Palo Alto, Calif.—Houzz has launched the Houzz Trade Program to provide industry professionals with multiple ways to profit from purchasing and recommending products in the Houzz Marketplace. The Houzz Marketplace offers everything from items for major remodeling projects and custom home builds, such as bathtubs and fixtures, to furniture and decor products. All professionals working in the home improvement industry, including designers, architects, contractors and more, can apply to the program. The Houzz Trade Program is integrated with existing Houzz tools including ideabooks and Sketch.
Some of the benefits of the Houzz Trade Program include:
- Trade-only pricing with discounts up to 50% on hundreds of thousands of products including top brands, European products and Houzz exclusives, plus earn Houzz credit on regular priced items
- The opportunity to earn up to 10% in credit when clients purchase any of the 8 million retail-priced products
- A dedicated trade support team to help facilitate and expedite orders
- Free shipping on most trade-discounted orders over $49
Some of the vendors providing discounts to Houzz pros enrolled in the Trade Program include Baldwin, Emerson, Feiss, Flos, Kraus, Missoni Home, Safavieh and Swarovski.
Houzz has also arranged pre-approval into the Trade Program for members of several industry trade associations, including the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the Interior Design Society (IDS).
To learn more about the Houzz Trade Program and to enroll, visit houzz.com/trade-program.
Dalton, Ga.—The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has unveiled its new website, which is part of the association’s overall initiative to expand benefits for members and enhance communications. Along with an extensive line-up of carefully curated content presented in an easy-to-navigate user interface, the site incorporates many of the features previously available at the association’s separate retailer- and consumer-oriented sites. The new consolidated web address is wfca.org.
The website offers a suite of tools and resources specifically tailored to meet the needs of the WFCA’s primary member base, the independent flooring retailer. It has marketing insights, growth and expansion guidance, and thoughtful advice for addressing key issues affecting the flooring industry. The site also provides answers and links retailers need to ensure they are running their companies at full capacity.
In addition, the site offers links to online learning through WFCA University, proprietary research, scholarship forms, an industry calendar, legislative updates from the WFCA’s own public affairs team in Washington, DC, staffing and consulting services, insurance options, extensive savings programs for members and other references and tools.
To facilitate and streamline access to member forms and documents, an extensive library of association materials is available through the site. Members can also access primers and handbooks, renew membership online, learn about the Floor Covering Industry Foundation as well as obtain details and access points to the Certified Floorcovering Installation Association.
The consumer component of wfca.org provides all the resources and information necessary for consumers to make informed flooring decisions. Wfca.org provides practical tips, pros and cons and other details on every flooring category available. An overview of each category provides varieties and styles available, manufacturing details, things to consider before buying and how to prepare for installation. When consumers are ready to buy floors, wfca.org offers a searchable database of WFCA retail members across the country. All users need to do is enter their zip code and they will receive a list of dedicated and knowledgeable suppliers in their area. This tool allows WFCA retailer members access to consumer leads that are generated through the WFCA website each month.
By Sarah Bays
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the IRS recognized 92,331 trade and professional associations and 1,280,739 charitable and philanthropic organizations. With so many active associations within the U.S. alone, it is not surprising that you may have recently been solicited to join an association that aligns with your profession, trade or outside interest.
Associations offer a wide range of benefits for both individuals and companies providing an avenue for professional growth and brand recognition. Here are 7 benefits, in no particular order, which associations provide:
- Information exchange. Associations offer you the opportunity to raise your level of awareness and gain valuable knowledge from other’s experiences. As a member you are at the forefront of information. Whether it is the newest trend, cutting edge product/service or a tried and true practice, this shared information is an invaluable resource.
- Access to certification programs. Many associations provide industry specific certification to separate yourself from your competitors. By becoming certified in your field of expertise and continuing your education year after year you show your employer and customers that you have met standards established by a reputable program, and you are committed to quality work and growing your expertise.
- Network for problem solving. Having access to a network of trusted peers is important. As a business, it is essential to align yourself with like-minded professionals and build relationships in which you can learn from, seek advice from and bounce ideas around with one another.
- Educational and training opportunities. One of the best resources an association can provide is a venue for education and training for its members. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” said Benjamin Franklin. Having access to educational programs also lends itself to retaining and attracting employees because it shows that you are willing to invest in their professional growth.
- Strengthen your competitive advantage. Take advantage of member resources including educational and networking opportunities to build a greater understanding of customer needs, gain referrals and brand recognition. By investing in an association you are investing in your company and this inevitably sets you above non-member competitors.
6. Boost your network. When you join an association, you instantly gain a network of business associates that have similar goals and accomplishments. However, it is important to be an active member as this will significantly increase membership benefits. When available, make sure you attend association events, join committees and seek leadership roles. Associations provide you the ability to voice your opinions and share your knowledge and expertise; so make sure you don’t squander this opportunity.
- Gain elevated recognition and visibility within your industry. Associations exist to promote their members and the livelihood of the represented trade, profession or group interest. Assimilating with an association lends credibility to employees and the company, and contributes to your competitive edge over non-members.
Associations pride themselves on the ability to bring like-minded individuals together for the greater good. By aligning yourself and company with a reputable association, you are not only contributing your knowledge and expertise but gaining valuable connections, access to resources and experience of peer companies.
Sarah Bays is the membership & website coordinator for FCICA.