The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is an organization that helps raise the professionalism of remodeling contractors. So what does this have to do with homeowners?
NARI holds a competition each year called the CotY Awards, or Contractor of the Year. Winners are chosen in a variety of categories, like Best Residential Kitchen Under $40,000 and Best Residential Bath Under $30,000.
No problem with any of that. In fact, I often suggest to homeowners nervous about having a bad contractor experience that they hire award-winning companies.
I’ve found that the companies who: 1) are members of professional organizations like NARI, 2) enter their projects in competitions and 3) win those competitions are often many steps above other companies.
So here’s the problem: NARI does not make the information on winners easy to access. It does not give us a highly searchable database. And why not? I guarantee you if there was a winner database searchable by area, project type, price and with before and after pictures . . . well, I’d be on that site for hours.
Instead, what we’re offered is a static list of winners announced Jan. 22, 2010 with no hot links to the winners, no pictures, nothing. What a missed opportunity. See what I’m talking about here.
On that page, you’ll find a listing of a 2010 winner that looks like this:
Residential Bath under $30,000
Region 1 Northeast
Dwyer & Leavenworth, Inc.
First of all, what is Region 1? Why not hot link to the company’s website in case I want to check them out? And where is this winning bath? We know the company submitted copious photos to enter the competition and that the judges saw them. Why are we being denied?
The list of past and current winners is even more deadly boring, if that’s possible. See it here.
OK, so maybe there is another location on the website where all the before and after photos are located. I found a digital magazine that lists the 2009 winners and shows one little picture for each winning project. The “magazine” looks like it took a lot of work and talent to layout and produce. But it’s bulky online and has a weird search function. And again, where are the before and after photos! Please, the potential clients want, need, crave, salivate for before and after photos. Again, why hold back?
So this concludes my rant. Again I plea: NARI, give us a user-friendly way to find the winning companies and see the before and after photos of the winning projects. How can I suggest to homeowners that they hire award-winning companies if you make it so difficult to find those companies?
Thank you for listening!