Should a REALTOR® Understand Flooring Basics?

Flooring is expensive, and if it has to be replaced who can your customer go to? If they ask you what do, what will you tell them? How will you know the latest products and what’s the best for your potential buyer’s situation? Knowing more about flooring can be the difference between making and losing a sale. Would it help your client by sharing your flooring knowledge? The realtors that attended our last flooring training said they were sure it would!

Greater Capital Association of Realtors is excited to offer a 2nd Flooring Certification course on November 7 and 8, at the Hyatt Place in Malta, New York.  Exit 12 off the Adirondack Northway. Lisbeth Calandrino, Industry Flooring Expert, from Fabulous Floors Magazine will be our featured speaker.  Our last class had rave reviews; we ran out of seating and had to turn people away. Don’t let this happen to you!

 This day and an half course is sponsored exclusively by Mohawk Industries, Inc.  Richard Owen, Sr. Director or Market Development and Training, Residential Flooring at Mohawk Industries will be joining the class as a guest speaker. Mohawk is the world’s largest flooring company, delivering style and performance for residential and commercial spaces around the globe.

“As your customers’ needs have changed, so has Mohawk, offering the finest in on trend and fashionable collections of flooring products to meet all the demands of today’s home buyers. From luxuriously soft carpeting to the best in wood visuals across all hard surface collection, you can truly FLOOR THE IMAGINATION with Mohawk!” – Richard Owen


INVITE YOUR CUSTOMERS AND BUILDERS! Do you want a client to attend, what about one of your customer builders, architect or interior designer?  Non-members are welcomed at all GCAR classes and this useful and interesting flooring course will benefit you and your connections.

Today’s home buyer expects more, and that includes their expectations of their REALTOR®.  You don’t want to lose a sale because they thought the flooring was a problem and you didn’t know what to do! Learn about the latest styles, color trends, which products are the best for your customers.  You will find this exciting and a major tool for your realtor kit.

Listen to what REALTORS® said in the April course:

  • “Who knew there was so much to learn about flooring?! It was great information and Lisbeth was a dynamic instructor!” – Tracey LaFleur, Howard Hanna
  • “Liz is an encyclopedia of information, I recommend this course to any REALTOR looking to enhance their knowledge or flooring materials, it’s a fun and worthwhile class!” –Susan Sommers, Better Homes & Garden Tech Valley
  • “The information presented has changed my views on many types of flooring and the knowledge will allow me to better serve my clients.” –David Fyfe, Bird Realty
  • “Lisbeth has an engaging personality and a wealth of knowledge related to flooring. Her course, Fabulous Floors Certified, was valuable and informative professionally and personally!” – Melanie Jakway, CM Fox Real Estate
  • Fabulous Floors was a great course~ I will be able to make better decision on choosing floor coverings for my rehab projects!” – Lorraine Gage, United Business Services

Register now at  $75 for members, $100 for non-members. Benefits to attending the course:

  • Receive 9 CE credits for the course
  • Receive an extra 7 hours of CE with a requirements course day that covers: Fair Housing, Ethics and 1 hour of Agency that expires at the end of 2020
  • Be listed in the International Magazine: Fabulous Floors with your contact information to reach new clients
  • Submit your REALTOR® stories to Fabulous Floors Magazine and have your own byline
  • Discounts on products from local Retailers

Register early so you don’t get left out. We have moved from GCAR offices because of limited seating—after 38 we had to turn people away. Again our seating is limited to the first 60! Register now by clicking here.

STAY AFTER CLASS FOR FUN AND NETWORKING! Join us after class, November 7th for a meet and greet with local flooring retailers, consumers and builders.

For more information on the class, call Lisbeth Calandrino @518-495-5380, or write,



Look for Fabulous Floors Magazine a Dwell on Design, 2017!

For the first time, Fabulous Floors Magazine will be exhibited at Dwell on Design. The show, curated in partnership with the editors of Dwell magazine, returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center June 23-25, 2017. The show is open to consumers and the trades.

“Dwell on Design 2017 features exhibits for modern interiors, classes for design professionals, and seminars for design-seeking consumers, says Margo Locust, Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine.  Since our magazine is  dedicated to both consumers and design professionals, this is a perfect place for us to be. Our information gives consumers information they need to make educated purchasing decisions appropriate to their lifestyles.”

The publication provides information on color and design trends, fashion tips, and the latest and greatest in:

  • Carpet
  • Area rugs
  • Tile
  • Hardwood
  • Laminate
  • Resilient
  • Flooring accessories
  • Luxury vinyl tile and planks
  • Waterproof flooring
  • “Green” and eco-friendly flooring
  • Under-layments and installation
  • Alternative soft/hard surfaces


Dwell on Design, Los Angeles Convention Center June 23-25, 2017, features exhibits for modern interiors and exteriors, continuing education classes for design as well as classes for consumers. With three full days of dynamic exhibitions, unparalleled learning opportunities, cutting-edge technologies, 30 onstage programs, over 60 speakers, and 2,000+ innovative modern furnishings and products, Dwell on Design keeps design dialogue moving forward. Attendee registration for the convention can be made at

The Dwell on Design educational programs, onstage and in the classrooms overlooking the show floor, provide CEU credits and will be hosted by AIA, ASID, IIDA, AWA+D, NKBA, APLD, USGBC, and other industry partners.

 “The topic of ‘aging in place’ has been very hot in the flooring industry, says Lisbeth Calandrino, Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine. According to NAHB, 75% of builders report an increase in inquiries about aging in place and the market to be a 20-25 billion dollar business. Technology is providing many solutions for this issue. I’m glad to see that Dwell on Design is offering a seminar on the topic called, “Innovations-In-Aging in Place.” To sign up:

For more about the show, flip through Dwell on Design digital event magazine to discover some of the brands exhibiting at the show. #DODLA17 Digital Event Magazine.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Fabulous Floors Magazine.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Lisbeth Calandrino is Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine and has been a speaker and trainer in the flooring industry for over twenty years. She writes a column for Floor Covering News, The LizBiz Strategies. For more information on Lisbeth, visit her web site,

What Does It Take To Really Know Your Customers?


Is it possible to know what your customers want?

Is it possible to know what your customers want?

Knowing and understanding your target customer is not as easy as it sounds. And companies that know their customers as well as they know their families are few and far between. Knowing a customer to depth is the key characteristic of highly effective  companies.

Companies that have this knowledge about their customers are wildly successful. Once you understand your customer you can deliver the exact solutions they need. Many companies spend their time on everything but having heart-to-heart conversations with current and potential customers. The biggest error is “thinking you know what your customer needs from your point of view.”

Not long ago I was invited to be part of a Design Council with retailers and interior designers with Karndean Design Flooring. Karndean is a 40 year family-owned business out of the UK. The two-day session was moderated by Product Manager Jenne Ross and National Account Retail Manager, Tim Hanno.

“We focus on producing luxury vinyl tile products with the high-end appeal, says Product Manager, Jenne Ross. Our design council gives us the opportunity to speak with those who use our products everyday so that we can see if we are on the correct path. We want to provide the right tools and the best product so our customers can grow their businesses through our designs.”

Unlike a focus group, the Design Council was interested in finding out the challenges faced by their customers. The purpose of the  group, is to get to know the  customers better and understand their needs. To build better products, a business has to understand their customer’s challenge.

I have moderated focus groups in the past and have found them to be useful; unfortunately, it’s a small segment of the marketplace and just because they like a product doesn’t mean they can sell it. It’s more practical to understand their trials with the customer. Then you can go back and determine what products will fit their needs.

I remember conducting a focus group for an area rug company; the product was unusual, ahead of its time and filled a high end niche. The product eventually sold out at discounted prices; the manufacturer did one product run, and that was it.

Different than a focus group, the Design Council brought in customers who understood their market and their customer. For a manufacturer, it’s wise to be consumer savvy. The real value is understanding what hurdles your customer faces in getting the product to the end user.    Consumer information is certainly useful, but the challenges faced by the seller are even more important. Just because a customer likes the product doesn’t mean they will buy it!  If you know what they buy and what they spend maybe  in direct opposition to what they like. There is no question that as a shoe lover Manolo  Blahnik is on the top of my “love” list. However, spending the money on them is a different story.

Unless you sell directly to the end user, how will you know what the customer wants to buy?

Karndean can use this information, along with what they glean from their other groups, to determine how they can help their customers sell their products. Karndean is not a stranger to roundtable discussions. They recently held one  on color and style at the Material Pub in London, with top interior designers and architects.

“We know that our customers can use our help, says Tim Hanno, that’s why we spend time giving our customers information and training that will help them sell our products. We consider them our business partners, and together we need to collaborate to bring the right design to market. No one understands the marketplace better than our customers.”

Getting to understand the hurdles that your customer faces will help a manufacturer get their product to the marketplace and build trust with their customer.

Eventually, the bottom line is the bottom line, and the buck starts there.

Lisbeth Calandrino is Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine and Director of Social Media. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, she can be reached at


Welcome to Fabulous Floors Magazine Blog; we’re excited we have a new way to communicate with the floor covering community.

Hello again, some of you may or may not know me, my name is Margo Locust, and am the Publisher at Fabulous Floors Magazine. Founded in 2003, by flooring industry innovator and vanguard Sonna Calandrino, Fabulous Floors publishes quarterly and  is the first consumer magazine devoted solely to flooring styles as a key design element in home decor. For years articles about flooring were always part of a home decor article or often never mentioned. Flooring is one of the  major design elements of a home and provides the backdrop for everything else in the house. Nothing covers more of a home than the floor covering.

From the beginning I worked at the magazine and was responsible for building the Fabulous Floor Magazine  brand and working with our customers. Prior to joining the magazine, I worked in floorcovering, both residential and commercial.  It’s like a dream come true to be at the helm and carry the legacy of such a wonderful publication and provide valuable information to an industry I love.

FABULOUS FLOORS reports current, concise and useful consumer-oriented information. Topics cover the latest trends in design and color, as well as features and benefits of many different flooring choices. Each issue offers installation tips and guides on different flooring categories, providing consumers and retailers with important information.Look for wonderful articles by leaders in the field of design and trends as well as product innovations.

We know our coverage is on the mark. How? We continue to ask our customers, attend valuable trade shows and keep up on the trends. Our research team conducts extensive field studies and we listen to our readers feedback. This year we will conduct focus groups, consumer panels, on-line surveys about consumer preferences and shopping habits. We continue to expand our reach, building more connections with industry experts and the consumer.  If you would be interested in holding a focus group in your city, let us know.

Each issue features articles on interior decor, specifically as it relates to carpet, laminate, area rugs, vinyl, tile, wood, resilient flooring, luxury vinyl tile,  wool, eco-friendly floors and we’ve added a section on walls. We continue to update “green solutions” and are members of the United States Green Building Council local chapter in upstate New York. We work closely as a flooring resource with Sage College of Interior Design in Albany, New York.

Beginning with the Fall 2011 issue,  I am looking forward to refining our editorial concept, diversifying our distribution, developing web and social media which will provide an even greater flooring and home decor presence in the marketplace.I look forward to your ideas for our magazine so we can continue to look fresh and on the cutting edge of design.

We are excited about our social media campaign spearheaded by our Associate Publisher,  Lisbeth Calandrino. Lisbeth, a long time member of the flooring industry and one of the original founders of Fabulous Floors magazine, and is best noted for her speaking and training. She will be organizing Fabulous Floors events for retailers, distributors and manufacturers who are interested in introducing their business to the architect and design community.

We have been filling new niches by providing custom publishing pieces  for many in the industry. We can be seen and heard from at industry trade shows, you can follow us on Twitter, @fabulousflormag. Our next event will be at  Coverings,The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience on April 17-20, in Orlando, Florida.

Look for our special events with the ASID community. We are proud to continue the tradition of our partnership with the ASID community and follow in the  foot steps of  our late publisher,  Sonna Calandrino who in 2010 was voted ASID Industry Partner of the Year. In 2012, Sonna Calandrino will be inducted into the World Floor Covering Hall of Fame.

We can be followed on Fabulous Floors Magazine Facebook, Twitter @fabulousflormag and join us on LinkedIn. And don’t forget to sign up for our blog.

Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC,  A Limited Liability Company, will maintain its presence in Georgia and production will continue in  New York. We are members of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce in Dalton, Georgia and continue to be active in the flooring community.

We want to hear from you so stay in touch.

For more information please contact:

Margo Locust
In New York:
Old Post Road
Ghent, NY 12075

In Georgia:
P.O. Box 2166
Dalton, GA 30722

Phone: 678.761.5002