A Bill of Rights - Not a Bill of Goods by ProQuest

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									 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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