In three weeks, 101 recorded U.S. cases of COVID-19 ballooned to more than 33,000. As of April 2, the country has more than 217,000 confirmed cases—more than any other single country. Streets are empty, businesses are closed. People can’t go to work, or congregate too closely. One in five Americans have been ordered to stay home, according to reporting from The New York Times. Goldman Sachs projects the country’s GDP will drop 24% next quarter as a result. That would be the worst GDP drop in U.S. history, by a lot.
The outbreak’s impact on everyday normalcy in the U.S. is unprecedented, as is it’s impact on the remodeling industry. There’s no guide for how to navigate a remodeling business through a global pandemic the scale that we’re experiencing. With that in mind, we’ve reached out to a number of remodelers and industry organizations to get a better understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted their markets and how they’re responding as a result.
We will be publishing their responses in a series of posts that will extend the length of the crisis, however long that proves to be.
Kansas City NARI
Responses come from Jan Burchett, executive director of Kansas City NARI.
How has COVID-19 impacted your market and your chapter?
Our mission is to “support member-focused education and encourage business relationships.” We have cancelled chapter meetings, networking events, educational programs and even our 23rd Annual Remodeled Homes Tour for consumers. Beyond dues revenue, we rely on educational programs and events such as the Remodeled Homes Tour to supplement our dues income. Every event we cancel means less revenue for the chapter.
Has your chapter had to make any adjustments because of COVID-19?
We have begun using Zoom exclusively for Board and committee meetings and even opportunities for members to gather virtually and discuss COVID-19 and its impact on the remodeling industry. Our first Zoom call on March 23 brought 25 NARI members together to discuss what is currently an ever changing environment. The beauty of the first call is that two members who are an attorney and HR professional were able to join and share some advice.
What are you doing to stay positive and help your members stay positive?
We are communicating optimism to our members (through Zoom and emails). We also have a member who is a social media/public relations professional and she is revising our April chapter social media content to be more positive posts about the industry. Because we want to continue to have “fun,” our Women in NARI (WIN) group met virtually recently to share tips on effectively working from your home. We also shared our drink of choice!
Jan Burchett is the executive director of Kansas City NARI