NARI: When the Dust Settles, We Will Feel It

authors Doug King | February 10, 2021

A lot of articles have been written about what to do to survive and maintain our remodeling businesses during this pandemic. I’m going to take a different approach this month. I want to approach this column less from the left side of our brains, which tends to be analytical and logical. Instead, I’d like to explore the right hemisphere and appeal to your more creative instincts.

Nearly all businesses that serve the home remodeling industry have prospered this year. Most remodelers have experienced a record number of sales, unless you are unlucky enough to work in one of several states that had stricter shutdown protocols.

But for most remodelers, the last six months of 2020 were very strong. This surge in sales has, in many cases, pushed our companies to their limits for dealing with this huge, totally unexpected influx of new business. But if remodelers are anything, they are flexible and able to quickly react to market changes. As a group, we’ve done pretty well this past year.

Business Aside, We Are in a Rough Patch

Many of our friends, family members and neighbors who work in the service sector have suffered greatly since the pandemic began last March. Many have suffered. Aside from COVID-19 deaths, our society is dealing with growing problems in other areas. Drug overdoses are at record levels. Divorces and suicides are at all-time highs. Alcohol and other drugs continue to take their grim toll. This past year was vastly different for a large portion of our society.

Visiting with relatives has been diminished, especially for the elders of our tribes. Office parties are rare. Neighborhood and other social events are not occurring. Indeed, emotions are running high. For children, already stressed with a weird type of schooling environment, there is a high degree of social isolation. Maybe their parents lost their jobs last year and remain on the hunt for work. There was a recent statistic that 1 in 7 Americans are struggling to keep food on the table.

Remodelers, let’s be thankful for our many blessings we experienced last year into 2021. Let’s be grateful we were able to keep working when many others could not. Let’s be thankful we have revenues, even better than seen in recent years. Let’s be thankful we have dedicated employees who wanted to keep working and were willing to work even harder.

Pay It Forward

Let’s harness all of the gratitude we should be feeling and pay it forward. If you are able and feel safe doing so, go out and eat at a local restaurant three or four times per month and be sure to tip your server well.

Use a food delivery service and tip all the parties involved. Get your car washed, oil changed and service work done a little sooner than you might need to at a locally owned small-business establishment. And even though you may only wear a certain suit or dress once or twice a year, take it to your local dry cleaners anyway. There’s no telling how many folks you might make happy by doing this.

Buy a new pair of shoes, a new shirt or a sign or banner for your business from your local entrepreneur. Donate clothing or cold hard cash to your favorite local charity to helps families in need. Send flowers from a local florist to your spouse, to a client or to anyone in your town who might need a little “perking up.” Of course, take precautions and do not take unnecessary risks in anything you decide to do. My message is simply to spend some of that thankfulness locally and help your neighbors.

‘Corona Shock’ Is Real

When we look back to this time, say three to five years from now, only then will the reality of what we are experiencing at this time be fully comprehended. The memory will resound loudly, and it will pull on our heart strings perhaps even more so than it does now.

Simply put, we are all in “corona shock” right now. It’s been this way for nearly a year. For most of us in the remodeling business, we’ve also been lucky to have been so busy throughout this time. I am certain that it has helped us cope from a mental-health standpoint.

Indeed, we are very lucky because we’ve been so consumed with reacting to and handling the surge in business that we have not had much time to reflect. We haven’t had a spare moment to experience the negative thinking and the outright devastation that many families and individuals have experienced throughout this pandemic.

Through being a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), I know that our industry is full of caring and big-hearted folks, just like you. I feel honored and privileged every single day to not only be a member of NARI, but to also be a part of our industry and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the professionals who make the remodeling industry so vibrant and innovative.

I will leave you with a quote from author and addiction recovery specialist Melody Beattie: “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” QR

Doug King, CR, is president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and owner of King Contracting, Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.

2 responses to “NARI: When the Dust Settles, We Will Feel It”

  1. Doug, this is an excellent reminder and perspective. Thank you for taking us in this direction, even if just for the few moments it takes to read this. And thanks to QR for giving you the space and audience.

  2. Nice read Doug. Thanks for what you do. A few contractors have shared with me their being a bit uncomfortable with taking a second PPP Loan considering the strength of the remodeling economy. I suggest businesses still take it if qualified, as we do not know what the future might bring regarding this virus, or the next one, or those certain locations/leaders still preventing businesses from opening back up. I have also suggested that if they ultimately find it to be money they really didn’t need they could help redistribute it to people and businesses that really do needed it, like for example restaurants and others in the service industry. My thought is that if the politicians can’t or won’t figure out how to help those really in needed, remodelers can. You could also use the money to go help a family in needed of your remodeling/repair services to protect and improve their lives after suffering due to the virus and its residual effects. And, thanks to QR for publishing your thoughts Doug!

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