EDUCATIONAL COURSES

We offer numerous training programs, certifications and educational courses developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Please visit our calendar page for additional course offerings. The following is a listing of the Training Programs and Certifications that we offer:

AGING IN PLACE COURSES:

As our population grows older, it is our responsibility to meet the needs and wants of this critical market segment.  

Marketing & Communication Strategies for Aging & Accessibility (CAPS I)

Millions of Americans are living longer and more active lives. And with their changing lifestyles, maturing Americans are also looking to revitalize their home environments. Identifying these opportunities and developing the skills to interact with 50+ customers can help you grow your business dramatically. Learn best practices in communicating and interacting with this exciting and evolving population, and take advantage of one of the fastest growing market segments in remodeling and related industries. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain the three segments within the Aging in Place market that present business opportunities for building professionals 
• Implement a process for promoting new opportunities for products and services in the Aging in Place market 
• Enhance your sales process with effective techniques for the Aging in Place market

Design/Build Solutions for Aging and Accessibility (CAPS II)

The maturing of the U.S. Baby Boomer population is a huge opportunity for remodelers. As this consumer group expands, more and more are interested in remodeling their home to fit their new lifestyle and abilities. This Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) course will help you understand the guidelines and requirements of accessibility, the importance of doing an assessment with input from occupational and physical therapists as well as qualified health care professionals, and the significance of good design in making modifications that can transform a house into a safe, attractive, and comfortable home for life. As a graduate of this course, you'll be able to: 
• Describe the home ownership market as it relates to the three segments of the Aging in Place market 
• Consider contractual and legal concerns for building professionals providing design solutions to the Aging in Place client 
• Perform a needs assessment to identify and prioritize the needs, wants and wishes of the Aging in Place client 
• Recommend specific design solutions for the Aging in Place client 
• Estimate and schedule the Aging in Place project while regarding special considerations 
• Identify considerations for executing the job while the client is in residence

Business Management for Building Professionals

Learn the management skills that give industry leaders the edge. This course will give you a solid foundation in those best business practices so valuable to smaller businesses: planning, organizing, staffing/directing and controlling. By using case studies and sample forms, your instructors give you practical and applicable tools for management success. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Discuss common business challenges and learn practical tips and tools to overcome them 
• Explain the three basic functional areas within a company 
• List the five main tools used to improve a business 
• Apply each of the five Ps to the three functional areas of the business 
• Identify methods of recruiting, interviewing, training, and retaining quality personnel 
• Apply the key measures of business performance to your own business

Universal Design/Build

This two-day course focuses on integrated home design features and product specifications that account for client differences due to circumstance, physical characteristics, health issues and aging. Universal Design/Build expands on the previous CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) courses by changing the focus from specific modifications to meet the needs of one person to the successful integration of Universal Design (UD) into all residential construction projects. The course curriculum aims to improve the skills in many professions, including building, design and social and health services. The creative design concepts and practices presented in this course will enable industry professionals to produce marketable projects that support the changing needs of clients over their lifetimes. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Describe the significance of integrating UD concepts in residential construction 
• Distinguish between accessibility solutions and UD solutions 
• Describe ways that design can be both functional and attractive 
• Identify and implement solutions for simple and complex scenarios that address various household compositions, budgets and changing needs of clients 
• Use effective marketing and communication strategies throughout the process 
• Locate resources, products, materials and services While CAPS I and CAPS II are not prerequisites for this course, it is helpful if students have taken the courses sequentially.

GREEN BUILDING COURSES:

What can be said about green building, by any name it is the responsible way to build and remodel.

Green Building for Building Professionals

Implementing cost-effective green building into your construction practices begins with up-front planning that examines the whole house and the building science behind it. In this two-day course, you will learn how to apply the ANSI-approved National Green Building Standard™ in the construction of a new home, remodel, site development or multifamily project. With a focus on flexibility and a sound knowledge base, the course provides the tools for a successful green project. As a graduate of this course, you will learn: 
• How to integrate sound building science principles into design decisions and the materials selection process. 
• How to incorporate the ANSI-approved National Green Building Standard 
• Examine specific best green building practices in each chapter of the National Green Building Standard 
• How to evaluate and sell in the growing green marketplace

Advanced Green Building: Building Science

This two-day course instructs builders and remodelers on proper building science techniques for constructing and remodeling high-performance homes. The high-performance ideal encompasses more than just energy efficiency—it’s about potentially creating a more durable, environmentally responsible and sustainable living environment. By using case studies, detailed construction drawings and other resources found on GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, NAHB and BuildingGreen, LLC have developed this course to provide builders and remodelers with the highest-level information available. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Apply building physics to building performance 
• Translate building science into elements of design and construction 
• Dovetail all features of high performance: energy efficiency, water efficiency, materials efficiency and indoor environmental quality 
• Describe the high-performance home and its benefits to both your team and your clients 
• Use all aspects of GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, including “My GBA,” the site’s project management tool, on individual projects and with your project team

Advanced Green Building: Project Management

This two-day course teaches builders and remodelers how to successfully integrate green building-related tasks and the green home certification process into their project management to create an effective, streamlined process. Using the whole-house approach to building, this course identifies important documents and methods of communication in order to clarify who does what and when. By completing this course, the participant will be able to: 
• Integrate green tasks into project management for a collaborative and more efficient approach toward meeting green standards 
• Develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of the National Green Building Standard™ and describe the green home certification process 
• Discuss ways to limit the potential liabilities of green building 
• Increase the project’s bottom line through streamlined management practices 
• Improve marketing strategies for selling green

REMODELING COURSES:

The largest segment of the home builing industry is remodeling.  Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out, the information offered in these courses is invaluable.

Marketing & Communication Strategies for Aging & Accessibility (CAPS I)

Millions of Americans are living longer and more active lives. And with their changing lifestyles, maturing Americans are also looking to revitalize their home environments. Identifying these opportunities and developing the skills to interact with 50+ customers can help you grow your business dramatically. Learn best practices in communicating and interacting with this exciting and evolving population, and take advantage of one of the fastest growing market segments in remodeling and related industries. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain the three segments within the Aging in Place market that present business opportunities for building professionals 
• Implement a process for promoting new opportunities for products and services in the Aging in Place market 
• Enhance your sales process with effective techniques for the Aging in Place market

Design/Build Solutions for Aging and Accessibility (CAPS II)

The maturing of the U.S. Baby Boomer population is a huge opportunity for remodelers. As this consumer group expands, more and more are interested in remodeling their home to fit their new lifestyle and abilities. This Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) course will help you understand the guidelines and requirements of accessibility, the importance of doing an assessment with input from occupational and physical therapists as well as qualified health care professionals, and the significance of good design in making modifications that can transform a house into a safe, attractive, and comfortable home for life. As a graduate of this course, you'll be able to: 
• Describe the home ownership market as it relates to the three segments of the Aging in Place market 
• Consider contractual and legal concerns for building professionals providing design solutions to the Aging in Place client 
• Perform a needs assessment to identify and prioritize the needs, wants and wishes of the Aging in Place client 
• Recommend specific design solutions for the Aging in Place client 
• Estimate and schedule the Aging in Place project while regarding special considerations 
• Identify considerations for executing the job while the client is in residence

Business Management for Building Professionals

Learn the management skills that give industry leaders the edge. This course will give you a solid foundation in those best business practices so valuable to smaller businesses: planning, organizing, staffing/directing and controlling. By using case studies and sample forms, your instructors give you practical and applicable tools for management success. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Discuss common business challenges and learn practical tips and tools to overcome them 
• Explain the three basic functional areas within a company 
• List the five main tools used to improve a business 
• Apply each of the five Ps to the three functional areas of the business 
• Identify methods of recruiting, interviewing, training, and retaining quality personnel 
• Apply the key measures of business performance to your own business

Universal Design/Build

This two-day course focuses on integrated home design features and product specifications that account for client differences due to circumstance, physical characteristics, health issues and aging. Universal Design/Build expands on the previous CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) courses by changing the focus from specific modifications to meet the needs of one person to the successful integration of Universal Design (UD) into all residential construction projects. The course curriculum aims to improve the skills in many professions, including building, design and social and health services. The creative design concepts and practices presented in this course will enable industry professionals to produce marketable projects that support the changing needs of clients over their lifetimes. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Describe the significance of integrating UD concepts in residential construction 
• Distinguish between accessibility solutions and UD solutions 
• Describe ways that design can be both functional and attractive 
• Identify and implement solutions for simple and complex scenarios that address various household compositions, budgets and changing needs of clients 
• Use effective marketing and communication strategies throughout the process 
• Locate resources, products, materials and services While CAPS I and CAPS II are not prerequisites for this course, it is helpful if students have taken the courses sequentially.

Customer Service

Make your business grow by keeping your clients happy during and after the sale. This course teaches you how to manage every phase of customer interaction from the initial contact through construction, the warranty period, and beyond. Keep your customers satisfied with planning, execution and follow-up of your projects and they’ll be spreading good news about you and your company for a long time to come. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Understand customer expectations and behaviors 
• Set appropriate service criteria 
• Establish quality standards and communicate them 
• Administer the customer service process 
• Know your obligations for warranty service and fulfill them 
• Enhance your repeat and referral sales

Estimating for Builders and Remodelers

Learn how to develop winning bids and use estimates as a powerful management tool. This course for remodelers and small- to mid-volume builders addresses one of the most challenging topics in building today – estimating. After this course you will have an appreciation of the importance of estimating, knowledge of how to create an estimating system and the ability to implement an estimating system. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Value the importance of quality estimating 
• Use different types of estimates and ways to estimate 
• Apply proven steps in the estimating process to develop winning bids 
• Implement technology programs to help you estimate

Design/Build

When well managed, a full-service building or remodeling business can increase profits and maximize customer satisfaction. If you’ve ever considered running a design/build operation, this course shows you how to assess the challenges ahead. Learn how the few and the bold have benefited from implementing a design/build strategy and how to make your own design/build business a success. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain design in the context of design/build 
• Understand how incorporating design into your business will impact your build operation 
• Illustrate the process for implementing design/build 
• Develop design/build marketing strategies 
• Implement the design/build full-service sell concept 
• Determine whether design/build is right for your company

Building Codes Standards & Guidelines

Successful navigation of building codes, standards and guidelines is critical to the success of every builder, remodeler, construction manager and trade partner. This course is based on the current International Residential Code (IRC) requirements and includes a section on standards. The course includes coverage of leading-edge trends in code development and NAHB’s popular Residential Construction Performance Guidelines. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Understand the creation, evolution and adoption of building codes 
• Explain how the International Residential Code for One and Two-Family Dwellings is administered and enforced 
• Complete the building planning process as it relates to addressing code design criteria and participating in plan review 
• Navigate through codes and standards to effectively locate and interpret needed information 
• Describe how performance guidelines are developed, organized and applied to achieve quality construction

Project Management

Develop the skills you need for successful on or off-site production operations management. This hands-on course covers the three phases of a successful venture: planning, implementation and evaluation. Owners, project managers, superintendents, sales managers and anyone involved in the pre-construction and construction process will benefit from this introductory course. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain the basics of successful project management 
• Execute the pre-construction project management functions and responsibilities 
• Implement the tools available for efficient project management 
• Manage trade contractors effectively 
• Perform project management duties during the project 
• Complete the duties and responsibilities of post-project management

Sales & Marketing for Remodelers

To survive and thrive in today’s business environment, a remodeler requires a constant supply of leads and clients. Remodeling is a service business that relies heavily on referrals. This course will help you build a positive reputation and contented customers in your community. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Use the benefits of marketing to your advantage 
• Generate and qualify sales leads 
• Prepare for and make sales calls and presentations 
• Implement strategies to gain agreement and close sales 
• Provide exceptional customer service leading to satisfied customers

Negotiating Skills

Every day requires negotiation with customers, employees, subcontractors, suppliers and government officials. Your negotiation skills could spell the difference between profit and loss. In this course you'll learn strategies for specific negotiating situations and develop the skills to get the results you want through exercises and role-playing. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Demonstrate effective communication skills for negotiations 
• Use the constructive approach to negotiations 
• Apply five key concepts in each phase of negotiation 
• Plan for and conduct effective negotiations 
• Use the negotiation process in different settings 
• Develop a plan for ongoing skill development

Profitable Business Through Quality Practices

Exceed customer expectations and increase repeat business by delivering exceptional service to your customers. This course will teach you key strategies for creating value and providing a quality building/remodeling experience for your homeowners. Topics include meeting the quality challenge with customers, with competitors and within your company. This is a “must” for the builder or remodeler who is ready to take his or her company to the next level. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain the differences between quality, perception and value 
• Build quality practices with customers, within your company and with competitors

Multicultural Sales Techniques and Strategies

You can profit from the increasing number of today and tomorrow's multicultural new home buyers in the U.S. This course provides the entire building/remodeling sales and marketing team with an understanding of our culturally diverse home-buying market and practical tips for communicating effectively with the multicultural client. Participants will benefit from hearing about actual experiences with multicultural clients and by examining their own best practices to determine how they can adapt their techniques to be successful with clients from any cultural background. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Describe the history of the multicultural home buying market in the U.S. 
• Incorporate cultural sensitivity in the new home and remodeling sales and marketing processes 
• Employ techniques for communicating effectively with the multicultural client during the new home sales transaction or home remodeling project 
• Apply knowledge of various cultures to all aspects of the new home sales and home remodeling businesses 
• Use facts about nations from where significant segments of the U.S. home buying market originate in order to better understand the cultural needs of the new home buyer or remodeling client

Scheduling

The ability to plan a project—to estimate both the cost and the time to complete it—is vital to your success. Proper use of scheduling will increase efficiency, team satisfaction, client satisfaction and profitability. Similarly, vendors, trade contractors and employees prefer to deal with an organized, well-managed company for one simple reason—it’s more profitable. The goal of this course is to equip you with the knowledge and tools to use schedules effectively in your business. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: Explain the importance of scheduling as a business system. Describe schedules and their basic components. Explain how schedules are used as vital communication, project management and business management tools. Describe how schedules provide solutions for the unique challenges faced by small volume, custom and production builders and remodelers.

Home Technology Integration

Today’s home building and remodeling environment is growing more complex. Prospective clients regularly seek technologies for the home that were once thought of as extravagant extras. Clearly, consumers want installed technology to enhance comfort, security, entertainment and energy efficiency in their homes. How you address these needs will differentiate you from your competition. This course provides an overview of what home technology is, trends , how it fits into the construction schedule, the installation process, and most of all…how to get it done right, present it intelligently to your client and make a profit! As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Identify home technology product categories, features and benefits 
• Describe methods used to evaluate, select and collaborate with electronic systems contractors (ESCs) and other building industry professionals 
• Describe basic installation processes for home technology within new and existing construction 
• Describe how to profitably market and sell home technology and its value within new and existing construction

Building Safety Programs

Increase safety and minimize the risk of injury on your jobsites. Learn how to develop and implement a home builder safety program. The course will utilize “real world” case studies of how an effective program will both reduce jobsite injuries and save money. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Recognize the importance of a safety and health program. 
• Create a clear, easy-to-understand program. 
• Implement the program successfully. 
• Evaluate and report on program implementation. 
• Provide training and education to employees.

Building Technology: Structures and Exterior Finishes

Select materials with confidence and build your homes to last. This course covers information on systems during the three stages of new construction: foundation, framing, and exterior finishing. You will learn about selection criteria, properties of materials, application techniques and the long-term performance of the respective systems. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Describe the various design and material components of foundation, framing, and exterior finish systems 
• Identify the factors that impact design and selection of foundation, framing, and exterior finish systems 
• Identify criteria for evaluating the performance of foundation, framing, and exterior finish systems

Professional Remodeler Experience Profile (PREP)

The PREP is the required first step in the process of becoming a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR).  Candidates do not pass or fail the PREP. Results determine the course of study for CGR candidates.  The 150 question assessment measures a candidate’s knowledge in five core areas of remodeling business management: 
• Marketing and Advertising 
• Business Management 
• Estimating 
• Contracts, Liability and Risk Management 
• Project Management

NEW HOME BUILDING COURSES:

Technology increases faster than application.  new home construction requires constant education, from safety to codes, from green to universal design you need to stay ahead of your competition.  Our course offerings will help you survive in this rapidly changing building environment.

Builder Assessment Review (BAR)

Are you ready to join the elite ranks of the nation’s top building industry professionals? The Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) designation is your sign to clients and colleagues that you are a member of this respected group of professionals. The Builder Assessment Review (BAR) is your first step towards obtaining this prestigious designation. This comprehensive course assessment will measure your expertise in five key areas of the building industry: Building Technology, Business and Finance, Project Management, Sales and Marketing and Safety. Your results will show you the areas where your knowledge is strongest, where it is weakest, and will determine the courses required for you to obtain your CGB. Now for the first time, you have a chance to test out of those areas where your knowledge and experience is greatest. This will allow you to earn your CGB designation faster than ever before. The BAR has been set high. Do you have what it takes to be a CGB? Let’s find out…If you are up to the challenge, you too can join the most prestigious club in the building industry.

Universal Design/Build

This two-day course focuses on integrated home design features and product specifications that account for client differences due to circumstance, physical characteristics, health issues and aging. Universal Design/Build expands on the previous CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) courses by changing the focus from specific modifications to meet the needs of one person to the successful integration of Universal Design (UD) into all residential construction projects. The course curriculum aims to improve the skills in many professions, including building, design and social and health services. The creative design concepts and practices presented in this course will enable industry professionals to produce marketable projects that support the changing needs of clients over their lifetimes. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Describe the significance of integrating UD concepts in residential construction 
• Distinguish between accessibility solutions and UD solutions 
• Describe ways that design can be both functional and attractive 
• Identify and implement solutions for simple and complex scenarios that address various household compositions, budgets and changing needs of clients 
• Use effective marketing and communication strategies throughout the process 
• Locate resources, products, materials and services While CAPS I and CAPS II are not prerequisites for this course, it is helpful if students have taken the courses sequentially.

Estimating for Builders and Remodelers

Learn how to develop winning bids and use estimates as a powerful management tool. This course for remodelers and small- to mid-volume builders addresses one of the most challenging topics in building today – estimating. After this course you will have an appreciation of the importance of estimating, knowledge of how to create an estimating system and the ability to implement an estimating system. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Value the importance of quality estimating 
• Use different types of estimates and ways to estimate 
• Apply proven steps in the estimating process to develop winning bids 
• Implement technology programs to help you estimate

Design/Build

When well managed, a full-service building or remodeling business can increase profits and maximize customer satisfaction. If you’ve ever considered running a design/build operation, this course shows you how to assess the challenges ahead. Learn how the few and the bold have benefited from implementing a design/build strategy and how to make your own design/build business a success. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain design in the context of design/build 
• Understand how incorporating design into your business will impact your build operation 
• Illustrate the process for implementing design/build 
• Develop design/build marketing strategies 
• Implement the design/build full-service sell concept 
• Determine whether design/build is right for your company

Building Codes Standards & Guidelines

Successful navigation of building codes, standards and guidelines is critical to the success of every builder, remodeler, construction manager and trade partner. This course is based on the current International Residential Code (IRC) requirements and includes a section on standards. The course includes coverage of leading-edge trends in code development and NAHB’s popular Residential Construction Performance Guidelines. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Understand the creation, evolution and adoption of building codes 
• Explain how the International Residential Code for One and Two-Family Dwellings is administered and enforced 
• Complete the building planning process as it relates to addressing code design criteria and participating in plan review 
• Navigate through codes and standards to effectively locate and interpret needed information 
• Describe how performance guidelines are developed, organized and applied to achieve quality construction

Negotiating Skills

Every day requires negotiation with customers, employees, subcontractors, suppliers and government officials. Your negotiation skills could spell the difference between profit and loss. In this course you'll learn strategies for specific negotiating situations and develop the skills to get the results you want through exercises and role-playing. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Demonstrate effective communication skills for negotiations 
• Use the constructive approach to negotiations 
• Apply five key concepts in each phase of negotiation 
• Plan for and conduct effective negotiations 
• Use the negotiation process in different settings 
• Develop a plan for ongoing skill development

Recognizing the Big-Four Safety Hazards for the Home Building Industry

Four common hazards cause 90% of the injuries and fatalities on residential construction jobsites. This course will show you how to comply with OSHA regulations and to recognize and minimize those hazards most likely to cause accidents. You'll protect your workers from harm and yourself from liability. This course is also available in Spanish. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Develop an effective safety and health program 
• Recognize the four most common hazards on residential jobsites 
• Control these hazards using safe work practices to reduce the risk of injuries

Profitable Business Through Quality Practices

Exceed customer expectations and increase repeat business by delivering exceptional service to your customers. This course will teach you key strategies for creating value and providing a quality building/remodeling experience for your homeowners. Topics include meeting the quality challenge with customers, with competitors and within your company. This is a “must” for the builder or remodeler who is ready to take his or her company to the next level. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain the differences between quality, perception and value 
• Build quality practices with customers, within your company and with competitors

Home Technology Integration

Today’s home building and remodeling environment is growing more complex. Prospective clients regularly seek technologies for the home that were once thought of as extravagant extras. Clearly, consumers want installed technology to enhance comfort, security, entertainment and energy efficiency in their homes. How you address these needs will differentiate you from your competition. This course provides an overview of what home technology is, trends , how it fits into the construction schedule, the installation process, and most of all…how to get it done right, present it intelligently to your client and make a profit! As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Identify home technology product categories, features and benefits 
• Describe methods used to evaluate, select and collaborate with electronic systems contractors (ESCs) and other building industry professionals 
• Describe basic installation processes for home technology within new and existing construction 
• Describe how to profitably market and sell home technology and its value within new and existing construction

Building Safety Programs

Increase safety and minimize the risk of injury on your jobsites. Learn how to develop and implement a home builder safety program. The course will utilize “real world” case studies of how an effective program will both reduce jobsite injuries and save money. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Recognize the importance of a safety and health program. 
• Create a clear, easy-to-understand program. 
• Implement the program successfully. 
• Evaluate and report on program implementation. 
• Provide training and education to employees.

Building Technology: Structures and Exterior Finishes

Select materials with confidence and build your homes to last. This course covers information on systems during the three stages of new construction: foundation, framing, and exterior finishing. You will learn about selection criteria, properties of materials, application techniques and the long-term performance of the respective systems. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Describe the various design and material components of foundation, framing, and exterior finish systems 
• Identify the factors that impact design and selection of foundation, framing, and exterior finish systems 
• Identify criteria for evaluating the performance of foundation, framing, and exterior finish systems

Basics of Building

Build your housing industry expertise by learning about the residential construction process from the ground up! Those in housing and construction-related fields, like vendors, suppliers, brokers, retailers, builder/remodeler company staff, REALTORs® and others will learn what it takes to build or remodel a home. With that knowledge, you will learn how to build more effective and profitable relationships with the builders and remodelers you work with. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: Describe product types, current trends and stakeholders in the residential construction industry Contrast and elaborate on the sales and marketing functions of the residential construction industry Articulate the criticality and complexity of land acquisition and development Outline types of financial tools available to support building and remodeling projects Assess strategies to strengthen the relationship between suppliers and builders/remodelers Explain the critical path of steps in the residential construction process Describe the importance of post-construction activities: closing, customer care and after-the-sale service

BUSINESS and MARKETING COURSES:

Marketing and  accurate financial accounting/forecasting are the most common overlooked facets of home building.  Learn from the nations leading experts how to be successful using quality business practices.

Financial Management

Improve productivity and increase profits by applying essential financial management techniques used in successful businesses. This course for building professionals discusses financial tools you can apply immediately to achieve financial success. Learn how to work with annual operating plans and budgets, financial reports and operating ratios and revenue forecasts that control profitability and identify adjustments. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Assess a current business plan and results 
• Put personal and business goals into practice 
• Build pro formas and an operating plan incorporating personal and business goals 
• Implement ways to effectively manage business results and respond to changes 
• Improve the long-term health of your company

Diversification: Capitalizing on New Business Opportunities

Identify opportunities to build and diversify your business. This course examines more than twenty-five different opportunities within the construction industry that are ideal for expansion. Explore the different approaches and options diversification allows including commercial building, remodeling, special use structures and institutional projects. You'll analyze the factors that affect success in diversification and learn the due diligence steps to take when preparing to diversify. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Define the concept of diversification and identify its related benefits and risks 
• Identify types of businesses that provide diversification opportunities for builders, remodelers, residential contractors and small commercial contractors 
• Consider aspects of each diversification opportunity before selecting it as a viable option 
• Determine whether diversification is a desirable option 
• Identify due diligence that should be performed once an area of diversification is chosen

Built to Sell: The Partnership of Market and Design

Missing the connection between your market and residential design is like shooting yourself in the wallet. This course equips you with a comprehensive, market-driven residential development plan that helps you pick the right site, identify your probable purchasers and design communities and homes that they will want to buy. The course draws on case studies from award-winning projects, uses images to demonstrate design elements that appeal to buyers, speaks to current trends in community and home design, addresses cost control and culminates in an experiential design activity that will solidify your ability to connect with your market and create a product built to sell. As a graduate of this course you will be able to: Define the concept of market-focused residential design and the critical connection between market/site considerations and community/home design Identify the role and nature of research in targeted marketing Identify the limiting factors in community and home design and how to minimize the impact of these constraints on profitability, buyer perception of value and viability of the project itself Identify how to control site and home development costs and spend money where it counts Apply an interdisciplinary, synergistic approach to design a cost-effective, market-focused home

Business Accounting and Job Cost

Builders and remodelers need to understand accounting principles and job cost procedures and functions in order to properly manage their business. This course will provide the terminology and method foundation necessary to comprehend basic business reporting and job cost procedures, measurement and analysis. In addition, an introduction to the more common types of financing methods for new homes, construction loans and operating capital will be covered. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Define concepts and terminology basic to residential construction business accounting 
• Describe the value and usage of common financial reports used for measuring business performance, job cost accounting, and variance analysis 
• Explain the importance and process of measuring and analyzing job cost against performance 
• Identify the essentials of operating capital funding methods. 
• Identify common construction and permanent mortgage products and the relative builder/client positions

Construction Contracts and Law

Protect your business against legal problems with well-written contracts. Many construction or remodeling companies are too small to hire full-time legal staff so it's important to understand basic contract law. This course provides a step-by-step explanation of how contracts sustain positive customer and supplier relations, provide for resolution of disputes, and minimize the risk of litigation. You will learn about mandatory and optional provisions, warranties, and arbitration procedures. Special emphasis is given to troubleshooting contracts for unfavorable positions. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Identify the basic elements of a contract 
• Identify the benefits and advantages of written contracts 
• Define the guiding principles of contract interpretation 
• Define and distinguish between the different elements of a sales agreement 
• Identify the risks of building on the customer’s lot 
• Recognize the differences between construction contracts and sales agreements 
• Recognize the importance of a mechanic’s lien contract 
• Identify some of the risks associated with modifying an existing structure on the customer’s lot 
• Identify the rights and responsibilities of Contractor and Owner during construction 
• Identify differences between remodeling and other residential construction contracts 
• Describe the differences between an express and implied warranty. 
• Describe the benefits of written warranties 
• Understand the importance of identifying independent standards for construction 
• Describe the steps in a typical warranty claim process 
• Identify general requirements of a subcontractor agreement 
• Be aware of special causes and explain when to use each one (conduit, paid if paid, and dragnet clauses) 
• Establish criteria for hiring a construction lawyer 
• Discover resources for construction law 
• Recognize the advantages and disadvantages to: negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation

Profitable Business Through Quality Practices

Exceed customer expectations and increase repeat business by delivering exceptional service to your customers. This course will teach you key strategies for creating value and providing a quality building/remodeling experience for your homeowners. Topics include meeting the quality challenge with customers, with competitors and within your company. This is a “must” for the builder or remodeler who is ready to take his or her company to the next level. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain the differences between quality, perception and value 
• Build quality practices with customers, within your company and with competitors

Effective Marketing On A Shoestring Budget

Effective marketing can make the difference between an average sales year and a great one. However, planning a marketing campaign can be a daunting task, especially when promotional dollars are scarce. This course provides planning tools that work on anyone’s budget. Participants will learn how to analyze target markets, identify competitive advantages, create accurate pro formas and monitor outcomes. Don’t neglect this vital component of your business. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Understand the purpose and importance of cost-effective marketing and its role in the management and operation of the business 
• Explain your company’s current market position, capabilities and goals 
• Match the appropriate product to a viable segment in the market 
• Determine how to cost effectively get ready for business 
• Select cost-effective marketing, advertising and public relations tactics that effectively promote to your target buyers 
• Choose from manageable and cost-effective alternatives for organizing and training a profitable sales team 
• Look for key success indicators and ways to quickly respond to common off-plan results

Train the Trainer

This course is designed for building industry professionals who wish to teach the NAHB Education curriculum and pass their knowledge onto their peers. Please note: As time is limited, participants will be given a pre-course assignment for a two-minute presentation. Materials for visual aids will be provided in class, so participants should not bring laptops with them to class. Class size is limited to 10 participants, so please register early. Due to the limited class size, registration must be completed ahead of time and may not be completed on site. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Employ the Socratic Method to facilitate self-discovery of information 
• Structure and make use of interactive exercises effectively 
• Recognize and practice four major delivery skills

Master Train the Trainer

Special instructor Training for NAHB Train the Trainer program--open by invitation only.

SALES COURSES:

You have to sell your product!  This collection of courses has been designed by some of the brightest and most successful experts in the business.  This is your opportunity to develop your own sales tools and techniques.  

Sales & Marketing

Build it and they will buy, product-driven builders tell themselves. However, customers may have their own ideas. If you follow the steps to find the right niche for your company, you’ll be well rewarded. Covering four essential topics, this course will help you turn your business into a profitable, market-driven enterprise. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Gather and organize market data 
• Use market information to determine the most profitable locations, types and pricing for new home construction 
• Describe methods for generating and attracting buyers for your product 
• Identify an effective process for selling your product to customers

House Construction as a Selling Tool

The construction detail of a home is a powerful selling tool. Designed with sales in mind, this course provides an overview of the process of planning developments and individual homes. It also reviews types and methods of construction, expanding your knowledge of the building process to enhance your future effectiveness in your sales career. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Speak the language of home building 
• Explain the entire land development process, from platting and sediment control plans, through building approval and construction 
• Scan plats or architectural plans and understand at a glance what they mean

Certified New Home Sales Professional

Master the craft of successful selling. This professional-level course is designed for specialists in new home sales. You will gain a broad understanding of the home building business, discuss consumer psychology and learn the advanced techniques used by real estate veterans for greeting, closing and overcoming objections. As a graduate of this four-part course, you will be able to define and describe the: 
• Qualifications and characteristics of a new home salesperson 
• Differences between selling new homes and resale homes 
• Role of the Critical Path to Successful Selling in the new home sales environment 
• Basic steps of the builder’s decision making and development process 
• Basic construction features that benefit the home buyer 
• Builder’s marketing approach and the impact the new home salesperson has in the marketing process 
• Impact of consumer behavior on the new home selling process 
• Basic elements of effective communications in the selling environment 
• Importance of prospecting in searching for and qualifying potential buyers 
• Legal aspects of the real estate business and fair housing guidelines You will also gain the following skills: 
• Greeting and qualifying a prospective buyer 
• Using the area and community as selling point 
• Successfully demonstrating the product 
• Handling objections 
• Reducing the process to writing 
• Successful closing 
• Basic new home financing 
• Using follow-up systems to increase sales 
• Final walk-through and call-back procedures

Land Acquisition & Development Finance

Learn how the land acquisition process works from market analysis through property acquisition. This course will show you how developers assess markets, acquire land and devise site plans that are most likely to attract financing on optimal terms. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Explain the major tasks of land development 
• Navigate the land acquisition process from market analysis through property acquisition 
• Recognize various types of development financing and understand the guidelines for obtaining the necessary funds

Multicultural Sales Techniques and Strategies

You can profit from the increasing number of today and tomorrow's multicultural new home buyers in the U.S. This course provides the entire building/remodeling sales and marketing team with an understanding of our culturally diverse home-buying market and practical tips for communicating effectively with the multicultural client. Participants will benefit from hearing about actual experiences with multicultural clients and by examining their own best practices to determine how they can adapt their techniques to be successful with clients from any cultural background. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Describe the history of the multicultural home buying market in the U.S. 
• Incorporate cultural sensitivity in the new home and remodeling sales and marketing processes 
• Employ techniques for communicating effectively with the multicultural client during the new home sales transaction or home remodeling project 
• Apply knowledge of various cultures to all aspects of the new home sales and home remodeling businesses 
• Use facts about nations from where significant segments of the U.S. home buying market originate in order to better understand the cultural needs of the new home buyer or remodeling client

Increased Profits Through Effective Builder Broker Cooperation

Learn how to profit from alliances with brokers. Builder and Realtor® relationships are often contentious, but they don’t have to be. This course shows builders how to forge solid relationships that are mutually beneficial. Topics include the differences and similarities between the two parties, broker selection and more. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Use common interests to connect with brokers 
• Understand the concerns of brokers 
• Choose compatible sales professionals 
• Maximize profits from your broker relationships

Essential Closing Strategies

Build your sales results with proven closing strategies. Learn how to minimize common objections and win the confidence of prospective customers. This course provides participants with an opportunity to practice, drill and rehearse the key words and phrases appropriate in a range of sales situations. Through realistic simulations, future sales leaders learn how to win over buyers. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• State reasons why many salespeople never become master closers 
• Identify reasons why customers raise objections 
• Describe the six steps to minimizing objections 
• Create believable and understandable answers to six common objections 
• Use personalized SmartSellingSM techniques in simulated closing situations

Understanding Housing Markets and Consumers (IRM I)

Learn how to find the information that's critical to your business. You'll gain knowledge of the demographic, economic and psychographic factors that affect housing supply and demand. You'll also learn to employ a model that projects opportunities for specific local markets. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Affirm the importance of market research to new home sales marketing and sales programs 
• Recognize the essential elements of market research 
• Use an absorption model to predict potential new housing demand and absorption rates in a defined target market area

Marketing Strategies, Plans and Budgets (IRM II)

Do you want to find and take advantage of market opportunities for your company? Designed for mid- to large-volume builders, this course will show you how to maximize results from every dollar you spend on marketing. With optimum product placement, pricing and promotional tactics, you can plan future results with confidence. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Understand the key relationships that should exist among company strategy, finance and marketing 
• Define marketing and its three levels of detail from promotion through company strategy 
• Apply the key relationships among company vision, value and volume as related to key drivers of company strategy 
• Use three competitive strategies and understand their impact on company marketing strategy 
• Connect the contributions of place, product, price and promotion to marketing strategy 
• Identify the financial results of marketing decisions 
• Distinguish the challenges of growth to marketing management 
• Implement a complete system of reports with which to control marketing management

Lifestyle Merchandising, Advertising, and Promotion Strategies (IRM III)

This course offers participants an array of strategies to enhance their promotional efforts. It explores the selling power of merchandised models designed to showcase the lifestyle benefits of a new home. It covers a variety of advertising media alternatives, public relations ideas and sales center design techniques that appeal to target markets, optimize traffic flow and increase sales. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Complete the steps in the promotional planning and budgeting process 
• Evaluate various media advertising options used to implement promotional strategies 
• Execute public relations activities and organize them into a comprehensive strategy 
• Implement merchandising techniques and approaches in promotional strategies 
• Use sales centers in promotional strategies and learn various ways to approach them

The Challenge of New Home Sales Management (IRM IV)

Improve your business operations, REALTOR® relations and customer follow-up by integrating your sales force into an overall marketing plan. This course emphasizes five basic principles of strategic sales management and teaches you how to get the most from every member of your team. As a graduate of this course, you will be able to: 
• Implement an improved approach to sales management 
• Set goals for your sales management 
• Manage the sales process 
• Manage prospects, customers and owners 
• Assemble an appropriate sales staff 
• Create training opportunities, equip staff for success and provide guidance to staff

Housing Credit Certified Professional Exam

The HCCP designation, through the National Association of Home Builders, demonstrates your high level of knowledge, experience and education in the LIHTC industry. By taking and passing the exam, you are eligible to complete the experience profile and application to receive the designation. The HCCP exam is an SAT-style multiple-choice exam with a “best answer” format. It is designed for current LIHTC professionals and you must score at least 70% to pass. The exam covers: Management Development Compliance issues Section 42 policy