NARI MN Membership Frequently Asked Questions
Who attends NARI of MN events?
Anyone who is employed by a company belonging to NARI may attend NARI events. There is no limit to how many people from a company can attend. In fact, it is often very strategic to send multiple individuals within a firm to our programs and offerings. When a business joins our organization, the company is the member, not any one individual.
How do I register for events?
Registrations are easily done through the NARI of MN website (www.narimn.org). Members have the ability to pay with a credit card and a receipt is delivered to their email address. Register more than one person—or register for more than one event—all in a few simple mouse clicks.
How is a Firm Night different from a Monthly Meeting?
Firm Nights, like our regular monthly dinner meetings, take place on the second Tuesday of the month. (Mark your calendar for the full year now!) Monthly Meetings are held in Suite 185 at International Market Square and occur six times a year. Firm Nights are hosted in NARI member showrooms and take place quarterly, four times each year. A Monthly Meeting features an hour long educational component which typically includes one Continuing Education Credit for contractor license renewal with the MN Department of Labor and Industry. Firm Nights are a great place to network and feature an educational or entertainment component that is equal to or greater than our monthly dinner meetings at IMS. Both are well attended events that remain popular offerings of our association. Join us—you won’t regret it!
How do my colleagues and I make the best use of our membership?
The following are a few ideas to make the best use of the benefits of NARI of MN:
What is a Roundtable and how do I join one?
Roundtables are peer to peer learning circles and a complimentary benefit of NARI MN membership. They typically meet once a month, often over the lunch hour, and provide members a chance to share best practices and discuss trends with other members in a close and comfortable setting. Roundtables opportunities exist for contractor members and associate members. No other NARI chapter in the country has Roundtables, and they remain a unique and popular offering of NARI of MN. Contact the office at 612.332.6274 for information on joining a Roundtable.
I’ve heard a lot about COTY. What is it?
COTY is an acronym for our annual Contractor of the Year Awards competition. In 2011 there were 23 categories a contractor could enter. These categories included bathroom and kitchen remodels, additions, interior and exterior projects, whole house remodels, universal design, sustainable remodeling and more. From larger companies to more modest companies, everyone has a chance to win this competition. More importantly, COTY is a low cost marketing opportunity exclusively for members of NARI. Simply entering the competition will provide a wealth of knowledge for you and your colleagues. It will also allow you to think and speak about your projects in a new light and with greater fluidity. The award winners are unveiled at a spectacular gala event in mid November; the premier industry event of the year.
COTY entries go on sale each June and are available in the NARI office. Get in the habit of taking plenty of before and after photos of your work. Let’s see your projects on display in the next competition!
Who attends Member Orientation?
Our orientation breakfast program is suitable for both new and existing members. Companies attend to learn how to best take advantage of the opportunities that come with NARI membership. Orientation is a quarterly program held at no cost to members, featuring coffee and refreshments. Register online and join us for the next program!
Are members allowed access to the email list of all NARI members?
No, access to our email database is not allowed since email addresses of NARI members are not shared or sold in our organization. However, members are allowed access to a mailing list for appropriate industry mailings, and they are also welcome to submit industry-related announcements to be included at no charge in the bi-weekly electronic newsletter (E-news). Appropriate announcements include job postings, grand openings, training seminars, new product lines, staff announcements, and industry items for sale. Take advantage of our communication channels and use your membership benefits today!
Can I provide content for the quarterly print newsletter?
Yes, members are encouraged to submit content for the newsletter. Articles must be educational in nature and free of commercial bias. Content is subject to editing. With a diverse membership and expertise in many areas, members who write articles can gain valuable exposure and help keep fellow members up to date on trends and new ideas.
How is NARI MN different from NARI National? Do I automatically belong to both?
The NARI National office is located outside of Chicago, IL and oversees broad organizational initiatives including lobbying efforts. Our local chapter office is located in Minneapolis and focuses specifically on this market, providing events, news, and programs for direct member benefit. When your company joins the local chapter, it is automatically a part of the national organization as well. A portion of your dues paid to the local chapter are annually submitted to the national organization on your behalf. NARI of MN works closely with NARI National with the main focus of providing benefits to members in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
What is the difference between the chapter website and the national website?
The chapter website www.narimn.org contains logos, communications, a member directory, and a means to register for local events, among other features. The national website www.nari.org contains logos, a national member directory, and a multitude of helpful articles, podcasts, and webinars for member education. Members can also get information about and sign up for certification classes and learn about NARI’s governmental efforts to sustain and promote the industry in Washington DC. Both websites are helpful to members in different ways and are fantastic resources to members.
I know a company who is interested in joining NARI of MN. What should I do?
That’s great news—because it’s up to all of us to develop and grow our community in order for everyone to prosper! If the potential member has never been to a Monthly Dinner Meeting or a Firm Night, they can attend one event for free to experience our organization. Simply contact the NARI of MN office in order to register for the catered event. When the prospect arrives at the meeting, help by showing them around and introducing them to other members. After the meeting give them a call and encourage them to submit their application materials to the NARI of MN office. The NARI staff will do the same, but as a fellow peer, you play a special role in helping grow the association. Once new members join, you can enjoy seeing them at events all through the year as both of you expand your connections and knowledge base.
Who can I contact if I have further questions or feedback on membership?
Members and prospective members are welcome to call the office and talk to the NARI of MN staff with questions or feedback. All staff members are well versed in the association and will either answer your question or find out the answer and get back to you. Another helpful way to gain information quickly about the association is to attend a Member Orientation Breakfast.
What is the ACE Award?
The Achievement in Consumer Excellence is a consumer-rated award program that recognizes NARI MN members who provide exemplary service. Consumers who have worked directly with NARI professionals rate their provider in five areas: quality, responsiveness, meeting deadlines, professionalism, and communication. The ACE Award recognizes those who receive an average score of 4 (out of a possible 5) on these criteria. All members who provide products or services to consumers are eligible. Member companies of all types and sizes can be recognized as ACE Award recipients based on consumer evaluations of their work.
What is the Legal Toolkit?
The Legal Toolkit is a series of contract templates that represents the bulk buying power of your membership. The Toolkit can be customized for your business and includes a sample contract, payment schedules, owner's duties, a scope for work, and more. Having well written contracts is essential to running a successful remodeling company. The contract protects your company and spells out to your clients the specific work you will perform. It has been updated to include recent laws that became effective in August 2010 and January 2011. Members who wish to review the Legal Toolkit before purchase may see a sample copy in the NARI MN office.
Can I expect a lot of new business leads when I join NARI of MN?
While some members develop leads from their NARI membership, lead generation is not a primary objective of membership. A trade association is designed to help members grow as professionals and develop their professional networks. All members enjoy the benefits of increased credibility, consumer awareness, and access to people and information that creates business prosperity.
How does NARI of MN help member companies with consumer awareness?
Consumer awareness initiatives work best when the member and the association each play their respective roles. NARI MN positions members for success by creating programs and services that help members showcase their companies. For example, the ACE Award and the Contractor of the Year Awards allow members to market their companies and craftsmanship. Our organization also engages in various consumer awareness initiatives such as print advertising, mass transit advertising and underwriting on public radio to draw attention to our community of professionals. Our goal is to encourage the remodel-ready consumer to use a professional for his or her next construction project.
These efforts are most successful when NARI MN members also play a lively role in the process. This includes using the logo on all company materials and actively describing why their company chooses to participate in a professional trade society. Let’s all take the appropriate steps to build consumer awareness and elevate the industry together!