If you're not a member of one of the two trade associations that directly serve the remodeling industry, you're missing out on beneficial resources that can help differentiate your business from the competition. At the bare minimum, I'd suggest you join either NARI or the NAHB Remodelors Council today.
An even better idea would be to join both associations and take advantage of the unique programs that each one offers its members.
It's been argued by more than a few people that the remodeling industry is actually done a disservice by the existence of two trade associations, with each one effectively undermining the authority and relevance of the other.
These detractors would have you believe that both associations are weak because the membership count in neither organization is above 8,000, while the industry totals more than 370,000 firms. Even further, they would like you to believe that by eliminating one association, the other would grow stronger and thus provide better leadership industrywide.
Not only do I believe this assertion to be false, I would point out that the existence of two associations has created a fairly intense competition for new members. This competitive environment forces the leaders of these organizations to continuously try to upgrade the number and quality of their services and member benefits.
I would take this a step further and suggest that having two associations also allows the the industry to have greater influence in areas such as government affairs, building codes, product innovation and technology. For remodelers, having two associations provides more opportunities for certification programs, continuing education and peer networking.
At NARI's recent spring board of directors meeting, for instance, the association discussed its plans to add green remodeling certification and universal design certification programs in the not-too-distant future. While the universal design initiative will be similar to the Remodelors Council's Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist designation, by definition it should end up being a more extensive program.
The green remodeling program, however, stands to be the first of its kind in the remodeling industry and is certainly going to raise the bar that much higher in the competition between the two associations.
And isn't that a great situation to be in for the industry?