6 Key Takeaways from the 2022 Pro Partner Conference
April 11, 2022
They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas—but the insights from the 2022 Pro Partner Conference are too valuable not to share.
More than 5,000 Pro Partners gathered at the MGM Grand March 9-10 for the third International Pro Partner Conference. This year’s theme was “Pro Powered,” highlighting the dedication and hard work that Pro Partners bring to their businesses, communities and the HVAC industry as a whole.
“Pro Partners, our industry partners, our team members—you are the professionals that help power everything we do. The industry innovations. The smart business programs. The unbelievable service and comfort we deliver to residential and commercial customers. You help make all that possible,” said Randy Roberts, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Rheem Manufacturing, during the conference. “No other manufacturer has a closer relationship to its contractors and partners than we do right here at Rheem. This conference is a great example of that, with two days to connect and network, to learn from each other, and to charge up our batteries. To prepare to go back to our hometowns and serve customers at even a higher level and continue to grow our businesses.”
This year’s event featured an expo with key industry partners and exhibitors and engaging breakout sessions with exciting keynote speakers and entertainment to cover new product innovations, digital marketing expertise and best ways to see profits early and often. Together, the insights learned provided Pro Partners with strategic training and know-how to grow their businesses.
If you weren’t able to make it in-person, or have yet to sign up as a Pro Partner, here are some of the biggest takeaways from the conference as we head into the next era of the industry:
The newest innovations in HVAC
Rheem unveiled its new Endeavor Line™ at the Pro Partner Conference, a testament to the company’s commitment of streamlining contractors’ workflow and providing homeowners with unparalleled features and performance.
What had Pro Partners buzzing: the Bluetooth technology inherent to Endeavor. Putting connectivity at the forefront, Endeavor’s use of Bluetooth aims to improve the commissioning process, provide diagnostic advancements and save time during both installation and servicing. What’s more, Endeavor matches or reduces existing unit footprints while keeping the accessibility and look of current models that contractors and homeowners know and trust.
Preparing for what’s next
One of the biggest talking points at the conference was the upcoming 2023 energy regulations—and how these updates will impact contractors’ day-to-day work.
Effective January 1, 2023, all newly manufactured resident and commercial equipment sold in the US will be required to meet new minimum efficiency standards determined by the U.S. Department of Energy. These new requirements apply nationally—unless superseded by a regional standard. Regional standards apply in the Southeast and Southwest, where compliance is based on the date of installation rather than the date of manufacture, as in the national regulation.
For contractors, the new standards mean careful inventory planning is needed so that you’re not stuck with equipment that can’t be installed.
How to enhance profitability
Profits don’t appear overnight, and to truly be profitable, you must understand all your costs. To make money and grow your business, contractors must charge enough to cover their overhead and desired profit margin, plus enough to have a separate growth bucket of money to help propel your business forward.
The key takeaway here: Learn your costs inside and out, and don’t sell yourself short. Lowering monthly prices, for instance, can help attract and bring in customers, but you must make sure that the price isn’t too low that you can’t cover your company and goals first.
How to boost digital marketing efforts
While many contractors spend time in the field—servicing and installing units, engaging directly with homeowners and their communities—attention must also be paid to their online business reputation, particularly their website, social media and search engine optimization (SEO).
Chris Yano, Chief Executive Officer of RYNO Strategic Solutions, suggested that when it comes to website design, contractors should focus on the six P’s: product, place, price, promotion, people and personality. Being transparent on your website about who you are, what you do, the cost, the people in your tribe and what makes you stand out compared to your competitor—these are important nuggets of information that can make a big difference to a homeowner checking out your website for the first time.
The same goes for social media. “If your website is the doorway to your company, social media is the window, allowing customers to see inside your business, your values and the connections you have to the community you serve,” said Gaelen Bell, Senior Vice President of Content Services at The Motion Agency. Your company’s social outlets shouldn’t sit dormant; they should be a place of engagement where you can share your company’s stories and interact directly with your community.
Lastly, think of SEO as a long-term game. Pay-per-click is target-specific and locally focused, and they work best when they work together, said Jeff Light, President of Vital Storm.
Programs that bring change
Pro Partners are agents for change in their communities, and Rheem is introducing new programs to help further their impact. Take the Pro Partner Recruitment Support Program Powered by MilitaryHire, for instance. This new, exclusive Pro Partner benefit allows contractors to connect with more than 600,000 veterans looking for work. Through the program, Pro Partners can not only find their next great team member but also help former US Military veterans and their families find work and make a difference in their lives and careers.
Networking and learning from the industry’s best
The Pro Partner Conference isn’t all business—it also provides the industry’s biggest platform to network and connect with other contractors, essential HVAC partners and the Rheem team. Be it at the expo, in-between breakout sessions or the awards banquet, contractors had the chance to meet and connect with people from around the world dedicated to bettering HVAC and growing their business, exchanging tricks of the trade along the way.
Although the next Pro Partner Conference isn’t until 2025, that doesn’t mean you have to wait three years to reap the training, marketing and other contractor benefits that can help grow your business. Visit rheem.com/become-a-pro or ask your dedicated sales rep or distributor to learn more about the Pro Partner program today.