Most social: Here, builders were scored based on whether they had pages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Extra points were given to those who post to the sites fairly regularly. While Facebook and Twitter continue to be the main outlets for this type of networking, YouTube and Houzz are gaining participants among builders.
Certifications: Builders who invest in certifications for themselves or their staff scored higher in the training category. Among the 50, a full 23 had certifications in a number of areas including business, sales, construction and maintenance. Topping the list were APSP’s Certified Building Professionals, with nine Top 50 members attaining this credential.
Industry involvement: All but four of the Top 50 companies belong to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. Buyers groups also are well represented, with 22 belonging to either Aquatech, Carecraft or the Master Pools Guild. National Plasterers Council membership went up from last year’s 12 to 15.
Outside the box: Top 50 builders are a very engaged bunch — and not only within the industry. Three quarters belong to their local Better Business Bureaus and more than half to their Chambers of Commerce. After that, organizations for home builders and other contractor associations topped the list, with 23 of the builders belonging.
Top in staffing: To arrive at this score, PSN considered average employee tenure along with the amount of training required of each staff member. Among the 50, the average tenure was slightly higher than last year’s — 9.8 years compared with 9.5. Rosebrook Pools of Libertyville, Ill., had the longest, at 25 years.
Top websites: While judges felt that websites provided an area where there is room for improvement, these five stood apart from the rest. Two builders achieved the top scores in this category: Rosebrook Pools and Morehead Pool. Both rated highly in the overall design category. Besides the general attractiveness, websites scored highly if they presented a generous helping of quality information for consumers and if they were organized in a manner that made it easy to obtain essential information.