June 24, 2013

"The Value of an Active Builder"

IThe last issue of Association Maximization discussed the value of an active associate member (click here to read). The question some would have is how do these associates become and maintain being active? When first joining the home builders association (HBA), most new associates focus their attention of gaining business. Not the opportunity for business but immediate business, as in tomorrow, if not today. In fact, the number #1 reason first year associate members do not renew is because "I didn't receive business!" 
If these sales representatives (even owners of companies are sales representatives) were true professionals they would understand that nothing is guaranteed, absolutely nothing. Well, other than death and taxes, except neither one of those are particularly pleasant. The right place at the right time always determines successful business encounters, always. But two sayings come to mind for those associates who failed to understand the sales success/association involvement theory; "You have to be in it to win it" and "out of sight, out of mind."

Fact #1: the financial strength of the HBA is dependent upon the associates time and treasure with 66% of all dues revenue coming from associates and over 90% of all non dues revenue coming from associates as well.

The question above asks "how do these associates become and maintain being active?"

Fact #2: "HBA active builders" is the answer because active builders
  •  come to HBA general membership meetings.
  • are involved on the legislative, legal and political committees that strengthen our overall mission of building industry protection and growth.
  • engage associate members in the construction process.
  • Understand "The Local HBA Cycle for Success." (click here)
  • take leadership roles within the HBA; committee chairmanship, board seat, join the officers ladder, president. 
  • mentor the next generation of builder members 
  • teach associate members about the value of the HBA.
These bullet points, and I'm sure you could come up with more, are the key to a healthy HBA. Active builders are the ones who uncover the hidden benefits for associates which helps to retain their associate membership. By having builders attend general membership meetings it shows the strength of the organization. When builders become active in committees and board meetings the associates become more involved. As the associates become more involved they gain a better sense of the real purpose of the HBA (protection and growth of building) and as time moves forward relationships between builder and associate are sure to blossom (each associate members should understand, however, that they are not the only associate providing goods or services and it does take time to prove themselves)

Active builders should be applauded for their efforts. The past several years in a housing "downturn" with continued lending obstacles and appraisers still not understanding their role in a full recovery has had the builder not feeling very social, and rightfully so. It hasn't been any easier for the associates, we understand completely. But there are builders, in local HBAs across the country, who never walked away from their association or leadership. These builders were/are the beacon for associates, a beacon that drew in the associates time and treasure which helped so many locals survive the past several years. 

The active builders provide great mentoring to builders who have HBA leadership potential by showing them the way as well. Quite a few builders are hesitant in becoming involved in leadership roles but the active builders have a "been there" perspective that sheds so much positive light on the uncertainties of commitment.

Active builders create a solid and stable foundation for our association. As those in the building industry would understand, without a solid and stable foundation, the house collapses. Just one builder a month becoming active in his/her local brings so much value. Like in anything we do in our association, we receive active participation from less than 20% (I'm being kind) from our overall membership. 
The key to the HBA success, the key that opens the door for associates and their two-thirds of dues revenue and 90%+ non dues revenue continuing in their efforts, are the active builders. That should be the focus in helping the locals thrive; how to attract more builders to become engaged. The more active builders you have the brighter the beacon becomes leading to more associates finding their way.

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

1 comment:

Michael LeCorgne said...

Well said Mr. Kurpiel! An active builder will bring active associates!
However, that can go both ways, as active associates that are involved with advocacy and education of the industry, more "professional"builders will build a healthy respect for the "professional" associate!