What CGR, CAPS Designations Mean to My Business
As part of National Designation Month, Nation’s Building News talked with Alan Hanbury, Jr., CGR, CAPS, the president and CEO of the House of Hanbury in Newington, Conn. about the value of his professional designations.
A remodeler and contractor, Hanbury served on the NAHB Education Central Task Force that led to The NAHB University of Housing. He has chaired the NAHB board of education and served on the CAPS board of governors.
What designations do you hold?
Have you ever won a customer or a job because of your NAHB designation?
Although it is doubtless I have, no one has ever said it was because of the CGR. But I have won customers because of CAPS a few times, now.
With CGR, they ask what it means. It is in our advertising, job signs, Yellow pages, business cards etc. — and we brag that we have three CGRs on staff, a fairly large percentage of the entire Connecticut state list of CGRs.
How has your designation tangibly benefited your career?
In several ways. When I was taking the classes back in the late '80s, I met some people from Rhode Island and Massachusetts and, to this day, we speak for a while when we meet at conventions and educational venues.
These people give me the pulse of the "area" and have openly shared some documents they use, some pricing strategies that they have employed and products to avoid.
When teaching, which I started in 1993, I get similar feedback and additional input into every subject I teach, filling in holes in the official workbooks.
The conversations during breaks and overnights when the classes are held back to back are priceless. The DesignBuild course saved us during the depression years of the early '90s, as well as some forms and contracts that my classmates openly shared with me.
How have you promoted designations among your peers? Your home builders association?
Whenever we give our names, we use our designations — almost always, anyway. We were instrumental in bringing the old GBI program (the forerunner of CGR, CGB, etc.) to the Home Builders Association of Hartford County in 1993.
I offered to be an instructor, at fees that were not "profitable" to make the program viable for 10 years.
I always ask, “Why not?” for those who ask, “Why?”
Why should consumers ask for designations from their builders?
It is just one more reason to believe that they are dealing with a professional who is interested in being the best he can be and around for the long run.
Why did you choose to pursue a designation through NAHB?
It was the only game in town — and it fortunately was designed with my needs in mind.