Building Your Michigan Construction Sales Team

Building a top-notch sales team can be one of the hardest jobs a construction or renovation company owner ever takes on. For most of us in the construction industry, working with our hands come naturally, but the art of communication and marketing (working with our mouths) not so much. Contractors often struggle with the transition from working on the job site to managing sales teams with sales goals and marketing-based projects. Have you ever heard the phrase, “The most successful contractors never swing a hammer”? Well, to some degree that theory has merit. But how does a contractor build a sales team that actually works? Here are a few helpful tools:

How to Grow Your Construction Sales Team

  1. Evaluate your company’s strengths and goals – If you are a one-man show, this won’t take too long, but if you have started the growth patch with a few or even many employees, it is important to benchmark your progress and set goals for the future. Get a pad of paper and write down the unique strengths that your company and your employees possess.
  2. Decide on your target market – Your “target market” can be defined as who you would consider to be the "perfect" customer. Do you specialize in exterior renovations like windows, roofs, and siding? Or interior renovations like kitchens and baths? Do you want to find residential work or do you specialize in commercial construction? It is extremely important to define your target market and make sure your team has a clear understanding of who a qualified customer is. “Qualifying” a customer means deciding on specific metrics that your team will use to evaluate whether a customer is worth spending time on, or if they are a waste of time.
    1. What work is the customer interested in?
    2. What is the overall value of the property needing work?
    3. What is the financial status of the customer?
    4. Is the customer interested in financing?
    5. Is there a possibility of upselling into more work?

These are just a few metrics you can use for qualifying leads. We will be discussing better construction lead generation techniques in a later article.

  1. Organize your hiring process – “Onboarding” is a fancy term for the process of getting new hires up to speed on the inner workings of your company. This can be a make or break for construction salespeople because it will set the tone for the level of professionalism you expect. Make it great! The effort you put forth will reflect in the level of professionalism your salespeople will use with your customers.
  2. Don’t skimp on training - There is no faster way for a contractor to get in trouble, than for a salesperson to mess up the contract. In Michigan, anyone who is working with the customer in the process of selling work is required to be a licensed construction salesperson. This includes passing a state exam. Here is a link to the best Construction Salesperson Exam Prep in Michigan. If you have multiple salespeople, make sure you contact this school directly for Company Discount of up to 50%. Trusting that your salespeople are licensed and doing their work by the book makes life so much easier for you as the company owner.
  3. Outfit Your Salespeople for Success – This includes both a professional appearance, as well as the support and sales systems they need to work efficiently. We all know a "Chuck in a truck” who pulls up to give a bid in a rusty old truck with dirty clothes and dip in his lip. This works for some people, but it does not lead to growth for your company. Your sales team should be wearing professional clothing and driving a vehicle that represents your company in the best light possible. They should also have at a minimum a clipboard and the standardized paperwork that they can use for taking notes, discussing the various services you offer, and organizing the job process for the customer. The most successful construction salespeople will take advantage of every organizational tool at their disposal. This includes the use of tablets, pictures, and even bid software.
  4. Keep the leads (and Cash) Flowing – A salesperson is only as good as the leads he/she is given so make sure you have an organized lead generation and marketing process in place. There are all kinds of ways to keep leads coming in, attending trade shows, and local events, even internet, and social media marketing. If you haven’t tackled the social media market, you NEED to check out the Social Media Marketing for Contractors Course. It could be an absolute gamechanger for finding the customers you want without laying out tons of cash on marketing. Follow the link above and choose your state to get started!

Start Building Your Sales Team Today!


California Architects Required Continuing Education Simplified

Architects in California are required to complete five hours of coursework on disability access requirements every two years by their license renewal date in order to renew their Architects License.  The disability access requirements must include information and practical guidance concerning the requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336; 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), state laws that govern access to public facilities, and federal and state regulations adopted pursuant to those laws. The course must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and experience in the disability access requirements.

Is it really that easy?

The answer is yes.  Online courses that meet these requirements are fully accepted and the course doesn’t even have to include a test.  As long as the course content covers the specific disability access requirements and is presented by an instructor with knowledge and expertise in that field, you are good to go.  Here is a link to the fastest and most economical resource for completing a 5-Hour course that fulfills all requirements for California Architects.

Here is a helpful hint for those of you who are also members of the American Institute of Architects.  For membership renewal, you must complete 18 hours of AIA Approved education.  Be sure to save time and money by choosing a resource that includes the 5-hour disability access course required of California Architects.

Licensees who fail to complete the required architect continuing education coursework cannot renew their license to practice architecture until they have fulfilled these requirements.  The Board conducts audits of complete coursework.  If you are selected for an audit, you will be required to submit documentation confirming that you have fulfilled the requirement.  If you signed the renewal application claiming to having completed the education, but are unable to submit confirming documentation, or if you submit false or misleading information, or fail to respond to the Board’s request, you will be subject to a citation that could include a fine or other disciplinary action.  It’s not worth the risk – take the course and get your certificate of completion.

For the fastest and most economical way to complete your education, visit:
Call 1-800-727-7104 


Florida Contractors, 13 More Days Until Renewal

Online Approved Continued Education for Florida Contractors

Builders License Training Institute has created six Florida state approved 14-hour renewal packages. Each course package includes Required Competency and Advanced Module so contractors will have an easy renewal.

  • NEW! Drones in Construction and Successful Site Design
  • Handicap Accessibility: Real World Applications
  • Weatherization and Renewable Energy
  • Construction Safety Standards
  • Contracts, Liability, and Risk Management
  • Efficient Project Management

Florida Contractors must renew their license by August 31st, 2016. Part of the renewal process is completing 14-hours of approved continued education. Along with submitting your renewal application to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), you must also include the renewal fee ($209.00 Active Individual, $259.00 Active Qualifying Business and $100.00 extra per delinquent).

Do I Have to Submit My Contractor Continuing Education Certificate to The State?

You don’t, but your provider does. Approved continuing education providers must submit all completed hours to the state so that they can be applied to your specific license. This is one of the many reasons choosing a high-quality training provider (such as Builders License Training Institute) is so important.

Featured New Course!

Drones are the new tool companies are raving about for their marketing and personal use. There are many potential uses for drones in the construction industry, survey mapping, marketing and advertising, and security are just a handful of uses. Check out package #6 for an introductory course on Drones and how they are beneficial to the construction field.


11 States That Have Architect License Renewals in 2016

It is important to always stay on top of your architect license renewal requirements so there are never any problems or delays causing your license to lapse. Failure to renew your license will automatically cause your license to expire and be voided.

In 20216 there are 11 States that require license renewals. Listed below are the names of the states, the renewal deadline, and the required continuing education.

Alabama architects need 12 hours of Health Safety, and Welfare (HSW) approved continued education (CE) every year January 1st through December 31st.


Arkansas licensed architects must complete 12 hours of CE based on approved HSW topics every year by July 31st.


Illinois licensed architects must complete 24 hours of CE every 2 year licensing period by November 30th of even years.


Louisiana licensed architects must complete 12 hours of CE based on approved HSW topics by December 31st each year.


Massachusetts licensed architects must complete 12 hours of continued education annually. 8 of those hours must be approved Health, Safety, and Welfare topics.


Missouri architects must complete 24 hours of CE by October through December every other year depending on when licensed. 16 of those hours must be on approved HSW topics.


Nebraska licensed architects must complete 24 hours of continuing education courses biennially. 16 of those hours must be on approved HSW topics. Those with last names beginning with letters L through Z expire on December 31, 2016.


Nevada architects must complete 8 hours continued education courses based on approved HSW topics every year by December 31st.


Oregon architects must complete 24 hours continued education courses based on approved HSW topics. Registrations that end in an even number must be renewed by December 31st of each even numbered year.


Wisconsin architects must complete 24 hours continued education courses by July 31st of even years. 16 of those hours must be on approved HSW topics.


Wyoming architects must complete 24 hours continued education courses based on approved HSW topics. Licenses expire on December 31st of the year following the year of issued.

AIA members are required to complete 18 hours of AIA approved continued education annually, with a minimum of 12 of those hours in Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW). This requirement was changed in late 2013 after the AIA found that Sustainable Design (SD) education fell in the HSW category.


We’ll Make Sure You Never Let Your License Lapse

As contractors and busy professionals, little things like remembering to renew your license can sometimes just slip by. It’s not that you meant to let it lapse, it’s just that no one reminded you when it was due. WELL NOT ANY MORE. Certified Training Institute has built a brand new feature that reminds licensees of their renewal 90 days, 30 days, and two weeks before the expiration date. Whether you are a contractor, real estate agent, electrician, architect, or any other licensed professional, we won’t let your renewal pass you by.

Let us do your paperwork

iStock_89981431_SMALL-compressorIf you need your continuing education reported to the state, we do it for you. We have a close relationship to most state governments and licensing agencies. If a training provider is allowed to do the reporting, then we do it for you. We also keep your certificates and documents organized and accessible to you anytime at no extra cost. If you ever need to track down your certificate or proof of education completion, you’ll find it in your student account, free of charge.

How do we do it?

When you register with any of our schools we provide a space to list the licenses you hold and any other pertinent information. That information is iStock_54223266_SMALL-compressorentered into an automated reminder system that
will notify you well before the license expires, and tells you exactly what you need to know to renew. We also keep all of your course completions and certificates in our own secure database that you can access anytime from just about anywhere, even from your phone or tablet.

Why do we do it?

We truly care about our clients and students. You’re not just a number when you work with us, you are our main priority. When you call our office, you get a real live iStock_54373496_SMALL-compressorperson working right here in the U.S. ready to help you no matter what the question. Certified Training Institute and all of its industry specific divisions have one major goal: Give our students the tools to succeed, the knowledge to grow in their career, and the confidence to keep moving forward. All at a price that a working man or woman can afford. Our Goal is Your Success!


Green Building for Architects in 2016

Architecture is something that will always be changing. New ideas and innovations are being brought to light and to fruition with each new year. Generations are going to dictate what they want to see in the coming years of architecture. This year is projected to be the year of the Millennials, a generation built on “smart” technology, energy efficient homes, and green buildings.


  • The article 2016 Green Design Predictions by Inhabitat focuses on “what 2016 will hold for green design and the environment.” The article centers on architects and environmentalists alike as they voice their predictions for 2016.



  • With all these changes and ideas of going “green” the meaning behind the phrase “Green Architecture” gets missed. Encyclopedia Britannica has written an article that shares what it means to build and design “green.”


  • Around the world, architects are pushing the limits of what it means to build green. Some architects take the term building green quite literally, in this article on 12 Architect who built houses around trees instead of cutting them down.

Why Should I Be Concerned About Lead Paint?

The Federal definition of lead-based paint is: Any paint or surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligram per square centimeter or more that 0.5 percent by weight.

The Health Risks of Lead Paint

Lead paint is hazardous to everyone; it is extremely hazardous to children and women who are pregnant. Children are a greater risk than adults because their bodies are still developing. Even a little bit of lead paint dust can cause severe health issues. Children can swallow or inhale dust from their hands, toys, food, or other objects.

Dutch Boy lead paint advertisement

In children, lead can cause:

  • Damage to the brain and central nervous system
  • Reading and learning difficulties
  • Behavioral problems
  • Kidney damage
  • And many more health hazards

In pregnant women, lead is passed from the mother to the fetus and can cause:

  • Miscarriages
  • Premature Births
  • Brain Damage
  • Low birth weight

Who needs their Lead Paint Renovator Certification?

Contractors who are working on pre-1978 homes or child-occupied facilities must be certified as a Lead Paint Renovator. The Builders License Training Institute offers a Lead Paint Safety Initial certification class. To sign up for an 8-hour Initial Certification class click here.

For contractors that already are certified as a Lead Paint Renovator we now offer the 4-hour (RRP) refresher course online! Now contractors are able to take their refresher course online at their own convenience without the hassle of driving for a half day class.


Utah Architects! Your May 31st Renewal Deadline is Fast Approaching

The renewal cycle for architects in the state of Utah takes place May 31st of every even numbered year. Architects are required to complete 24 hours of continued education covering approved public protection (Health, Safety, and Welfare) topics.

How do I renew my Utah architects license?

The state of Utah sends out renewal reminders each renewal cycle 60 days prior to your license expiration. Architects can renew their license online through their DOPL account. For late renewals, architects will need so submit a hardcopy of the renewal application to the DOPL. Any late renewal applications must include proof of the completion of the required continuing education.

How Many Hours of CE are required to Renew My Utah Architects License?

Utah Architects are required to complete 24-hours of approved Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) continuing education courses. All continuing education must be completed by December 31st odd numbered years. Architects Training Institute offers a variety of course packages and individual course that are AIA approved and fulfill Utah Architects license renewal requirements.

Along with individual AIA approved courses,  Architects Training Institute has created 4 different course packages specifically for Architects in Utah. These packages range from 8-hours to 24-hours and are approved for license renewal.


Drones In Construction

As a contractor, showcasing your work is one of the better ways to set yourself a part from the competition. By using drones, you can capture a vision of your work, that before would have been impossible to see. Greg MacMaster from Eagle Eye Drone Service in Traverse City, MI, is our featured instructor in the new course that focuses on Drones in Construction. This course covers everything from the different types of UAV/Drones to the benefits of using drones on your jobsite.

Drones Can Be Used For Many Things in Construction

Drone used for mapping on job site

  • Surveying
  • Mapping
  • Site Selection
  • Inspections/pre-inspections
  • Project progress
  • Aerial photo documentation on the job completion
  • And much more!

Real Life Example of Using Drones in Construction:

Let’s say a customer owns a three story hotel, and wants the roof inspected. You find out, there is no roof access, and it has a 12/12 pitch. You have two options, hire another company to come in with their equipment, which could take days to complete a full roof inspection costing extra money and time. Or take twenty minutes out of your day to fly a drone up near the roof and complete a full inspection. Having the ability to inspect the roof by drone will not only save time and money, but it will also keep you and your crew safe from the dangers that come with steep pitch roof systems.

DSLR picture of a Drone Ready To Fly. The quadcopter has a gimble mounted 4K video camera and The drone is a Yuneec Typhoon Q500+.

How Can I Use Drones in Construction?

This course will answer the questions “Which drone is right for me?” and “What is it that I want my drone to do?” Greg MacMaster does an excellent job of covering important topics in this introductory course. As someone who has taken the Drones in Construction course, I can honestly tell you that this course educated me on the benefits of using drones on the jobsite and more. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity to get a leg up on the usage of drones in construction and sign up today.

Be sure to check out our social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more articles.


Get Your Arkansas Architects Continued Education Done Now!

Arkansas architects need a total of 12 hours of Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) continuing education each calendar year by July 31st. AIA members must complete 18 hours of approved CE with 12 of those based on HSW approved topics. The state of Arkansas requires that Architects keep a record of their completed continuing education credit for six years, and that no extra CEU’s may be carried over to the next cycle.

Complete Arkansas AIA Approved Continued Education Course List

Architects Training Institute has created many different course packages for architect to choose from ranging from 8-hour course package to 24-hour course package. Listed below are the courses included in our AIA approved 12-hour course package.

12-hour online course package:

2010 ADA Standards: Accessible Route

This one hour video course covers the fourth chapter of the 2010 ADA Standards Accessible Design and Routes. The material for this course includes onsite, real world video examples in various accessible buildings used both by the public and private sector.

Ethics and Professional Development

This two hour video course will provide ethical theory and application that will help you establish and maintain hard earned business relationships.

Technological Innovation Building “Green” into the Budget

In this three hour video course Architects will be able to look into the methods of green building that allows homes to have less impact on the environment. Green building will also have a greater economic benefit to the homeowner.

Weatherization and Renewable Energy

  • In the 3 hour Weatherization video, students will gain the confidence in their ability to reduce building envelope failure using prevention methods of construction.
  • In the 3 hour video Renewable energy lesson students will see how renewable energy is contributing more and more to the world’s ever-rising energy demands.

AIA members are required to complete 18 hours of AIA approved continuing education annually, with a minimum of 12 hours on approved Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) topics. This requirement was changed in late 2013 after the AIA found that Sustainable Design (SD) education fell in the HSW category.