|Jan Williams, CGR, 2000 Chairman, NAHB Remodelors Council
It’s springtime; what are you doing to promote your business? A tiny ad in the local newspaper? Or mention of your firm by an official at a civic meeting? You can do better. May is a great time to take advantage of the consumer-focused media kits sent to your local council by the National Remodelors Council.
The kit includes a number of articles that can be featured in your local newspapers in celebration of National Home Remodeling Month. Topics include "Move and Improve," "Return on Investment," and "The Three-Bid Myth." So, get busy and contact your local now to see how your council and your firm can take advantage of our national campaign. Talk with your local leadership about adding your projects to the May media promotion.
Last year, the remodeling industry generated revenues of $150 billion. This is more than the amount billed by the entire legal services industry (all those lawyers) and exceeds monies spent by Americans for entertainment, arts and recreation combined! This is an astounding figure, considering that many people do not recognize remodeling as separate from home building and there is no uniform vocabulary to describe our business. Some do rehab, others are into rebuilding, and yet another segment specializes in restoration.
According to Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program for the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University, "The remodeling industry is unusually fragmented because there’s no leadership and no uniform direction. Until recently, there was very little hard information on numbers." Several factors contribute to underestimation of true size of our industry: Many jobs are not reported because building permits were not obtained and/or are undervalued; the construction census does not include remodeling; and local statistics are imperfect.
We’re doing great, despite our lack of cohesion. More than 20 million homeowners hire remodelers each year. The payroll of remodeling firms has increased by 50 percent. The inevitable aging of the existing housing stock as well as the thriving economy, with its steady growth in income and strong resale market, will propel a great surge in remodeling expenditures. And in 2002, the Census Bureau will classify remodelers as a new - and separate - designation.
What does this mean to you? You represent a vibrant industry that will be a greater part in consumers’ awareness as more Americans opt to remodel. Get busy. Call your council and get the logo. Make it into a bumper sticker. Use it on your literature. What a lead in! "May is National Remodeling month" should be the first paragraph in a letter to all your customers.
We at the National Remodelors Council are doing all we can to help your local council promote the industry this spring. Do your part - take advantage of your council membership to promote remodeling in this special month.
Take advantage of the Remodelors Council - the CGR designation, Remodelor 20 clubs, educational programs and seminars. It’s been invaluable to our business.