What Do Those Letters Mean? - By Scott Sevon, CGR, CAPS, GMB, CGP, GMR

What are those letters after a professional remodeler's name, anyway? Why should I travel and spend money and time to get them? Heck, it's only some letters after your name. I asked myself these questions about 20 years ago. I was very lucky to belong to a local association and traveled to a few distant NAHB meetings each year. I would sit in meetings and listen to the many professionals that would announce their businesses, their names and those letters they were so proud of. I finally got the courage to ask about those letters. I wanted to know what they meant to these successful builders and remodelers. I wanted to join the club. Boy, was I surprised at the answers. These weren’t just letters; they were professional designations those remodelers earned by investing classroom time, money for the classes and time lost by being away from their businesses. But the kicker was they all swore they closed more jobs and made a better income because of those letters. I signed up for the required prep test and embarked on the CGR designation because I, too, wanted some letters after my name. Well, by 1995, I had taken the required classes, passed the tests and was ready to graduate. Yes, I now had my own letters, letters that showed not only my peers but our clients and prospective clients that our firm and I were serious about education and the NAHB designations. I can honestly say after taking the classes and meeting other professionals from around the country that my knowledge continued to grow. The business courses helped us to earn a better living by working smarter, keeping our margins up and watching our numbers more closely. The designations that I and others in our firm have earned truly make us a stronger, more professional and more successful company. The continuing education requirements also keep us sharp and in the know. Those letters now are many —  CGR, CAPS, GMB, CGP and GMR — and I am always proud to list them when I speak or introduce myself. I also list them on any peripheral marketing materials, our trucks, our e-mail signatures and mention them to clients at our first meeting. We also have them on our on-hold loop and our voice mails, basically anywhere we can.We at MAW Chicago are proud of those letters. If you want to learn more about them, contact me or NAHB; you won't regret it!Scott R. Sevon CGR-CAPS-GMB-CGP-GMR