For [Mark Elia], this was proof that embracing green remodeling, and energy efficiency in particular, had been a good move. The new certification would qualify him or any member of his team to conduct these assessments and make recommendations for upgrades in the state of New Jersey. Typically those recommendations include better windows, more insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters, as well as air sealing.
NA HB R EMODELER OF THE MONTH Evolving and Adapting with the Times Community service projects, on-time guarantees and energy audits keep company moving forward By Pa t r i c k L . O ’ To o l e n a late June afternoon alone to operate a separate division of trimmed its gross margins to lock up backs up its job schedules with a $500 O amidst one of the worst economic downturns in his firm. The transition to energy quality projects. In some cases this meant allowing customers to buy their per day on-time guarantee. In two and a half years of offering the guar- the country’s history, Mark Elia, efficiency stands in contrast to cabinets directly from his source. antee, the company has only had to CGR, CGP, of Mark of Excellence his business as it existed only 18 “They know we are the best write one check. Remodeling in West Long Branch, months prior. Back then, Mark of company for the job,” says Elia. “They “From the get-go, we have always N.J., brims with optimism. He is on Excellence, like a lot of remodeling like our process. But people are look- prided ourselves on being different, his way back from three days of train- companies, was still experiencing a ing for deals. It is a buyers’ market. So and one of the hot buttons with clients ing with the Building Performance high level of activity related to big- we are passing any discounts we get was that contractors and remodelers Institute to become a certified energy ger projects. His average ticket was from that vendor onto our clients.” never finish on time,” says Elia. “We auditor. That same morning, much about $80,000. Today it stands at The company has also expanded started that program with a $100 per to Elia’s delight, the New Jersey Clean $50,000. its service territory to portions of two day penalty. I later concluded it was Energy program announced increased Elia has had to impose some neighboring counties in order to act not enough money to give clients real incentives to help homeowners pay for tough changes to his full-service on leads it was generating from local assurance. That is when we came up energy-performance retrofits. remodeling firm. The company has a home shows. “In this market, we treat with $500 per day, which we display For Elia, this was proof that staff of seven, including himself, down every lead like gold.” prominently on our Web page.” embracing green remodeling, and from 13 last year. Lacking a recep- Despite these recent changes, Elia Elia says the impact of the unique, energy efficiency in particular, had tionist, inbound phone calls are now has remained consistent in a number on-time guarantee has been difficult been a good move. The new certi- routed directly to mobile phones. “It’s of important ways. Each year the to measure. The company generates fication would qualify him or any one of the sacrifices that we’ve had to company has held a day-long yard sale about 80 percent of its business from member of his team to conduct these make, but every call gets a live voice,” of remodeling products from local referrals, but the reasons for the refer- assessments and make recommenda- says Elia, who started his company vendors. In 2008, the event raised rals
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