Embracing Innovation through NARI Accreditation
Leo Lantz takes pride in being able to recognize new and innovative ideas to drive success for his business. Embracing innovation has allowed Lantz to grow his company, Leo Lantz Construction, Inc., headquartered in Glen Allen, VA, into a respected local design-build remodeling business which takes on 50 to 80 projects annually with an average price tag of $35,000 each.
Adopting new ideas and a customer-focused approach help Lantz’ team deliver a seamless and pleasant experience for all of his clients. “My philosophy is to provide exceptional communication with our clients,” he says. This dedication to his clients has been recognized frequently. Leo Lantz Construction, Inc. has received the Customer Service Excellence Award and GuildMaster Award from Guild Quality. He has also been voted Richmond’s Best Remodeling Company for 2015 and 2016 by the Readers of the Richmond Times Dispatch, and recognized by the NARI Peter H. Johnson Image Award and Contractor of the Year (CotY) award, and the Home Building Association of Richmond Remodeling Excellence Awards.
Lantz’ impressive accolades have not made him complacent, however. He is still on the hunt for the next best way to improve his business and show his clients that they are entrusting their projects to consummate professionals capable of delivering the highest quality work.
With this eye on innovation, Lantz immediately recognized NARI’s Accredited Remodeling Company program as a significant opportunity to make a positive impact, not only on his business, but on the industry as a whole. “I always analyze every product or service and look at the big picture, so I understood the power of accreditation and its potential to improve our industry and our image to our clients,” Lantz says. He didn’t waste any time getting involved in the program and Leo Lantz Construction, Inc. officially achieved NARI Accreditation in August of 2017.
Lantz instantly understood the tremendous marketing value of NARI Accreditation. “I looked at it from the standpoint that you have all of these online companies like Angie’s List and Home Advisor, which are great, but they also give visibility to any and every company. NARI Accreditation helps me to differentiate my business as having been thoroughly vetted by my industry association through an independent, unbiased accreditation board,” he says.
Streamline, Standardize and Save Time and Money
Lantz also viewed NARI Accreditation as “an opportunity to assess what holes we may have had operationally and fill them in.” The accreditation process took Lantz and his team approximately three months to complete and he laughs that, “it was like a business endoscopy,” in looking through all the internal workings of their sales and hiring processes, financials, and company structure. He underscores that, “Any company, as it grows, needs to implement standardized processes to survive and if you don’t have these processes in place, your business will take over your life and its growth will be stunted.”
As Lantz originally recognized, the accreditation process had a significant operational impact on his business. In preparation for accreditation Lantz implemented a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system which has “substantially improved our lead management process and allows us to request estimates from vendors and set scheduling and project parameters. It has really saved us a significant amount of time.”
The NARI Accreditation program also requires candidates for accreditation to have well-documented processes and policies, which has proven immensely helpful to Lantz. “The accreditation process forced me to get everything in writing. We’re very busy so having everything as easily referenceable now helps with the new employee onboarding process and allows them to absorb the information more easily,” he says.
The processes implemented in preparation for accreditation have also allowed Lantz more freedom in running his business. Now he has more time to focus on the big picture. “We’re small so the new processes we put together as part of accreditation allow me to delegate more of the day-to-day work to my team so I don’t have to be there all the time and can focus on growing the business.”
While Lantz immediately put up the NARI Accredited Remodeling Company Logo next to his company’s logo on the company website and even placed the decal on his company vehicles, he cautions, “It’s not just a matter of slapping a logo on your website and expecting clients to start flocking to you.” It’s certainly not what he expected, so he works to make sure his clients and potential clients are aware of what his company’s accreditation means for their projects by building it into his sales presentation. “I actively use it as a selling point to my clients to demonstrate to them that they are working with a quality contractor that has gone above and beyond most of the contractors they see online,” he says with pride.
And the reception has been positive, Lantz notes, “Once I explain what accreditation is to the client and how thorough the process is, they are very impressed.”
Opportunity for Improvement
Having reaped the rewards of NARI Accreditation, Lantz also knows it can seem like a daunting task initially but advises companies considering accreditation to view it as an opportunity for improvement. “Don’t let the accreditation process overwhelm you. This is about a strategic plan, not a quick fix. It’s about filling gaps in your business that will help you in the long run.”
Questions about the NARI Accredited Remodeling Company program?
Contact Plamena Todorova, Education Manager
| 6/14/2018 12:00:00 AM