President's Party - January 28

Today is the day!  

Don't forget Miami Valley NARI will be hosting our annual President's Party at the David H. Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College again this year. We will recognize our local Chapter leaders and supporters, the 2010 Local CotY recipients along with the installation of our 2010 Board of Directors. The gala will begin at 5:30 PM and conclude around 9:30 PM. The cost is only $49 per person and includes dinner, entertainment and unlimited networking so bring your crew! If you wish to attend please call us ASAP at (937) 222-6274.


RRP Classes Offered by Chapter
February 8, 2024 and March 15, 2024

The University of Cincinnati will conduct instruction at Miami Valley NARI's two Repair, Renovate and Painting (RRP) classes. EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Final Rule (40 CFR 745) requires that renovations conducted for compensation, must be performed by Certified Firms using Certified Renovators. Renovation firms that wish to work in pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities must apply to EPA and pay a fee in order to become certified. Renovators seeking to become Certified Renovators must successfully complete an EPA-accredited renovator course or a course accredited by an EPA authorized State or Tribe. This course is the EPA model course for Certified Renovators and as such meets all requirements in 40 CFR 745.90. These classes will be conducted at the Miami Valley NARI offices at 136 South Keowee Street in Dayton. The cost for this program is $179.00 for members and $229.00 for non-members. Note class size is limited to 24 students and will be done on a first come, first serve basis. Additional classes will be scheduled as needed to accommodate all members. Register today at or call 1-800-498-NARI and RSVP Today!


Save The Date: February 11, 2024

Joe Ryan with Reliable Electric will be presenting a program on lighting and layout. Reliable Electric is one of the largest and fastest growing full-service electric contractors in Dayton. They excel in residential, commercial, industrial, new construction and remodeling. Since 1942, whether you have a large or small facility, they can fill your needs. Please call 937-222-NARI to RSVP for this event or register online at


Save the Date: February 23, 2024 

Shannon Phillips with Flooring America will be presenting a program on Flooring Design and Installation. Shannon has been in the flooring industry since 1993.  Seven of those years were installing flooring and another seven was in production.  The rest is split up between residential sales and the insurance division. Flooring America is more than just a flooring specialty store. We are experts trained in flooring and design to help you find the perfect floor for the way you live. As part of America's leading flooring retail group, our 500-store nationwide buying power guarantees you low prices on thousands of carpets and floors. Please call 937-222-NARI to RSVP for this event or register online at


Lowe's Offers Business 'Rewards' Card 

American Express and Lowe's Companies have teamed up to offer small-business owners a new "Rewards" credit card that accumulates redeemable points.

The Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express is a new business credit card that enables business owners to earn points on virtually all card purchases. This is the first rewards program offered to Lowe's small-business credit customers.


"Every month, we provide billions of dollars in working capital to small business owners who use our pay-in-full charge cards and our credit cards," said Richard Flynn, senior vice president, product management, American Express OPEN. "Through the Lowe's Business Rewards Card program, we will help business owners manage their spending and provide credit that they can use to run and grow their companies while earning rewards they can reinvest in their businesses."


The new card provides a tiered structure for earning rewards points. Card members earn: 

  • One reward point for every eligible dollar spent on the Card;
  • Double rewards points on every eligible dollar spent at Lowe's; and
  • Triple rewards points on every eligible dollar spent on restaurant purchases, office supplies and wireless bills.

Cardmembers may redeem points for a variety of valuable business credit card rewards, including Lowe's or American Express Gift Cards. There is no cap on the amount of business rewards a Card member can earn, and there is no expiration date to redeem the points. "The Lowe's Business Rewards Card is the latest way our company is adding value for our commercial customers through a unique blend of benefits and rewards," said Larry D. Stone, president and chief operating officer of Lowe's. "Lowe's has always been committed to providing the best customer experience and this new product offers convenience and rewards at a time when business owners need it most."


Additional features of the card include:

  • No annual fee
  • Automatic enrollment in OPEN Savings, a program that gives small-business owners automatic savings virtually every time they use an American Express Business Card to make purchases at any OPEN Savings partner
  • Retail and business-related benefits and protections as well as travel protections.

The Lowe's Business Rewards Card will be available at all Lowe's retail locations by March 2010. To learn more and/or apply, visit: or call 877-673-6947.


Family Event Brings Customers to Showroom

By Morgan Zenner 


Having a showroom is a great sales tool for the products you sell and your company. The downside, however, is the costs associated with building and maintaining a showroom are high. Remodeling companies that open large showrooms are constantly looking for more ways to get people in the door and, hopefully, increase business.


Alure Home Improvements has a 3-floor showroom spanning 8,000 square feet located in East Meadow, N.Y. The showroom is filled with full-sized kitchen, bath, roofing, siding, window and basement displays. The showroom also has a design area with a mixture of cabinet, countertops and fixture samples in all different colors, materials and styles.


To increase the traffic flow of customers, Alure hosted a planning and design show in their huge space. "We've always hosted an event at the showroom during the wintertime because it's a slower time of the year," says Seth Selesnow, director of marketing at Alure.


Previously, the idea was to set up a carnival for families on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when kids have a day off of school. "We did the carnival at the showroom for a little over 10 years, which consisted of us covering up the displays to protect them from the carnival fare," Selesnow says.


The new event combined the family fun theme with accessibility to the displays in an event named the Design & Planning Show. "We shifted to a design show, which used the displays as a place to hold educational seminars while having an area dedicated to the kids, with carnival games and a magician," he says.


The new concept provided the best of both worlds and, the hope is, an interested client base, ready to start work on their homes this spring.


The seminars lasted anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes and were ongoing throughout the day at the top of each hour. "The show had a nice flow-guests came in and either traveled from seminar to seminar or waited for the beginning of a particular seminar to start again," Selesnow says.


Each seminar was hosted by one of Alure's designers, and topics ranged from kitchen, cabinets, home performance and insulation. Green Street LI, a grassroots environmental movement for Long Islanders and a partner of Alure, had its own seminar that focused on environmental topics.


"The goal of the event was to provide the overall customer experience that Alure is known for," Selesnow says. "We wanted to educate the customer on different types of home improvements and educate them on all we do and the quality we provide, start to finish."


The event also was Alure's way of giving back to the community by providing something fun for families to do when it's cold outside.


Selesnow advertised the event on the company's Web site and via e-mail to the company's database. He also bought paid advertisements in the local newspaper and on the radio.


The three-day event brought in 500 new and past clients to the showroom. The event was held Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with most of the families with children attending on Monday when they were off of school.


Selesnow estimates half of the total attendees brought their children, and that is consistent with their client demographic, which depends heavily on job type. "From experience, I know that clients who want basement remodels have kids, but clients with bathroom remodels usually don't have kids," Selesnow says.


The event appealed to both of Alure's target demographics because of the educational aspect. Each client filled out an information card as they walked into the event, which automatically entered them into a raffle drawing to win one of two 50-inch plasma TVs. The winner was announced on the Alure Web site one day after the show.


The cards enabled Selesnow to add attendees to their client database and follow up with those clients that needed more information.


"We also passed around special promotional coupons to all attendees to entice them to remodel this spring," he says.


It's hard to tell just how much business is gained from the event because they have been hosting it for the past 11 years, and it's become a tradition in the Long Island area. But Selesnow has no plans to discontinue the show next year. It's already time to start thinking about next year's show: "We book catering and entertainment almost eight months in advance."

By Mark Richardson  


Chris Edelen, a friend and recent finalist of the 2009 Fred Case Entrepreneur of the Year Award, once said to me, "If a business is not changing, it will become irrelevant." Wow, who wants to become irrelevant? It's worse than being regarded as average or being judged as producing poor-quality work or receiving a low customer satisfaction ranking. Being irrelevant means your business isn't responsive to the marketplace. It's not at the bottom of the list; it's not even on the list.


I agree with Chris that the best prescription to this outcome is to change. But change has many facets, and it rarely helps to change everything at once. So where is the best place to start?

Begin with Clients

In the remodeling business, I think change should begin with your clients. How have they changed and where are they heading? Just a few years ago your clients were confident about what they wanted; their attitude was, "Just do it." More recently, however, homeowners have become very nervous and are influenced less by the facts than by their emotional response to the stories they see in the media.


This nervousness has caused them to stay in holding patterns, unable to decide to go forward. In some cases, it has paralyzed them so that they don't even pick up the phone to call to discuss a remodeling project.


As is the case with a plane, which can only stay in a holding pattern for so long, indecisive homeowners eventually have to make a decision one way or the other.

And a number of factors lead me to think that time is coming. For one thing, I believe Americans are impatient and have short memories. I think they still look to their homes as their greatest asset, regardless of any recent slippage in value or rate of appreciation. I frequently speak to groups of businesspeople, and most of them are still not ready to put their money back into the stock market, but they are willing to invest in their homes. And even though unemployment is high, nine out of 10 Americans are still employed, and Americans are saving at a much greater rate than in the go-go times of five years ago.

New Attitude

The word that keeps resonating for me around these factors and behavior is "resolve." Americans are adopting an attitude of resolve toward the new economic order. They accept it that we may be in these economic conditions for a couple of years, and they are beginning to once again think seriously about the need to tackle remodeling projects, even if those projects may look a little different than they did five years ago. Homeowners understand that they need to keep their home "alive," beginning with routine maintenance and repair, but extending also to updating existing spaces and finishes, and eventually to adding new spaces.

While this "resolve" will not likely open the floodgate of leads, it should fuel some improvement in inquiries. When two-thirds of homes are occupied by people who own them, they will not have a choice but to break from their present "holding pattern" and "land the plane."

Positioning your business to manage this new attitude of "resolve" requires some adjustment to the way you see things. You need to see yourself as the voice of reason for your clients. Your team needs to feel comfortable being a financial adviser, a cheer leader, and a therapist all at the same time. Your sales process should be tailored to competently manage client fear, using words such as "risk," "easy," and "painless process" to help your clients make the transition from nervous noncommittal to confident resolve.

While the better-run, more honest businesses will do especially well under these conditions, most people resist change, and overcoming it is the biggest challenge. None of us has a crystal ball, but the remodeling market tends to behave logically and sensibly. If you stay the course and pace yourself, you will find that you will be able to turn things around.


January 28, 2010






Miami Valley NARI
937.222.NARI (6274) | Fax: 937.222.5794 |
[email protected]