Award programs worth time and effort

February 27, 2013

This past summer, staff members of Professional Remodeler convened in a conference room on the outskirts of Chicago to review this year’s Design Awards.

Sorting through a few hundred entries over the course of a day and a half is a Herculean effort to say the least. So we enlisted the help of our remodeling friends: Gino Benvenuti, owner, Benvenuti & Stein; Craig Durosko, founder and chairman, Sun Design; Tom Kelly, owner, the Neill Kelly Co.; and Michael Klement, principal, Architectural Resource Inc.

Having been involved in numerous awards programs over the years, I can assure you that the judging process is very difficult.

With all award programs, a bevy of criteria must be met for a submittal to even make it past the first round of judging. As you can imagine in the subsequent rounds, the judge’s eyes become even more critical of the project. As the best projects are finally identified, everyone involved in the judging process is comfortable they’ve selected only the best of the best projects for the specific categories.

Which brings me to a question I have been asked by remodelers, contractors, engineers, and architects: Is it worth the time and effort to submit a project for an award program?

By all means, the answer is a resounding “yes.” From a marketing standpoint, the benefits of having a winning project are invaluable. Existing and potential clients can view an award winning plaque on the wall when they enter your office; the recognition can be profiled on your website and social media, complete with links to a project profile and pictures; and finally the benefits of a grassroots effort through word of mouth by you and your employees are a source of endless promotion of your work.

Furthermore, being recognized for an industry award instills confidence and credibility in you and your business. Ultimately, the award-winning projects completed by your firm could have a trickle-down effect to your bottom line.

So the next time you are on the fence about entering a project or two in an awards program, be sure to take the time and effort to submit an effective application. In his column, Craig Durosko offers some very helpful tips to help your awards program entry. Be sure to check “Are you entering Design Contests?” on page 12.

On another note, I wanted to thank NARI for inviting me to facilitate the panel “Achieve the Competitive Advantage: Collaboration, Solutions, and Profitability” at the association’s Fall 2012 Business Meeting in Madison, Wis.

The session, which was part of the Remodeling and Home Technologies Council, was a cross-industry panel and included interior designer Cheri Ware of Ware Design, remodeler Chris Wright, WrightWorks, and electrical systems contractor Todd Fuzzey, CS Media.

Taking place in front of a packed room, the panelists offered tips for developing partnerships, suggestions for increasing cross-industry expertise, and guidelines for building a successful team.

Overall, the session’s attendees walked away with a better understanding of the stipulations that are necessary to create a successful building team. In the long run, it is these types of cross-industry relationships that will keep your remodeling business successful.  PR

Tim Gregorski is the former editor-in-chief of Professional Remodeler. He joined PR in 2012 and was editor until late 2014. He has more than 15 years of B2B editorial experience in the highway and bridge, transportation management, water and wastewater, concrete construction, and AEC industries.