As a whole, remodelers of all types are aiming to increase the professionalism of their companies. Erik Listou, CGR, CAPS, on the other hand, is hoping to broaden that goal and aims to increase the professionalism of the remodeling industry all together.
As a member of the Denver Remodelors Council since its inception, Listou has played an active roll in educating consumers about industry associations and the professionalism of its members.
Helping direct a strategically planned marketing campaign, which now focuses on the consumer and not the remodeler, Listou brought a massive amount of media attention to his local council. The mission statement stands as: “The Remodelors Council of Metro Denver is committed to providing excellence in service to consumers and the industry through continuing education and professional growth of members.”
“What we did in actuality is took the national mission statement and reversed it,” says Listou. “When it comes down to it, our main focus should be caring about the consumer.”
This change in focus resulted in over 800,000 paid and nonpaid ads and annoucements with the Remodelors Council name distributed in consumer magazines in the Denver market in a one-month campaign.
In addition to spreading their new message, Listou also directed more community involvement throughout the Denver area. “We turned our annual garage sale into a public auction that helped generate $25,000, in which we donated to the Home Builders Foundation.”
Individually, Listou has taken his new mission on the air waves, with his local radio talk show, Remodeling with Erik. “The focus of the show is Education, Awareness, Advice,” says Listou. “I have created a persona that consumers and remodelers can relate to as a friend in the remodeling industry.”
The show, which introduces consumers to an array of monthly topics, features guests from all sides of the business discussing that particular subject. “We just completed our monthly segment on bathrooms,” explains Listou. “We featured a very high-end remodeler who does custom-type applications on one show and then also had a remodeler who installs Formica countertops.”
While covering a broad range of topics and reaching consumers on all levels, Listou continually spreads the message about the importance of hiring a professional remodeler that is part of an industry association. “Some of my most asked questions are ‘What did it take to become a member?’ and ‘How do I find a professional remodeler?’” With his Website just about completed, Listou plans to have a neutral place where consumers can go to find out more about association members and locating a professional.
Listou also coordinates educational seminars directed toward the consumer. “We put together a panel of experts in the industry, which combined had 130 years of professional experience, and held it at a high-end kitchen distributor,” he says. “We spoke a lot about design trends and products and then also touched on the importance of hiring a professional.”
Listou says that by increasing his visibility with consumers, his company, Top Quality Remodeling, has benefited tremendously. “I have positioned myself and this company as an industry leader through association involvement and leadership, networking with other related associations and being visible through industry seminars and conferences, therefore making my company stand out from the competition.”