Business Operations

Connecting Contractors

What started as an idea and some hope for a little “southern” exposure, turned into the fastest growing installer network in North America with over 1,000 trained contractors in less than a year. Regal ideas’ new program, DeckStars, is designed to help contractors grow their marketshare and drive business back to local dealers during COVID-19.

What started as an idea and some hope for a little “southern” exposure, turned into the fastest growing installer network in North America with over 1,000 trained contractors in less than a year. Regal ideas’ new program, DeckStars, is designed to help contractors grow their marketshare and drive business back to local dealers during COVID-19.

“Once our railings debuted on The Vanilla Ice Project, our demand from consumers skyrocketed,” said Andrew Pantelides, VP of marketing for Regal ideas. “We were getting requests from all over North America, which was great and amazing, but we just didn’t have the network in place to facilitate all of these demands.”

Knowing that there was strong demand from consumers, Pantelides figured the best way to meet those demands was to create a network of trained Regal installers. Developing a pathway to the contractor would also lead a path to the local distributor/retailer.

As the company began to invest in other home improvement makeover shows such as the Property Brothers and Scott McGillivray, host of Income Property, they found that on more than one occasion, Pantelides would have to provide a local installer of Regal on set to make a cameo appearance. It was at this point where the “A DeckStar Is Born” idea started to set the foundation of something bigger.

To head up the newly coined DeckStar certification project, In late 2019, Regal enlisted the talents of Joe Jacklin, top retail executive from a major Canadian LBM chain. Jacklin had to quickly develop a training program with a rollout of winter, 2020.

“We put an ambitious list of 35 cities across North America and included our celebrity ambassadors, Dr. Decks, Chris Palmer, Wes Kain and the Brolaws as our trainers. No better way to get trained, than the industry’s best,” he said. “We had strong attendance for our first nine sessions, and we were gaining momentum until… COVID.”

The Regal team had no choice but to deliver a next level entertainment and education program. The investment was made in hardware, software, and remote filming locations. The result was a “live on location” training event that was fully interactive and engaged all participants. Sessions are set for one hour-long modules.

The response to the training has been incredibly positive, according to Pantelides. DeckStars was recently awarded the 2020 Davey Award, an award program that honors the best in web, design, marketing, and social media from companies worldwide.

“Our attendance in five webinars has now surpassed our physical sessions but what has been really rewarding has been the positive comments we receive from the contractors and how they’ve embraced the technology,” noted Pantelides. “It’s really a new way of training.”

526 Media Group

Publisher of two monthly magazines for LBM dealers and distributors—The Merchant Magazine, founded in 1922 to serve the western U.S., and Building Products Digest, formed in 1982 to serve east of the Rockies.

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