By Ted McIntyre

The Value of Entering the AoD Extends Far Beyond Mere Trophies

The very nature of awards means that most entrants are not going to be thrilled with the results. There’s only one winner—per category, anyway. So why bother with the time and expense to participate? 

This annual issue celebrates, as the expression goes, “the best of the best.” A cavalcade of expertise, ingenuity and general excellence follows, celebrating the finest in residential construction from the previous year—from architecture and renovation to design and marketing. 

But there are reasons aplenty to merely enter the awards, as well as to attend the physical event, once prudence and the laws of the land once again permit the latter.

We enter for a number of reasons: to support OHBA; to promote our company; to compete and challenge ourselves against our peers; and to honour and celebrate the hard work of our team,” says Steve Barkhouse, owner of Amsted Design-Build in Ottawa. “We wouldn’t keep doing it if it wasn’t worthwhile.”

Barkhouse and company, admittedly, have a well-earned mantel-full of Awards of Distinction—“Just shy of a dozen,” he figures. But even if his company goes without in a given awards year, Barkhouse recognizes the marketing advantages inherent in the process. “It is really the only third-party recognition our perspective clients have when choosing,” he explains. “When they know that you were a finalist at the Ontario level, that is big.”

There is also the motivational element that comes with past victories, Barkhouse explains, “both for our current and future team.”

“We take enormous pride in what we do, and awards like these provide recognition for our team by the industry,” echoes Brent Strachan, Ottawa Division President for Minto Communities Canada. “They also offer great marketing exposure and brand recognition for Minto Communities, helping us compare what we’re doing against builders in other markets.”

It’s also a reminder to all staff of the standards that must be continually achieved and exceeded, as well as validation for that level of accomplishment, Strachan says. “Everyone wants to work on a winning team. While the ultimate measure is what our customers say, this is another measure validated by peers in our industry. We’re always up against some great competition, so it motivates our team to push themselves to be even better.”

In non-pandemic years, the Awards of Distinction also present a unique opportunity to network with other industry members, as well as to “showcase the calibre of the work you’re undertaking” to your best clients, notes “Being shortlisted (or winning) will improve client retention, and assuredly send your clients home chatting to their friends about how great you are. And, as we all know, word of mouth and personal recommendation is still the most influential factor in the B2B buying process.”

A regular appearance among award candidates can also help recruit new talent, as well as build the morale of existing staff. 

So let’s acknowledge this year’s Awards of Distinction winners. And even if you missed out this year, start planning your categories now for the 2021 Awards. 

There is much to win, regardless of how you finish.

Become a member of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association.

Order a copy of the Awards 2020 issue.

Subscribe to or advertise in the OHBA magazine.