Tag Archives: Professional Remodelers Organization

Your Home, Our PROfessionals

PRO logo

Your Resource for  Remodeling Professionals

As we look forward to spring and early summer and the remodeling “season” kicks into high gear, homeowners all over the Portland Metro area are searching for a resource for professional contractors and service providers.  At the PRO, we are that resource.

The  Professional Remodelers Organization of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland (PRO) consists of the area’s top remodelers, subcontractors, and suppliers who work together to promote quality and professionalism in the home remodeling industry. In the past 13 years, the organization has grown to 220 members and currently is the third largest in the United States.

“Our members take pride in their craft, have years of experience in the field and are knowledgeable about the newest and most innovative products on the market,” said Mitch Stanley, former Professional Remodelers Organization chairman. “One of the big reasons our group continues growing fast is that we are committed to ethical business conduct and we encourage our membership to invest in training and education.”

The National Home Builders Association estimates that Americans will spend $145 billion in home remodeling in 2013. Remodeling accounts for 2 percent of the US economy and 40 percent of all residential construction.

Everything you want to see...<br />Everyone you need to meet.

Each spring, the Professional Remodelers Organization produces the Tour of Remodeled Homes, which showcases the top remodeling projects in the area. They also are active participants in the Home Builder Association’s Spring and Fall Home and Garden Shows, and PRO members are involved in several fundraising events throughout the year to support local charities. In the last several years years, the group has raised thousands of dollars for the Home Builders Foundation, which creates shelter opportunities for the disadvantaged or transitional homeless and provides educational opportunities for future generations of industry professionals.  The PRO also won a national CADRE Award for their participation in the  complete remodel and upgrade of the Cordero House.

The organization has been recognized nationally for its energy, commitment to the industry, dedication to the community and government affairs efforts. To date, the Organization has won 12 prestigious  Council Awards for Demonstrating Remodeling Excellence (CADRE) the highest national honor any organization can receive. Category wins include Outstanding Community Service Project, Outstanding Member Services and Education and Outstanding Public Relations and Promotion Program. The PRO was also recognized nationally  with and Association Excellence Award (AEA) for their volunteer project building the Santa House at Bridgeport Village Shopping Center for the 2011-2013 holiday seasons.

To find out more about the professional members of the PRO, search our online directory and look for the PRO logo!

Remodeling Market Index Climbs Five Points, Returns to 2005 Levels

The Remodeling Market Index for the 3rd quarter of 2012

The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) climbed to 50 in the third quarter of 2012, up from 45 in the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Released today, the RMI is at its highest point since the third quarter of 2005, tracking the positive trends recently seen in the rest of the housing sector.

The RMI component measuring current market conditions rose to 52 from 46 in the previous quarter, while the component measuring future indicators increased to 49 from 44.

An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future activity.

“The strength of the RMI, especially in owner-occupied properties, shows that home owners are investing in remodels as home prices stabilize,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman George “Geep” Moore Jr., GMB, CAPS, GMR, a remodeler from Elm Grove, La. “As owners become more confident that investments in housing will hold their value, they are beginning to undertake projects to improve their comfort that they had been putting off.”

All three indicators of current market conditions improved: maintenance and repairs rose to 56 (from 50), minor additions and alterations to 51 (from 47) and major additions and alterations to 49 (from 42). Current market conditions improved or held steady in all four regions in the third quarter of 2012. Current remodeling activity was particularly strong in owner-occupied housing; the sub-components of the current conditions index for owner-occupied housing were all well over 50, ranging between 55 and 60.

Future market indicators in every region but the Northeast experienced gains from the previous quarter: Northeast, 38 (from 41); Midwest, 50 (from 46); South, 52 (from 46); and West, 52 (from 42). All indicators of future market conditions rose: calls for bids, 48 (from 44); amount of work committed for next three months, 46 (from 43); backlog of remodeling jobs, 50 (from 46); and appointments for proposals, 51 (from 43).

“The improvement in the RMI provides more evidence that the remodeling industry is making the orderly recovery from its low point in 2009 as we’ve been expecting,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Although remodeling projects over $25,000 are now showing some signs of strength, they are still lagging behind smaller property alterations and maintenance and repair jobs. The recovery of the remodeling market in general, and large projects in particular, continues to be constrained by factors such as tight credit and problematic appraisals.”

See more about the current RMI here: http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=137354&fromGSA=1

Why Hire a “PRO”fessional Remodeler

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Find a professional! Ask if they're a "PRO"

When planning your home remodel, choose to hire a professional for getting the job done right. Home owners can save time, aggravation, and money by hiring a professional remodeler.  And the best place to find a professional is to hire a member of the Professional Remodelers Organization (PRO) of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland.

“Professional remodelers help home owners rejuvenate their residences for beauty, efficiency, and comfort,” said Steve Klingerman, 2012 PRO Chair. “They save home owners time and money because these remodelers have years of training and home remodeling experience.”

Consider some of the qualities that make professional remodelers the best choice for your home remodel:

1.    Technical training and experience in home remodeling.
These remodelers have years of technical training and experience that cannot be equaled by do-it-yourself books or television programs. They understand a home’s structure, electrical wiring, plumbing and other details that must be considered before attempting a home remodel. Inexperience and ignorance can create costly mistakes, but professional remodelers can prevent disasters and solve unexpected problems.

2.    Ability to creatively address budget and space constraints.
Most remodelers relish the chance to employ new design solutions to reorganize and maximize space in a home. This ability to work with a home owner on their remodeling dreams within a budget is a specialty of many remodelers. They can help propose alternatives that keep the budget in check, such as providing a variety of product choices or redesigning interior space to minimize the need for building home additions.

3.    Information on tax credits and other ways to save money.
Remodelers can help you cash in on energy efficiency tax credits for saving on remodeling expenses. These credits offer money back on installing energy efficiency improvements such as new windows, doors, insulation, roofing, and more (see http://www.nahb.org/efficiencytaxcredit for more information). Remodelers may also know of additional local or state credits, rebates, and other methods of saving money on your home remodel.

4.    Commitment to excellent customer service.
A professional remodeler has solid business skills and understands that remodeling is about providing excellent customer service. These remodelers will take meetings and return phone calls to address customer concerns proactively. They prioritize customer satisfaction and take pride in their remodeling work.

5.    Professional references and work samples.
Professional remodelers are more likely to belong to trade associations (such as the National Association of Home Builders) where they benefit from education programs, acquiring knowledge and skills to better run a business and improve their home remodeling services. A remodeler in good standing can also provide references from past clients. They also can show examples of previous remodeling projects to give you a feel of the quality and style of their work.

Make the smartest investment in your home by hiring a professional remodeler. They’ll help you stay on budget, solve remodeling challenges, and provide a higher-quality service.

For more tips on planning a home remodel or hiring a professional remodeler, visit http://www.nahb.org/remodel or contact the Professional Remodelers Organization (PRO) at 503-684-1880.

NAHB Endorsed Legislation Introduced to Reduce Lead Regulatory Burden

This just in from the National Association of Home Builders in Washington D.C.:

Responding to concerns from NAHB Remodelers and affiliated trade groups, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on March 1 introduced S. 2148, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012,  to improve the lead paint rule for remodelers who must comply with the costly work practices and record keeping requirements of the rule.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s  Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (LRRP) rule, which took effect on April 22, 2010, requires that remodelers and contractors working in homes built before 1978 be trained and certified by the EPA on lead-safe work practices before they can legally work in those homes.

The bill was introduced with five original co-sponsors: Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), David Vitter (R-La.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).

NAHB is urging its members to contact their senators and call on them to co-sponsor the Inhofe bill. The association is also seeking the introduction of companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012 would:

  • Reinstate the opt-out provision to allow home owners without small children or pregnant women residing in them to decide whether to require LRRP compliance, not the government.
  • Suspend the LRRP if EPA does not approve a commercially available test kit that meets the regulation’s requirements.
  • Allow remodelers the “right to cure” paperwork errors found during an inspection.
  • Eliminate the “hands on” recertification training requirements.
  • Prohibit EPA from expanding the LRRP to commercial and public buildings until at least one year after the agency conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action.
  • Clarify the definition of “abatement” to specifically exclude remodeling and renovation activities.
  • Provide an exemption to the regulation for emergency renovations

Read the full story here.

Remodeling is on top!

Vanessa Brunner, Staff Writer for Houzz.com, recently polled some Professional Remodelers Organization (HBA PRO) members for insight and information about recent reporting that the remodeling industry is growing and recovering.  Read the whole story at Houzz.com to learn more about how people all over the country are responding to the changing remodeling market.

Here is and excerpt:
Home industry experts around the country grew optimistic at the recent news that the Remodeling Market Index had risen to its highest level in 5 years. According to the National Association of Home Builders, remodeling sentiment is at its highest since 2007, and should continue to increase through 2012. This shift has been a long time coming, and it can be seen in the projects on Houzz and just about everywhere else.

We spoke to builders and experts from around the country to get a glimpse of how widespread this change is and its impact on the home industry. The consensus seems clear: Remodeling is king right now, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Read the whole story here.

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Value of Networking and BUILDing Relationships

As many Remodelers know, this business is about relationships;

Relationships with your clients that grow from first impressions, to trusting bonds, to making coffee for the crew when your work day starts before the homeowners have gotten themselves really going for the day.

Relationships with your subcontractors that start with a great bid and grow into a trusting, quality driven, and mutually profitable partnership.

Relationships with your suppliers that start with a simple order and grow into the kind of give and take where you can get the replacement tile you need shipped out in a week instead of three weeks and you can wait a few extra days for that light fixture because it’s going to save you both a bundle.

The HBA PRO recently worked together with NWSID, NKBA, and the ORA to produce an event that was truly and solely focused on helping attendees to network and build relationships across all fields of the remodeling industry.  Follow this link to an article from K+BB (Kitchen and Bath Business) a national magazine, about the face of networking today and how well the BUILD retreat serves that essential function.

To find out more about getting involved in this and other great face to face networking opportunities, call or email Jessica at the Professional Remodelers Organization.  503-684-1880 or jessicam@hbapdx.org

Marketing tips from the experts… your peers!

At the June 15th PRO lunch, hosted by EleMar Oregon, we had the rare and precious opportunity to hear from not one, or even two, but over 60 experts on the subject of small business marketing.  Are you curious as to how we were able to coordinate and compile so many experts for one day?  Simple, we just invited the members of the Professional Remodelers Organization to lunch!

It’s an easy trap to fall into, when faced with so many options for activities, seminars, continuing education classes, etc., to lose track of the greatest resource provided by the PRO… the combined experience, expertise, and insight of our over 225 members.  In a group of that size, it’s safe to say that most questions could be answered with a thoughtful and informed response, and someone has probably tried it, whatever it is, at least once, and can tell you why they would, or wouldn’t, do it again!  So this month we took a moment to tap that wellspring of experience and talk about what we can do to market our businesses.  Some of the ideas seemed simple, but all of them were things that we can easily lose sight of as our pace and/or workload increases.

  • Everyday Good Practices
    • Create Alliances and Maintain Contacts
      • Build win-win relationship with your contractors, suppliers and vendors though camaraderie and incentives
      • Stay in touch with people in your industry.  Know what they’re up to.  Their next big project could carry you with them.
      • Leads from Lenders – find out who’s really ready to get started.
    • Networking
      • Membership & Engagement in Trade Organizations
      • Diversify your efforts – join multiple network building organizations
    • Let everyone know what you do – ALL of what you do!
      • Your neighbors might know you’re a remodeler, but may not think to call you for that new deck they’re building.
    • Competition & Award Entries
      • Leverage your awards by promoting them on your website, in newsletters, blogs, social media, and email signatures.
    • Branding
      • Consistent messaging & Logo use is a must for brand recognition
    • Know your product and your customer
    • Continuing Education Courses
      • Increase your value and skill set with continuing education and advanced certifications
    • Goal:  How often can you get your name in front of your customer?
      • Quarterly Newsletter
      • Door Hangers
        • Place locally to your job locations.
      • Job signs at your construction sites
    • Hard Cover Portfolios
      • Order them online for an inexpensive but professional look for your business in place of a notebook.
  • Bang for the Buck
    • Home Shows
      • You’ll find a more targeted audience, despite the smaller numbers
    • Subscribe to Industry Publications
      • Weekly Construction Monitor
      • Commercial/Residential Bid Reports
    • Tour of Remodeled Homes – Find a way to display your work to the public.
    • Use your local newspapers
    • Bus ‘Butt’ Advertising Banners
    • TV
      • Targeted Ads, use the video’s for web and blog content
      • Many found TV & Radio to be unsuccessful  – it’s all about timing and target audience
    • Ask HOW people found you to determine the best use of your dollars.
  • In this Day and Age
    • Website
      • Make sure your contact information is easily accessible.
    • Social Media
      • Twitter, Facebook, Blogs – stay in touch and keep yourself in the front of your customer’s minds.
    • Blog
      • write what you know, who you are.
    • YouTube
      •  build your own channel to highlight your work, show interviews & customer testimonies.
    • Increase your Google presence
    • Use QR Codes
  • Old School, Tried and True
    • Referrals and Testimonials
      • Perform Quality Work
        • Consistent, quality work will keep the referrals coming
      • Offer referral incentives
      • Always ask for testimonials from clients, vendors, suppliers
      • Give referrals and testimonials – more exposure for you too!
      • Use ‘Thank You’ gifts, surveys, and newsletters to stay engaged with past customers.
    • Hand-written thank you notes
    • Cold Calls and Follow up calls
  • Ready for some help?
    • Contract Marketing consultants or firms
      • Set clear goals up front for what you hope to accomplish
      • Define measurable and achievable deliverables and timeline
      • Find one through a reputable referral or trade organization resource… like the HBA PRO website.