An Eye on Opportunity

Apparently remodeling is contagious. After completing some updates in my condo (see the July issue “Editor’s Note,” page 8), I sent photos to friends, invited people over to see my new and improved home, and talked about how happy I am with the work to almost everyone I know. Now, one month later, several of my friends—in different areas of the country—have caught the remodeling bug.

For example, a friend in North Carolina needed some repairs done to her deck. She finally called someone to do the work after seeing my project. Because she is convinced her kitchen is the ugliest room in her home, she’s now replacing the cabinets and countertops. Meanwhile, friends in Iowa opted to install the stone backsplash in their kitchen they’d been considering for several months. At the same time, their remodeler refaced their family-room fireplace with a stone that complements the backsplash and ties the adjacent spaces together. Lastly, Laurie Grant, Qualified Remodeler’s managing editor, experienced a freak washing-machine overflow that damaged her kitchen. While the insurance repairs are completed, she has decided to do some additional remodeling to her townhouse. (Grant will be posting a blog Sept. 3 about her experience. Read the QR Market Memo at

This month’s NAHB Remodeler of the Month, Mike Blank, CGR, CAPS, president of MBC Building & Remodeling LLC, Millersville, Pa., recognizes remodeling can be contagious. While interviewing him, I learned one of his marketing strategies is to send a mailer to neighbors around each job to bring more attention to the work his team is doing. Another of his strategies relates to social media, something Blank’s firm has become active in since his son joined the business. (To read more strategies Blank has used to generate business, see page 12.) Despite his admission that he doesn’t fully comprehend the social-media craze, Blank knows it is important in helping his firm to connect with others and create business, which keeps the team that depends on him working.

Keeping your eyes and ears open is an essential skill for all remodelers. Not only can this mean more work for your business, but you also may identify opportunities you hadn’t considered. For example, in this month’s “Business Solutions,” page 16, Rob Heselbarth, QR’s editorial director, shares the story of two remodelers who recognized circumstances to improve on industry products and sell them as part of their businesses.

There are 500 firms within this issue that can probably enlighten all of us about marketing, growth and opportunity. The 34th annual Top 500 begins on page 20 with an overview by Senior Editor Kenneth W. Betz, whom we refer to around the office as the Top 500 king. Betz spends months verifying entries, fixing problems, answering questions and tabulating the list. He shares insight from a few members of the list, including Craig Huseby of Nashville, Tenn.-based Huseby Homes LLC, which is ranked 343. These 500 remodelers recognize success comes from not only being aware of opportunities but also from being creative when opportunities don’t readily exist.

Huseby says it best: “Remodelers must be willing to tenaciously pursue new goals and new ways of doing business. … I believe those who are thriving are not going about business as usual but are constantly collaborating and thinking of creative ways to increase market share and do things better.”

On behalf of the Top 500 king and all of us at Qualified Remodeler, thank you to all of you who took the time to apply to this year’s list.