June 28, 2014

Simply Put, Opportunities to Make $$$

Sometimes we go through our day to day business of building homes or enhancing homes and don't realize there are "magical powers" delivering our opportunities. Same could be said for associates who supply a trade, supply or service to deliver and new or improved home to the builders end user. We just don't wake up in the morning and have business opportunities handed to us. Quite a bit of work goes into delivering those opportunities and, while not magical, it's exactly what you pay for when you invest in your association dues; a return. 
The latest legislative victory from our engaged members and amazing staff, the "magic" of our industry, is outlined below. But first, here is the original NAHB position: Home Builders Seek Legislative Fix for Soaring Flood Insurance Premium Rates (click here)

As Albert Einstein states above, I needed to get a better understanding and, with the help of NAHB government affairs staff, through back and forth questions, answers, observations and a "ah, I understand"  here is the outline:

Demonstrate Actual Value of Victory
(AKA business opportunities for members)

 This year alone, NAHB economists estimate:
·         $755 million more in new home construction because it is now easier for potential new home buyers to sell their existing home and buy new.
·         $361 million a year in additional remodeling activity because there is no longer added insurance expense for certain remodeling jobs.

The flood legislation benefited several groups with provisions that go beyond the scope of this discussion, but below I’ve included two sectors important to our members:

Prior to NAHB’s involvement in flood insurance legislation:
·         Renovated properties that would “substantially improve” the value of one’s property by 30% would incur a phase-in of 25% of the full-risk rate, each year, over the next four years. Assuming one’s property is valued at $100,000, improving the value by 30%, perhaps through a bathroom or kitchen renovation, would force such a homeowner to incur massive premium flood insurance increases. NAHB successfully argued that homeowners would elect to delay or suspend these renovations, including popular energy efficiency improvements, if the homeowner would realize increases in flood insurance premiums.
·         NAHB was successful in amending the legislation to increase the remodeler’s threshold from 30% to 50%. Therefore, only renovated properties that would increase the property’s value by 50% would be forced to incur premium increases. 

(For builders) Sale or transfer of property:
Prior to NAHB’s involvement in flood insurance legislation:

·         The sale or transfer of property would trigger a shift to the full-risk potentially resulting in flood insurance premium increases into the thousands of dollars. We had examples of individuals going to settle on the purchase of a home, and at settlement they were presented with massive increases in their flood insurance premiums.

As a result of NAHB’s lobbying efforts the following changes were made:

·         Primary Residences (Homes built before 1974, also known as Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map or FIRM) – Instead of an immediate shift to actuarial rates, NAHB’s efforts limited increases to 5-15% increase of the average per premium class but put a cap on individual policies at 18%
·         Non-primary residences (Second homes, build before 1974), non-residential (businesses), and Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) properties – NAHB’s lobbying limited increases to 25%
·         Post-FIRM primary residences: NAHB’s lobbying prevented increases and grandfathered rates would continue 

·         Post-FIRM primary, non-residential, and SRL properties: NAHB’s lobbying prevented increases and grandfathered rates would continue.

What does this mean for our members? More opportunities for our businesses. 

June 20, 2014

A Few Reminders, Because I Care...

This weekend marks the first day of summer where thoughts turn to family vacations, days at the beach, backyard barbecues and every other enjoyment that one can enjoy. For the folks that volunteer at national, or for those who would like to, I have reminders for you about a few things you may miss because, well, you're enjoying life......

I WANT THAT: INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS' SHOW 2014: DIY's "I Want That travels" to Las Vegas, site of the 2014 International Builders' Show for a first look at the emerging design trends, building materials and tools in renovation and remodeling. The special features product innovations for improvements in the home, garden and the latest tech gadgets for a connected lifestyle. 

Set your DVR as the next two airings of the “I Want That: International Builders' Show 2014” will air June 20th at 8 PM eastern and on June 26th at 7:00 pm eastern on the DIY Network.

NAHB 2015 Committee & Council Appointment Application: NAHB is looking for members to serve on committees and councils for 2015. One of the best experiences, for those who volunteer at the local and state levels, is to work on a national committee. It gives you an opportunity to help your building industry by contributing to the national committee efforts of helping our locals back home as well as meeting like-minded members from around the country. Talk about expanding your social circles! Here is a list of NAHB committees for you to choose from (click here). 

Are you interested? If so, I strongly encourage you to submit an application at nahb.org/2015committeeform (click here) today
 The application deadline is September 21, 2014. 

Association Leadership Institute:  C'mon, Meet me in St. Louis August 6-8 and join others from around the federation in Advancing Great Ideas! 
The NAHB Association Leadership Institute brings staff and member volunteers together for dynamic education on key association functions, intersecting with insightful leadership development and team collaboration. It’s this exchange that ignites great ideas for building successful organizations and creating rewarding experiences. At the Institute, you'll get:
  • An achievable and defined path for your association
  • Practical skills to run your association with over 30 education programs
  • Creative new ways to make and save money for your association
  • Relationship-building events during seven meals, two receptions, four breaks and a night out
  • Recognition for your association's achievements through the Association Awards
  • Register today (click here)
Fall Membership Drives: Are you ready to Recruit•Engage•Retain and win big during the 2014 NAHB Membership Drive (click here)? Fill out this form to register your HBA to participate!
By signing up for either May, September or October, your members are eligible to earn DOUBLE SPIKE CREDITS in your selected month. If you sign up to compete in two months (May and your choice of either September or October), your members will earn TRIPLE SPIKE CREDITS for both months that you register for.
To help explain how the 2014 Membership Drives work, the NAHB Membership Team has recorded a webinar with helpful information.
Sign up today and compete against HBAs from across the federation in your size category for your chance to win and take home up to $2,500!

Registration Deadlines, DO NOT MISS!
  • To compete in September, register by Aug. 22.
  • To compete in October, register by Sept. 26.
Register for BuilderLink: Help your business and the home building industry by joining BuilderLink, NAHB's exciting national grassroots program.  Please fill out the form below to become an active participant.
There are two ways to become involved:
  • BuilderLink Advocate - BuilderLink Advocates represent a broad base of NAHB members who communicate to Congress primarily through letters, e-mails and phone calls.
  • BuilderLink Ambassador - The primary responsibility of a BuilderLink Ambassador is to develop a personal relationship with a member of Congress in order to directly communicate the effects of legislation on the housing industry. In addition, BuilderLink Ambassadors will be asked to meet locally with their federal lawmaker and engage in a handful of other advocacy activities that are tied to the federal legislative goals of NAHB.

There, all set? Now that you have taken care of these reminders... go enjoy your summer!  

June 13, 2014

The Lifeblood of OUR Federation

Today's blog article is a continuation of last week's blog article, "Sorry Guys, Size Does Matter..."

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and every single local association within, is the very reason why we have careers. Don't let anyone sway you into thinking the 2008 economic meltdown had to do with builders and their associate vendors. It had everything to do with Wall Street greed that almost destroyed the very fabric of one of the three necessities of life; food, clothing and SHELTER. Yes, I wrote almost because the industry is slowly rebounding and we as members of NAHB, those who survived, are back. Not as strong as ever but certainly month by month gaining strength and momentum. You can go back through this blog and find article upon article discussion the value of our association and the very "things" we need to have to be as successful as each market will allow. Two staples of NAHB can never be denied as being absolute in weapons, when fighting our "enemies of the industry", or tools, when helping our members; BUILD-PAC and Membership. The two go hand in hand in our survival. They are both the heart and soul of the Federation, the lifeblood of our present and future.

I know, I may be a bit over dramatic for some, those who are not really invested in the housing industry. Those that are understand that it takes more than one voice, more than one investment, will find my blog article today to resonate within there minds. We don't wake up every morning and find our industry providing for us. We must wake up every morning providing for our industry or it becomes like an unattended garden, withered and full of weeds and insects. 

Without a healthy membership, we lose political strength in those areas where membership is down. The stronger locals, those with high membership totals, take notice; in order to have legislative victories in your state capitol, you need all legislators in your state to have an understanding of your issues. If one or more locals are struggling for members, those districts will seem unimportant to those state legislators in those counties. Why? Lack of viable votes. Politicians are not as complicated as some would think. "How many votes can you deliver?" is always on their minds, or at least in tandem with any other thoughts. Election and reelection.

BUILD-PAC’s (Builders United In Legislative Decisions Political Action Committee) voice in Washington is only as strong as our members who continue to support its efforts.  This support comes from individual members like YOU.  In an attempt to keep this short and sweet, I won’t expand on BUILD-PAC’s mission or goals but rest assured the more we BUILD up BUILD-PAC’s membership base, the more doors we will open on Capitol Hill.
We should all take it upon ourselves to educate our membership about BUILD-PAC, our PAC and voice at the national level.  Reach out to builders and vendors in your area of the country and be sure they know about the value of NAHB membership!  Please also check out the articles contained within Association Maximization as they have some good talking points that should help address any questions that might arise. 
TODAY is the day.  We are all busy running our businesses and careers and it’s easy to say “I’ll get to that tomorrow.”  Whether you are a builder or associate, I am operating under the assumption that you are as passionate about your career and this industry as I am.  In my opinion, two things make up a successful career…drive and a path relatively free of roadblocks.  BUILD-PAC and NAHB membership are the first steps to clearing YOUR path.

Please review these two MUST SEE NAHB 2014 Spring Board Reports...

Message from 2014 BUILD-PAC Chairman Greg Ugalde (click here)

Message from 2014 Membership Committee Chairman Mike Kurpiel, CGA, CGP (click here)

I ask you a very simple question about your future in OUR industry; are you in or are you out?  
If "yes" will you start today to help us help you by rebuilding membership and bringing others into BUILD-PAC?

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

June 8, 2014

Sorry Guys, Size Does Matter...

... and by "guys" I'm referring to both genders!

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is many things to many people. For members, the association is a place to network, become better industry educated and to take part in home building/renovating enhancement or protection, better known as advocacy.

For homeowners, current and future, NAHB is the mark of perceived excellence and a place to find a builder with their great investment.

For environmentalists with extreme views, NAHB is the perfect villain who delights on building on open space or scaring off endangered species. The problem with that is most, if not all, politically engaged environmentalists go home each night to a home built by a builder. Ironic, isn’t it? In fact, I have yet to meet one who lives in a grass hut in the woods.

I look at NAHB in many ways, in particular, I see individual local home builder associations (HBA) working towards being united as a voice for home building. My current role within NAHB is chairman of NAHB’s Membership Committee and I work with a dedicated group of committee members, with guidance and input from NAHB staff members, to develop tools for these individual locals to help with recruitment and retention. The HBA leaders are there to help with engaging the members. This committee, over the years, has done great work and the one thing I would like to add in discussing the development of tools is the ultimate reason for membership growth; the power of perception. 

The view of NAHB by politicians or those seeking office for the first time, view our association’s strength by the possible votes it can bring to a campaign. The greater the number of members possibly delivered, the better and more productive the conversation about building industry initiatives.

Membership growth does contribute to the local HBA’s operating expenses for dues revenue and the greater the membership numbers the greater the opportunity for non dues revenue. Membership has the voice of an industry, the ear of the politician and the financial resources to allow the local HBAs, and by extension the state HBAs and NAHB, to make sure that its members are receiving the best possible experience.