Skip to Content

VGM Live at Home Year-end Wrap Up and a Peek at Things to Come in 2019

Home Blog VGM Live at Home Year-end Wrap Up and a Peek at Things to Come in 2019

As I finish up my second year directing the VGM Live at Home membership group, I find myself reflecting on 2018 and looking forward to the year ahead – which made me think of a conversation I had with a new member last week.

This particular member has been a contractor for many years but started doing home access jobs about four years ago. He’s now hoping by the end of next year to be completely home access based.

“I have built houses and remodeled kitchens and replaced roofs,” he said. “You name it – we have done the job. But, after the first job we did in this market, and it was a relatively small modification, the lady homeowner hugged me four times! I now realize how meaningful this work is.”

This evolving niche industry offers so much potential for growth, but it’s so much more than that. Providing products and services that allow people to either re-enter their home or making their home more accessible and safe for life-long living makes a huge difference. I know our members take that very seriously and look to provide the right service, no matter how big or small, at the right price. This type of customer interaction results in a much closer, more loyal connection that few industries get to experience.

So, first and foremost, I want to say what an honor it is to work with the great members and partners that we have. You all have the great American entrepreneurial spirit, and you are all-in with your passion to grow your business and do the job right! With members and manufacturer partners working together, supporting one another, we continue to evolve this industry and help it reach its full potential. Thank you.    

Now, Let’s Look at the 2018 Highlights

New Brand, New Website – In April, we finished our rebrand with the release of our new website, www.vgmliveathome.com. We love it and hope you check it out if you haven’t already. It’ll keep you up-to-date on all our events, as well as new partners and services. And, if you like what you see and want to either upgrade your own website or get help with online marketing, we can connect you with our web division, VGM Forbin.

A Catalog of Monthly Newsletters – We now have more than a full year of monthly newsletters that we email the first Thursday of every month. This is, in most cases, the only email we send you each month, and it’s filled with member and vendor blogs, promotions from our partners, announcements, and any new partner agreements. If you or anyone else in your company aren’t getting these emails, please contact Jessica Barber to be added to our listing.

Live at Home Pro Home Assessment Software – In June, we launched our Live at Home Pro Home Assessment software and quickly discovered it wasn’t quite “ready for prime time.” Since then, we’ve performed two upgrades. The software is in the early adopter stage, and we welcome members to check it out and give it a test run. There’s no cost for the use of it up until the end of 2019. At that time, we’ll assess its market readiness. Pricing will be no more than $5 for each user a month for up to five users and bundling pricing for bigger users. We are motivated to continually develop this software, but very much need field testing and feedback to make it the digital tool for assessments we know it can be. Early adopters will be given at least six months of free use and permanent discounts over and above all other users. Reach out to Jessica Barber to connect.

Three Great Events – The 2018 Heartland Conference was very well attended and an overall success. More than 70 members attended our sessions, and home access was the talk of the show. The installer trainings were almost completely full – Harmar had to have a second training session added. Several members shared best practices at the executive events, and the panel discussion was standing room only. Our community dinner at Jameson’s was packed, and much fun was had at the hog roast/fireworks and the Giddy Up Gala.

Installer Training week was sold out at our Building Opportunity Installer Training Summit hosted by our member, Access to Independence in Ravenna, Ohio. Members received training from six different manufacturers the last week of August.

Finally, our Building Opportunities Summit in Philadelphia featured a member/partner speed dating event – the highest-rated event we have ever held. Members found several takeaways for either cost savings or new product offerings along with many new services that they never realized VGM offered.

More than 40 new companies joined VGM Live at Home this year! We welcome you and look forward to watching you grow with us.

What’s Coming in 2019

Financing Options – We’ll introduce The Federal Savings Bank and the financing options it has available for consumers in the home upgrade world. Please look for future announcements of upcoming webinars. You’ll want to be knowledgeable about the unique financing opportunities available and how they can help your customers. They will not only be able to afford to upgrade their homes – they’ll add several years of financial flexibility to their retirement funds.

New Ceiling Lift Option – We’ll also introduce Savaria in January as a new option for ceiling lifts. The market place can be challenging when looking for a consistent manufacturer for this product line, and with our newest partners, Molift and Savaria, along with holdover Liko, we have the best options currently available in the residential lift market.

Two Executive Summits – We’re planning two Executive Summits in 2019! We’re finalizing a venue in San Antonio for the last week of March and will have a second event either late third quarter or earlier fourth quarter.

Two Building Opportunities Installer Training Summits – Due to feedback from you, our members, we’ll hold two summits in Ohio at Access to Independence. Dates for those are April 1-5 and August 26-30. Stay tuned for more information.

Heartland 2019 – Heartland Conference, June 10-12, promises to again be a can’t-miss event with a Future Thinking theme. We’ve planned three days of installation training and two days of a full executive agenda. More details are coming in January/February, so watch our monthly newsletter.

We have many other projects that we are working on that we are excited about and will add value to your companies!

We want to wish you and your families a very merry holiday season. We look forward to working together to make 2019 a very Happy New Year.

Best regards,

Jim Greatorex and Jessica Barber 

1 comment

  • Vincent Pelose CEO, CEAC | Dec 7th 2018 @ 11:22 AM

    Hi Jim & Jessica, It was a great year for home accessibility! Our revenues are up, but most importantly, our end users have a higher quality of life and are more independent and living safer in their homes do to our services. Thank you for everything VGM Live at Home offers!

View All