Vince Butler, CGR, the current chairman of the Remodelors Council of the NAHB, and Mike Nagle, CGR, CAPS, next year’s chairman of the same association, were huddled over lunch recently with Everett Collier, CR, the new president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. I passed their table and waved hello. I thought it was great to see the leadership of the two major associations working together. Butler, Nagle and Bill Owens, CGR, CAPS, (who is also involved with the national Remodelors Council) were the invited guests of NARI at its annual Spring Board of Directors meeting. Their lunch took place in the hotel where the NARI meeting was held.
The myriad issues facing the remodeling industry — a tougher regulatory environment, persistent negative perceptions of residential contractors of all types, improving professionalism, etc. — are best met with a show of unanimity to the outside world. Together the two associations offer many benefits to their remodeler members, who jointly number around 12,000. This number is just a rough approximation, but the point is that so many remodelers still remain unaffiliated. Census Bureau figures suggest that there are in excess of 200,000 contractors operating in the United States. Many come and go from the industry very quickly. But there are at least 100,000 residential remodeling firms who have a stake in the outcome of these larger issues facing the industry. If you are not a member of either NARI or the Remodelors Council, you should give it serious consideration.
The primary benefit of both associations is education. Both have robust certification and training programs. When you see CGR or CR after a person’s name, it means they have taken classes and passed the tests that put them in the highest echelons of this industry.
Another benefit of association membership is the ability to network and to share ideas with colleagues who have “been there and done that.” When you talk to remodelers who are involved in one of the associations, you often hear them say, “I would not be where I am today if not for the contacts I have made through the association.”
At Qualified Remodeler, we have not yet studied the revenues, the margins and the profitability of association members vs. nonassociation members. And we may do that soon. But I think I could guess the outcome. The top dogs in this industry are the ones who take the time to try to make the industry better through their local NARI or Remodelors Council chapter. Some even graduate to become involved at a national level. By joining, you profit.