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© Copyright 2009 Work-4 Projects Ltd.
Making Its Mark on Canada

By Stephen Dupuis

We always thought RenoMark should be a provincial, if not national program, but it has been a relatively long time coming. For the first five years of its existence, RenoMark remained a very successful local program.
Spawned in 2001 by the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association’s (now BILD) Marketing and Communications Committee, and our Renovators Council, the program really took hold locally when Joe Valela championed it as part of his 2003 GTHBA presidency.
The Saskatoon HBA saw the efficacy of RenoMark and was on the program before we had developed licence agreements. Our first official franchise was the Calgary Region HBA in late 2006.
In early 2007 the Canadian Home Builders’ Association officially endorsed the RenoMark program. Not long after that, the Ontario HBA endorsed RenoMark and put its money where its mouth was, underwriting a master licence agreement on behalf of all Ontario local HBAs.
At the time this article was written there were 20 local HBAs in five provinces on the RenoMark Web site. By the time you read this issue there should be a couple more in Ontario, and we’re looking for a breakthrough in the Maritimes.
One of the toughest sells for the RenoMark program was the Greater Vancouver HBA. Initially, the GVHBA Renovation Council took a tentative approach with the RenoMark program due to worries over the legalities of the representations of RenoMark.
“The legalities were vetted through the CHBA to our satisfaction. The branding sorted itself out once it was clear that RenoMark was a truly national brand supported by the Board of Directors of the CHBA,” notes former GVHBA president, and current Canadian Renovators Council chair, John Friswell. “We saw that, for a relatively small investment, we had another opportunity to set ourselves apart from our competition, while also benefiting from an additional avenue for promotion.” 

Helping Each Other Grow
It’s a great feeling for a local HBA, like BILD, when you can conceive a program that other locals across the country can see the value of adopting themselves. It’s an even greater feeling to see the value that the participating locals are adding to the program.
Operating a national franchise program like RenoMark is intoxicating, but it’s also quite sobering because we have so many local HBAs that have committed to the program. We want to be a great franchisor, and that’s why we’ve designated Helen Batista as our RenoMark program manager. Batista has worked with our renovators for even longer than she’s handled our membership function, and RenoMark is as much about membership as it is about connecting homeowners with professional renovators.
Perhaps the biggest challenge that every participating local faces is living up to the consumer dimension of RenoMark. We’re telling homeowners right across this country that they should be dealing with RenoMark contractors, and we’re doing a great job of driving leads to those contractors.
Now, more than ever, our professional renovation contractors must live up to their Code of Ethics as well as the RenoMark Code of Conduct. And if they don’t, BILD and the participating locals have to maintain the integrity of the program by enforcing those Codes.
“The RenoMark program is a nationally supported brand that offers renovators from coast-to-coast, the benefit of a strong branding and marketing program,” says Friswell. “With some 20 locals nation-wide, this program is gaining the recognition from the general public that is key to its long term success.”

Stephen Dupuis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Building Industry & Land Development Association.
For more information or to acquire RenoMark status, please contact your local HBA or visit www.renomark.ca.


The RenoMark Code of Conduct

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