills to help them at a fair price. The samples of all your past work and referrals from satisfied clients will do part of the job, but the professional credentials you bear will help you as well.
One of the easiest ways to begin developing professional credentials is to join the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), a national organization with local chapters as well. Open to companies at least 1-year-old, with business practices in line with the NARI Code of Ethics, membership as an at-large national member costs less than $300 a year. Belonging to a local chapter costs about $500. All professionals in the company are covered by one corporate membership.
The organization, founded over 50 years ago, includes professional remodeling contractors, product manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, trade publications, utilities, and lending institutions. By joining forces with NARI and using their logo on your materials, you identify yourself as part of the best of the best in home remodeling.
How Can NARI Membership Help You
Based on a recent study, NARI members have a competitive advantage in an economy recovering from a recession. Members reported a 14% increase in average sales in 2012, when compared to sales figures for home remodeling specialists nationwide, and look forward to a bright 2013. Over 38% of the members reported annual sales over $1 million, while 3% indicated they employed dedicated sales employees. Your NARI membership assures your customers that you are a full time remodeling professional who follows a code of professional ethics.
Affiliation with NARI might be a special advantage if you live in a major city, as 55% of remodeling spending occurs in the top 35 markets. Your membership will make you stand out to consumers from a larger pool of contractors, plus offer you the support of a local chapter.
Benefits of Joining
Educational opportunities: NARI educates consumers on what to look for in a remodeler and publishes materials on general remodeling topics, which you can distribute to your clients and potential customers. You can even link to informational videos to enhance your website. The group offers educational opportunities to you through certification programs and courses, and provides informal ongoing knowledge through its newsletters and blogs.
Marketing opportunities: You also benefit from NARI's consumer marketing and lead generation efforts. Your name is listed in various online directories, and your name will come up when a customer enters a location in the "Search for our Remodeler" box on the websites. For added exposure, you can participate in trade and consumer shows backed by the organization, and even participate in discounted advertising campaigns.
Discounts: As a NARI member, you can receive lower prices on supplies you need through group purchasing discounts, have access to consumer marketing tools, and even get reduced rates on health and liability insurance.
Networking opportunities: By participating at the national and local level, you will network with other professionals, which can lead to referrals.
For a relatively small investment, your company can reap major benefits from joining and participating in the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
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