Why Are You A Member?
I joined NIHBA in the fall of 1987. I had started my company a year earlier and had just closed my first two homes. A few of my vendors had told me that it was a great organization to join if I was serious about staying in business as a builder. In addition to the opportunity to meet with other builders and vendors, I remember strongly feeling that it would give my company more credibility to consumers if I were a member of a professional trade association.
Over the years I think my company has established itself to the point that identity with a professional trade association is much less of a reason for me to be a member but I have discovered so many more to be not only a member, but an very active member. The Arbitration Program offered to all builders and remodelers in our association is a real inexpensive insurance versus a costly legal matter through the court system. Networking is a vague term and means many different things to many different people. The more I am involved with NIHBA the more I have learned about a new code, or a different building technique, or a new vendor to use, or design trends, or how other builders deal with issues I am having. All of this “networking” has provided me with invaluable knowledge, none of which I would have learned if I hadn’t been there at that time and place.
Earlier this year I signed up with the new insurance program through the Home Builders Association of Illinois (which requires membership in one of the local homebuilder associations) and as a result my company was able to save 12 times what my annual dues cost. Literally, it pays to be a member!
My perspective is obviously that of a builder and I’m astounded when I reach out to non-builder members who won’t join. It’s mind boggling to think why a builder wouldn’t be a member.
From an Associate Members point of view I would guess the number one reason to be a member is for the opportunity to meet new builders and get more business. I think networking is also very beneficial to Associate Members. Topics like who’s a good builder to work for, opportunities to find new banking relationships, and meeting other associates who could introduce you to their builders are all regular conversations at NIHBA events. Last month, I saw two competitors who have known of each other for over a decade meet for the first time and huddle in the corner for a long conversation. I guarantee each of those parties came away from that chance meeting with something important.
I don’t know why each of you first joined NIHBA or, if you’ve been a member for an extended period of time, why you continue to be a member but I would like to know. I will offer 2 tickets to a Blackhawks game this upcoming season to a randomly chosen member who responds to me by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 15 with why you’re a member. I look forward to seeing your responses.
As always, I thank you for being a member and hope that NIHBA is providing you with lots of reasons to never want to leave.
Pete Stefani, President
King's Court Builders, Inc. | The Confidence Builder
Phone: 630.369.4150 x225 | Fax: 815.254.5413