July 30, 2015

Doing Business With Associates...

... is THE driving force behind associates renewing membership AND non dues revenue, AKA sponsorships!

The builder member who regularly engages associate members is one that should be held in high esteem. Business is business and builders need to get the best possible combination of price and quality. However, doing business with an associate member who can provide what the builder needs is an outstanding example of how our association is supposed to work.

The National Association of Home Builders' Associate Members Committee wants to make sure YOUR builder members are saluted for being an association leader by making sure we work with those from within.

The NAHB BEAM (Builders Engaging Associate Members) Award is bestowed on one builder or building company that best exemplifies the motto, "It's good business to do business with a member."
This award serves to encourage builder members to use the goods and services offered by member companies and to recognize the builder or local entity that exemplifies this vitally important teamwork.

Note: Association Maximization will be taking the entire month of August off to enjoy, we hope you do as well! 
See you in September! 


July 23, 2015

Will You Recognize Your Associates Back Home?

There is a quote that always rings true in my mind; "A leader is always first in line during times of criticism and last in line during times of recognition."  
Members who work for the cause and not the applause are very valued members because they "get it." These associates are not looking for awards but they are deserving of the recognition and it's up to all of us to make sure they are acknowledged.
NAHB's Associate member awards offer individuals a number of opportunities to be acknowledged for their remarkable contributions to the housing industry at the local, state and national levels.
The Associate of the Year award honors one associate member who has made outstanding contributions to their local, state and national HBAs and to the home building industry in the past year. (click here for nomination forms)
The Bill Polley Advocate of BUILD-PAC award recognizes an associate member who has made diligent efforts on behalf of BUILD-PAC. (click here for nomination forms)
Please, nominate one of your associates back home. Maybe they win, maybe they don't, but they will certainly feel appreciated!



July 14, 2015

Housing Pirate Warning

Today's blog is two days early because it is a much needed warning to my fellow NAHB members who attend national board meetings and/or the International Builders Show. You may have received this warning already and I apologize for being redundant to those who have.
Barbara Rapp, Assistant Vice President, Housing & Leadership Events, has a message that you need to read and pass along to your membership back home.

Thank you , Barbara. We, as association family, need to stick together and watch each others back! 

 Housing Pirate Warning

It has come to my attention this week that “housing pirates” targeted several of our members and EOs offering to book hotel rooms for them during the Fall Board Meeting in Dallas.  This is the first time we’ve seen them coming after housing business for NAHB’s smaller meetings.  While we have been warning IBS exhibitors and attendees for years about these companies, they are more prevalent now due to the expansive nature of the Internet, making it easier for these offenders to find contact lists. 

With individuals striving to find the best deals online, many fall prey to these companies offering to sell them hotel rooms at a lower rate for the group’s meeting.  The pirates will reach out in a variety of ways; email, telephone or even phony websites that look convincingly official.  They inform the individual that they are calling on NAHB’s behalf to secure hotel rooms for them. They may reference the meeting location or specific meeting hotels and they will usually warn the person that the room block is almost sold out to encourage immediate action. These solicitations have become more aggressive and sometimes financially damaging if credit card information is divulged.

The hardest reality to face about this is what the pirates do is often legal but obviously very unethical.  NAHB attempts to inhibit these companies by sending cease and desist letters and by including the names of the companies and their employees in correspondence to our members and attendees.

Below is information that you can send to members to warn them about these companies.

As the Fall Board Meeting and the International Builders’ Show approach, exhibitors and attendees often receive unauthorized solicitations from hotels or third-party housing agencies which are not affiliated with NAHB.
These unaffiliated third parties typically advertise a lower rate than NAHB’s official hotel block rates. However, the lower rates may be a reflection of the lower quality of the rooms offered, and/or significantly less favorable terms that apply to the reservation. For example, cancellation policies imposed on guests who book with such third parties are often harsh and unforgiving. And in other cases, these groups turn out not to have any rooms available on the relevant dates at the low rates they advertise but they request credit card and other sensitive information nonetheless. For these reasons, and to support NAHB’s efforts to give you the highest quality meeting experience, we strongly encourage you to book your housing accommodations using the reservation tools provided by NAHB.
Only Official NAHB Hotels hold room blocks reserved for NAHB guests. Any offers or calls you may receive from other hotels and/or housing agencies are not affiliated with NAHB and are not authorized communications, even if they appear to offer rooms at an Official NAHB Hotel.
A company called Exhibitor Housing Services, 800-217-4227, is one of the companies described above.  If you are contacted by Exhibitor Housing Services, please do not give them any personal information and contact me immediately at brapp@nahb.org.

Thank you!



Barbara Rapp
Assistant Vice President, Housing & Leadership Events
Exhibitions & Meetings

1201 15th Street, NW

July 9, 2015

Beyond the Faces

Today's guest blogger is Ann Garvey from Charlotte, Michigan. Ann is a builder and associate member, with her own comapny A & J Construction and Consulting (Builder) and Associate membership under EA Habitat for Humanity.

Ann is also the current National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Public Affairs and Association Communications Committee Chairman and the reason for her message today is all about how we communicate and what is needed to secure helpful delivery of information as well as dialogue that keeps NAHB's motor humming.
Ann Garvey

 Beyond the Faces
by Ann Garvey, CGA, CSP, 

Sometimes, as much as you'd like to meet face to face, certain factors cross that communication road that gives pause to seeking alternatives. 

There was a great discussion at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Spring Board during the first week of June. In a one line summary, on a trial basis not to extend past one meeting (Fall Boards) the sub committee work of the standing committees would be conducted by webinars.
This caused some angst among the members who believe sub committee work is vital to the effort and therefore should be in person. Count me as one of them. However the trial basis of webinars had already begun a few years back with all types of NAHB virtual offerings so this should not really be new.

Make absolutely no mistake; face to face meetings have amazing power. You get to say something and then watch for reactions. You know, smiles, nodding of agreement, raised eyebrows, looks of bewilderment, maybe looks of aggravation and disgust. The point is facial expressions as a reaction sets the tone for the next moment; discussion. It is in these face to face meetings that ideas blossom, are given momentum and goals are achieved and initiatives continued.

Nothing can replace face to face meetings. Nothing. But, if done correctly and with the proper tools, webinars come pretty close. Just what are the tools?
  • A very good internet connection speed
  • A laptop, desktop, iPad or similar device or smart phone with the right app
  • A good webcam
  • Good listening skills when it comes to taking direction/instruction
  • Following through with webinar procedure and protocol
I understand that for some there is an extra benefit involved with face to face meetings; the pre and post meeting networking and continuing of relationship building. I also realize that webinars aren't to be the complete be all/end all for the face to face meetings but think of some of the benefits of webinars;
  • Time saver. When the webinar starts is when you start the meeting. When it's over, meeting is over, back to your day job.
  • Face to face restores lost hours in drive time. Drive is easily an hour to many hours to the state HBA, wait for meeting to start, then drive back the same amount of time. That's is productive income producing business time that is gone. Maybe family time if overnight is needed due to size of state.
  • For the NAHB discussion; fly time requires rides to the airport, wait for boarding, wait for take off, actual in the air time, off loading time, wait for baggage time, get a taxi time and then drive to hotel or NAHB designated meeting room. And... we do it all over again after the meeting. Did I mention hotel time which leads to...
  • Added expenses of face to face. The bullet point above costs dollars, lots of dollars. Webinar costs, for a start-up rookie, are minimal compared to the hard costs of traveling to face to face.
  • Webinars can be recorded so the committee member can always go back and replay. Face to face we are subject to the minute taker's grasp of what's important to record. 
  • At the national level, engaging the members who are observing but would love to take part in discussions. Also, there may be members who had attended national meetings but now, for what ever reason, can no longer participate. What a great way to reengage!
  • At the state or local level, you may gain interest for members who can only take part by webinar so inviting them to national webinars is an EXCELLENT way to bring the grassroots into play.
I love the face to face discussions and I would not support eliminating any of them. However, once in awhile, don't you feel like you wish the meeting was shorter and more convenient as it relates to your business and personal time?