A Note from the VP, Jim Greatorex: March 2023

Published in Home Modifications on March 22, 2023

Congratulations everyone for making it through the crazy winter of 2023! The weather certainly provided challenges with record breaking snowfall on the west coast, ice, rain, snow, and wind throughout the midwest, and big storms hitting the east coast with significant snow and rain in the northeast this month. For some, it has affected projected growth for the first quarter, but with spring here, we believe that any pent-up demand for home access services will surface and even with inflation being a factor in the U.S. economy, our industry will have a healthy growth rate. 

New Members

In the first quarter of 2023, VGM Live at Home welcomed 14 members as of this writing, and we expect the final tally to be 17. Many are new entrepreneurs who have found their purpose and passion like the vast majority of you. Others have existing businesses that have touched this segment and see the opportunity in their market and are adding a home access-focused segment. While some may see these start-ups as increased competition, we see them as companies who want to serve their customers in the right way, which will increase awareness and demand for services in all markets. This is another component in the rising tide of this industry that will sail all ships. 

Member Spotlight

Be sure to check out this month’s member spotlight of Back Home Safely. It highlights a creative and inspiring project they did for a young man who wanted access to the lake he lives on. We also want to salute Karen and Gregg Frank as they celebrate their 15th year of serving the New Jersey/New York markets.

New Financing Partner

We have a signed agreement in place with a great new financing partner, Hearth. They provide an app-based service which a consumer can load their information in three minutes and get up to 16 companies competing for their financing. The rates are reasonable, and their service is based on an annual fee instead of a percentage of sales. They also have an excellent program that will train your company on how to incorporate financing into your program. We will host sales training on quarterly basis with them. They also have a simple-to-use software component that will allow members to create estimates and quotes, invoicing, docusign contracts, payment collection, and flow the financing into all your documents created. This is a service we have been looking to bring in for years and are impressed with the solution Hearth brings. We hope to launch in the next month, so stay tuned.

Apprenticeship Program Update

The Apprenticeship Committee recently met and have formulated an action plan to move forward. We have identified that we need two separate programs, one focused on predominantly carpenter skills and one on residential elevator skills. Bill Bohmbach from Home Healthsmith in Rhode Island is heading up an effort to get an elevator apprenticeship in place in Massachusetts. We will use the lessons learned to promote that effort in other states. We also will be working with a Cor Freedom representative to start investigating a program that will be more carpentry-based in Michigan. Once we learn the ins and outs of getting established, we can work with members in other states who want to pursue apprenticeship programs.

White Paper Update

In late April or early May, we expect to release to the industry the second draft of our white paper on best practices for collaboration between home access professionals and medical home access specialists for best outcomes for our clients. The feedback and engagement have been awesome on this project, and Cindi Petito has done a fantastic job in drafting the paper. Once the final edits are done on the second draft, we will release it to the industry with a webinar to explain the paper and encourage comments.

In closing, we want to thank all Live at Home members for the meaningful, professional services you perform in the communities you serve. It is a great honor to work with you to grow, define, and professionalize the home access industry.

Jim Greatorex          
 


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