September 26, 2014

The Greatest Show on Earth

Today's guest blogger is Ann Garvey, from Charlotte, Michigan and owner of A & J Construction & Consulting. Ann is currently the  2nd Vice Chair of Conventions & Meetings and has been one of the biggest advocates of The National Association of Home Builders' International Builders Show. This year's show will be January 20-22, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada (I know, I didn't need to write Nevada) and is slated to be one of the best ever, if not THE best.

 The Greatest Show on Earth!

Ann Garvey

One year ago…. It was the first time that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association co-located in Las Vegas.  Born from that collaboration we now have Design & Construction Week!  Registered attendees have access to both show floors, plus complimentary access to the show floor of a third trade show, the International Window Covering Expo.  Need more reasons?!  Okay, we have added this year two more /// The newest to join us this year is Las Vegas Market (home furnishings & decor, accessories and gifts) and The International Surface Event (TISE) which includes flooring, tile and stone/ Still need more??

The International Builders Show (IBS) truly is the Greatest Show on Earth for the home building industry. Having the home building industry descend on Las Vegas, through exhibits and attendees, is the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” OK, I know I am sounding like I own a piece of the show but I don’t.  However, I am 2nd vice chair of Conventions & Meetings, who has IBS under its umbrella so I do take pride knowing that this show has all you can ask for if you are:

1. Building a home for others

2. You sell a product or service that helps build a home


3. Want to elevate your knowledge of products, systems, company management or more…

First, let’s start with the exhibits.  Over 1,300 Manufacturers and suppliers proudly showing you what is new, what is cutting edge, what is coming soon and the “have to have this, now!” products. Top professionals that are at the top of their game because they know you are in a whirlwind of excitement with no time to waste. If you display during IBS you know that this is where the decisions are made for upcoming projects. So man exhibitors have told me that it’s like “retail at Christmas” with the frenzy. I find that to be very accurate!!

Second on my list is education.  Education can be found at IBS and not just any education, pinpoint industry education for any of your needs. IBS education will help you become better sales professionals, whether you are selling a home or selling to a person building a home. IBS offers the education to end all education.  Over 100 classes, seminars and workshops that are fine-tuned and direct to your weaknesses and absolutely there to help you reinforce your strengths. "I don't need to learn anymore" – was never said by a successful person, ever.

At IBS you also have the opportunity to visit the Centrals… What’s that you ask?!  They are areas set up at the show where you can meet, relax and visit with other professionals from your same interest to get new ideas and information about your specific niche.  Centrals feature some of the industry’s top professionals who will lead enthusiastic and entertaining discussions.  So if your interest is in: 50+ Lifestyle, Custom Building, Design Studio, Remodeling, Multifamily or Sales we have a Central for you! 

Another on my list is the chance to take part in THE industry’s biggest networking event. Thousands and thousands of like minded professionals and renovators are under one roof. If you need something or someone and you didn’t find it that means 1) you stayed at the casino to gamble or 2) you never left your hotel room.  It’s highly unlikely that you won’t take the costs of IBS, and say “this investment paid off better than I could have imagined.”  And, did I mention…this show is FUN?!?! 

All combined? Seriously, what is not to love!! 

I will make this even more exciting for you! If you are an NAHB member, click on this link before September 30th you will receive your FREE Expo Pass!   

And if that's not exciting enough our IBS Spike Concert will be headlined by.........

IBS Spike Concert Preview! (click here)
I am looking forward to seeing YOU at THE GREATEST SHOW On Earth…for the home building industry.

Best Regards,

September 22, 2014


Today's guest blogger is Kim Hefner Hines, H & H Design, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Kim has a very special challenge to the executive officers and HBA leaders out there and she proudly states...

Kim Hefner Hines
Associates across the country are being honored this month for Associate Appreciation month and, if you ask my opinion, at least one month is needed to say “thank you” for an all year volunteer. One of the best features of chairing the NAHB Associate Members Committee is the chance to work with associates from across the country…how I turned that feature into a benefit is by absorbing their knowledge, and their life experiences (as it pertains to our association). For that, I am deeply grateful. I know the members at home, in each of your states, are grateful for their volunteers, those associates who stand tall and deliver, month in and month out. I also know that the value of a hardworking associate and that value directly delivers quite a few non dues dollars into each local’s coffers.

But, as executive officers and volunteers yourselves, you know that. As leaders of your respective locals, you know that as well. Part of the national Associate Members Committee is highlighting your active associates through being nominated for the NAHB Associate of the Year Award. Yes, being involved at national carries a lot of weight in the judging department. However, and I mean this sincerely, it is a great way to say to your top associate “we will place you up against any associate in the country!” I deeply encourage you to click on this link and submit your associate, or three, for this prestigious national award. I would also highlight that associate in your publication with all the hoopla of being nominated for the Academy Award. They may not win but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the recognition by their local, or state, association. Make your associates smile; nominate them, today!

As the chair of Associate Members I would like to also ask you to nominate your builder members, who take to heart our motto “it’s good business to do business with a member,” for the NAHB BEAM Award, Builders Engaging Associate Members. You and I know that when builders engage associates you get a lot more enthused volunteers. We also know that those builders are ones who truly understand that value of working with those who help all concerned. Again, let’s see how your builder members stack up against builder members across the country. If they win, fantastic and BRAVO! If they don’t, they really still do because they feel the love from their local or state to be placed in such high regard. Click on this link and show your love, today!   As a side note, I’m still thrilled to brag about our 2013 BEAM Award Winner from Little ‘Ol South Dakota. What an honor it was for him to be selected from all the deserving entries…he covets this award more than any other he has received, and he still feels grateful to the many Associates who took the time to write letters of recommendation for him to win the BEAM. 

Our third award is a special award; the Bill Polley BUILD-PAC Award. You all have a Bill Polley in your association; you know him or her as the associate who knows how to get others members to invest in political action committee endeavors. Once again, but with the same emphasis, you are saying THANK YOU to that associate for all they do to help with influencing others to take a financial part in our industry. Being nominated is almost as special as winning, however if they were never nominated before is just as special because that associate’s association is taking the time to acknowledge the volunteer’s efforts. It’s a win-win; you get to show off your very own  (This goes for the two awards above as well). Click on this link and submit your top PAC associate!

It’s tough to gain volunteers, particularly since the great recession leveled our industry. But we are coming back, stronger than before. Now is the time to rebuild your volunteer ranks by heavily promoting your current active volunteers. Others will be envious; those who seek success will want to emulate those being highlighted, by you. Again, a win-win.

In the grand scheme of our federation, isn’t a win for our association and a win for our volunteers what we strive for? I believe it is and I know, as an executive officer and association leader, you believe it to be true as well.


Now, click those links and yell loudly “MY VOLUNTEER IS BETTER THAN YOURS!”


September 15, 2014

Education is Golden

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
"I don't need to learn anymore" - said no successful person, ever.
Well, there are truths in both quotes. When you invest in education, and you apply what you have learned, success, or greater success, is only moments away. If the education is timely, if the education is applicable to what your priorities are. 
Today's guest blogger is Manchester, New Hampshire's own Dianne Beaton, THE Visionary Diva and owner of 2DiFore Marketing Solutions, LLC, and proud member of the Greater Manchester Nashua Home Builders and Remodelers Association. Dianne is a national associate volunteer leader, having chaired the NAHB Associate Members Committee, a BUILD-PAC Trustee from her state to NAHB, is on NAHB's CGB Board of Governors and recently was nominated by her national peers to be the 2015-2016 National Associate Chairman (VP) for NAHB.

 Education is Golden

by Dianne D. Beaton, CGA, CAPS

Dianne D. Beaton, CGA, CAPS
I know quite a few industry professionals, from around the country, and it seems to me that those who have decided to learn more about their industry are successful. The National Association of Home Builders offers to members, and non-members courses that can elevate industry professionals to industry leaders. These courses can be quite an advantage and collectively they will bring you coveted NAHB designations. Offered through NAHB Education (click here for more information)  there are multiple designations to choose from, such as the Certified Graduate Associate, designed to help the associate member understand the builders' business, with the Basics of Building course as an example,  so that the associate can be an asset to his or her customers. There are courses designed for builder members to achieve the Certified Graduate Builder. There are courses that have been designed for the remodeling professional Certified Graduate Remodeler designation. In addition, there are courses for green building, aging in place, sales & marketing of new homes, to name a few. With additional courses, these will help to further your knowledge of each designation and strengthen the designations' worth.
How does this bring you value? On a personal level it separates you from having a job and enjoying a career! Faced with being laid off in April of 2008 the prospects of obtaining a “marketing” position was slim to none! However, I knew that I was equipped with a secret weapon, MY CGA and CAPS Designations! With the support of my family and many building professionals in my local I formed my marketing company with a complete focus on assisting them! By knowing and understanding the many facets of building a home it set me apart from others who did not have that “in-depth” knowledge. The more you know and understand about our industry the more you will gain. As a marketing tool for associates, your designation(s) separates you from your competitors as an expert and certified by NAHB. When consulting, selling product or service, through your discussions with your customer, you could proudly offer what your designations stand for and the education that came with the certification. As a builder, or remodeler, your designation could be marketed as a "good housekeeping seal of approval." When selling homes or remodeling projects, a new home or improvement prospect will feel more at ease with you because of your certification.”  Whatever your career description is, there are courses designed just for you and designations geared towards elevating you above your competition.
I had the honor of chairing the NAHB Associate Members Committee in 2012 and one of our sub-committees, Training and Designations, has as its core purpose the promotion of NAHB Education and making sure our members back at our home local HBAs understand the value of an NAHB education. There is no substitute for continuing education. It sharpens your mind, develops other avenues to market you and your company and you won't find it anywhere but in the "halls of NAHB."

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, GP