Every year, David Litwiller, president of Litwiller Developments in Calgary, AB, gathers experts in real estate, tax law, municipal issues and home design to conduct a seminar to help homeowners understand what it takes to conduct a major renovation and how to hire the person to do it. It usually plays to packed houses because, says Litwiller, homeowners still feel like they are stepping into a minefield when it comes to renovating their homes and they really appreciate the straightforward approach Litwiller takes to the seminar.
“Last year, we got 75 to 100 people,” says Litwiller, and he was expecting the same this year. The seminar took place Oct. 16.
David is a big fan of this kind of seminar because it educates homeowners to the value legitimate renovators have over cheap, cash contractors.
He puts the seminars together himself and says they cost him about $3,000. He does no selling of his company during the seminar and does not allow any kind of sales pitch to take place during the sessions.
Even so, he says, the seminar more than pays for itself, as many of the attendees will contact him after the seminar to discuss their projects.
Litwiller says that the seminars work not only for him, but for any legitimate contractor that has to overcome the reluctance of customers to pay the overheads associated with being an above-board contractor. Once a homeowner has attended the event, it’s very hard for that homeowner to hire someone without worker’s insurance, who doesn’t bother with the permits process, and who doesn’t pay his taxes.