You can't put a dollar value on such networking, Varian says, and it's hard to explain to a new person just starting in the business. Varian relates he was president of the Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA) in 2005 but before that he served on a lot of committees and met a lot of people, he says.
NA HB R EMODELER OF THE MONTH A Bill of Rights — Not a Bill of Goods Florida remodeler is upfront with potential clients about what they have a right to expect By K e n ne t h W. B e t z customer bill of rights sional and community groups and such jobs. Or referrals came from A is one of the elements of William J. Varian’s pre- sentation to new clients, learning from that association. He modestly admits that the bill of rights idea wasn’t exclusively his. subcontractors with whom he had worked and who knew what sort of work he did. but it’s more than just another Rather, it came out of the National “When they couldn’t do it, handout buried in a sheaf of mate- Association of Home Builders they called me,” he says. rial left with a potential customer. (NAHB) 20 Club of which he was You can’t put a dollar value For Varian, CGR, CAPS, CGP a member. Varian wisely embraced on such networking, Varian says, and president of Wm. J. Varian the idea and ran with it. and it’s hard to explain to a new Construction Co., Inc., in Naples, He relates that when he first person just starting in the business. Fla., the bill of rights “opens up started in the business, he attended Varian relates he was president another avenue of conversation” local home builders’ association of the Collier Building Industry with the homeowner about the ser- (HBA) meetings because he felt it Association (CBIA) in 2005 but vices his company can provide. It was important to meet people in before that he served on a lot also serves to differentiate his firm the industry. He was impressed by of committees and met a lot of from the competition, he says. how involved and knowledgeable people, he says. Varian notes that even though some of those people were. Years “It [getting referrals] didn’t William J. Varian, CGR, CAPS, CGP a lot of his business comes from later, Varian is one of the people happen overnight. I didn’t get referrals, that doesn’t mean he others look to for advice and work the first day I became a doesn’t have competition. The bill industry insight. member; it took years,” he says. tive clients about permitting and of rights helps set him apart. Varian says he realized a few In addition to association mem- how and what is done, he explains. “I don’t like to be the low bid- years ago that nearly 60 percent of bership, Varian also has been active One of Varian’s passions is his der on any project. I like to sell my his business resulted from his affili- in construction-related county involvement with a summer leader- services, and this [the bill of rights] ation with the HBA. However, it government positions. He cur- ship camp for high school students is part of that,” he says. wasn’t coming from homeowners rently serves on the Collier County run by the Florida Home Builders Aside from being a market- who called the front desk at the Development Services Advisory Foundation. ing tool, the bill of rights also association looking for a contrac
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