Qualified Remodeler Magazine

AUG 2013

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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OVERVIEW / NEWS / TRENDS / COMMUNITY Peer Profile In partnership with Steve Barkhouse Owner, Amsted Design-Build, Ottawa, Ontario YEAR FOUNDED: 1989 1. Follow a whole-house remodel. NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS: 35 YEARS AT COMPANY: 24 YEARS IN REMODELING: 24 INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT: National, provincial and local HBA (past president); board member of the Ontario College of Trades; Business Administration Degree — Human Resources and Industrial Relations; LEED-AP COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Coach and trainer, hockey; curriculum advisor for college; numerous charities including college, hospitals, Boys and Girls Club, hospice, Habitat for Humanity, sports teams When and why did you join Remodelers Advantage? I joined in 2005 to develop the design/build model at our company and to improve margins. Not to be hokey, but to give credit where it is due, we attribute our success today to Remodelers Advantage Roudtable. From micro items like forms, process and procedures; through marketing, production, sales, administration, management, ownership training/ advice; to macro company and personal goals and philosophy — this is the "Fortune 500" board of directors of remodeling — not to mention all the perks and benefits of being a member. RAR has made me a better person. What has been the most important lesson learned from your peers at Remodelers Advantage? That two heads are better than one and that 12 heads (my RAR group) are better than two; and that 300 heads (the RAR membership) are better than 12; and that 300 of this industry's smartest, caring, focused heads want me to achieve my goals and will see that I do. Where/what are the greatest opportunities in the remodeling market? Differentiation. Consumers are more cautious with their spending, doing more research, checking references, getting referrals, identifying their specific needs and searching for the best company to meet those needs. Differentiating our company from the 12 August 2013 QR ForResidentialPros.com companies in my market that can't provide the service, skills and quality that is the Amsted Advantage provides me a great opportunity to increase my market share. Many of our past competitors have disappeared throughout the recession, and many of those that remain have downsized or changed their service. By using modern marketing activities like the Internet, belly-to-belly networking, referral programs, etc., we have a great opportunity to set ourselves apart from the majority of our competition and appeal to a large market of savvy purchasers. Follow an ongoing whole-house remodel by MAW Chicago in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park. ForResidentialPros.com/ chicagoproject 2. Browse the product locator. Check out the updated product locator for updated information about companies and their products. ForResidentialPros.com/ directory 3. Watch a video. Rob Heselbarth and Ken Betz discuss this year's Top 500 list, including revenue, listee comments, other statistics and recognition night. ForResidentialPros.com/ 11074867 If you could change one thing about the remodeling industry, what would it be? The stigma that our industry is not professional. It was not many years ago that our industry was considered one of the most professional and prestigious industries, where people desired to be involved. Less than 100 years ago, craftsmen were held in the highest esteem. Today, parents direct their kids to other fields and people look at our industry as second class. I believe we need to do a better job as an industry educating against that stigma. Heck, if my kids could enjoy the life that remodeling affords me — working with my friends each day on exciting projects that fulfill our clients' dreams and getting paid to do it — I couldn't wish for anything more. What is the best advice you've received in your career? Have a personal plan, review it regularly. 4. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter to receive the latest remodeling news, products and more. Cygnus.Omeda.com/QUR 5. Read blogs. Check out our blog section to read about the latest in marketing, remodeling and more. ForResidentialPros.com/blogs

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