A Note from the VP, Jim Greatorex: August 2023

Published in Home Modifications on August 23, 2023

Jim GreatorexBy Jim Greatorex, VP, VGM Live at Home

As a kid we always heard about late July through August being called the "dog days of summer." I always thought it meant that it’s always the hottest time of the year and it made your dog pant, which it does. So, I thought I would look up "dog days" and see what it really meant, and my meaning is a little bit correct. It actually goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times when the rising of Sirius, known as the Dog Star, starts to rise in the sky and becomes the brightest star from late July through the first two weeks of August. They thought that the Dog Star caused extreme heat which caused people and dogs to go crazy. I just wanted to reference "dogs days" to make a point that it’s been hot most places and summer is coming to a close soon. But now that I reflect, I have been feeling a bit out of sorts and feeling somewhat crazy lately. I am very happy that I can now blame it on Sirius the Dog Star, and not my advancing years. If you have been feeling like you are going crazy, don’t worry, it’s just the Dog Star and by the time you read this, it will have gone back to it’s un-risen state. All is good! Now to what is happening at VGM Live at Home:

Check Out Leap Contractor Operating Software

On August 22, we hosted a webinar with the Leap team which highlighted their software solution for home access companies. The Leap Essential and Leap Team offerings provide a platform for digital estimates, project management, scheduling, and CRM. They are making a commitment to learn the needs of our industry and help members just as they have with hundreds of other companies in the remodeling industry. You can check out the recording of their webinar here.

This from Chad Fuentes from My House Home Modifications who just signed on with Leap:

“It has gone well so far, they are easy to work with. The transition is a lot of work, and we are almost completely converted after starting with them in late May. We are glad we made the move, it’s a big time saver.” 

Good News on the CA Elevator Licensure Bill AB 871

Capitol Advocacy, the lobbying firm hired in California to work on AB 871 on behalf of the non-union stairlift and elevator companies, recently sent a very positive report. If unaware, when first introduced this bill would have required a four-year apprenticeship licensure program for installers of residential elevators, stairlifts, and VPLs. In June, we learned that stairlifts and VPLs were being omitted from the bill, but elevators would still require this four-year program that is well above any needed knowledge for the residential market. The lobbying firm spoke with the Deputy Director at CA Labor and Workforce Agency, and he informed them that the cost to implement the bill would be over $8 million. Fees would not cover half of that cost, and they also had numerous other concerns with the bill. They are assuming they will oppose the bill, which could go a long way towards killing it all together. This is no-sure thing, but it seems that if the Labor Agency can see little value from this bill, the legislature will likely do the same. Great work by the CA companies and manufacturers for aggressively getting involved, and hopefully this bill will be put to rest soon.

Building Opportunities Summit Update

Registration is open for the Summit. To get the early bird pricing, you need to register by September 15. Click here to register.

As we get closer to the conference, we want to spotlight a session each month that we have scheduled so members can get a preview of the subjects being covered. 

We have a session on employee retention and creating a culture that makes people want to work for your company called, "Creating a Sticky Organization – Strategies for Retaining Home Access Talent." Martin Simenc from Home Safety Services has been able to build a great business and has an excellent track record on retaining his talent. He will share some practices and moderate a panel discussion with two other home access executives. I was able to hear Martin share a few of the creative techniques his company uses to create a great work place culture and retain his valued employees and it was impressive! In this interactive discussion, we guarantee some great takeaways that will help your business retain and keep your employees engaged.

We again thank you for your membership and remember that if you feel a little crazy, it is all because of the Dog Star Sirius!

Jim Greatorex


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