The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
For Dianne Beaton of 2DiFore Marketing Solutions in Manchester, N.H., earning NAHB professional designations wasn’t simply a way to add a few sets of initials next to her name — it was a deliberate path she took to learn more about the industry so she could help her builder and remodeler clients better meet the needs of their customers.
“I wanted to show my clients that I am fully committed to this industry,” Beaton said. “The more I know, the better I can serve them.”
Beaton, who has more than 25 years experience in business management, customer care, event management and marketing, earned her Certified Graduate Associate (CGA) designation in 2004. Three years later, she became a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). She firmly believes both designations have boosted her personally and professionally.
“Getting my CGA was a stepping stone for me,” Beaton said. “As an associate member and a newcomer to the industry, it helped me better understand this industry from the builder’s perspective.”
“In turn, it taught me how to connect with builders and be seen as a true partner who can help them achieve their goals,” she added.
The CAPS designation proved to be just as valuable, enabling Beaton to better understand aging-in-place remodeling design and marketing.
“In addition to giving me in-depth knowledge, the CAPS classes taught me the language of aging-in-place and how to better converse with my clients and help them communicate its value to their customers,” Beaton said. “It’s a tough market these days, but becoming a CAPS has opened new doors for me.”
Beaton said the recognition that came from holding a CAPS designation and her long association with NAHB Remodelers helped bolster her reputation among builders and remodelers in the Manchester area. It also gave her the confidence to launch her own marketing company three years ago.
“Before I opened my business, I already had a number of customers waiting in line for me,” Beaton said. “This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn't earned my CAPS designation. It definitely gave me an edge over my competition.”
Beaton’s company provides marketing strategies — including branding, positioning, promotion and lead generation. She also offers services such as database marketing, website design and hosting, creating direct mail and email campaigns, customer service training and client surveys and polls.
“I enable remodelers and builders to define who they are, talk about the services they provide and differentiate themselves from their competitors,” Beaton said. “I try to help them promote their business so that the right people know who they are and what they do.”
“It’s all about pursuing every avenue possible to increase their business,” she said.
That includes helping several of her small and midsize remodeler clients with the intricacies of search engine optimization and social media marketing.
“Many remodelers may not be as familiar with new-age marketing, like social media. Frankly, they don’t have time to learn about it,” Beaton said. “Obviously, things are changing rapidly in this industry, and they need someone who understands emerging trends.”
With the country’s shifting demographics and with new-home construction lagging, aging-in-place remodeling has emerged as a highly profitable business for many remodelers and builders. However, Beaton believes that having a CAPS designation separates the best from the rest.
“That’s a big reason why I became a CAPS,” Beaton said. “It communicates that I understand the aging-in-place market, and I want to pass on my knowledge to my clients and help them be successful.”
Beaton is not content to rest on her designations, however. She plans to earn more NAHB designations and recommends that housing professionals consider earning more than one as well.
“Today, it’s more important than ever to diversify,” said Beaton, who plans to earn the Certified New Home Sales Professional (CSP) designation next. “Holding more than one designation is a terrific way to show your wide range of experience.”
For information about achieving an NAHB educational designation, email Jeff Jenkins, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8435.