Depending upon where you live and what type of building you do, you may find yourself asked at some point in time to consider joining a home builder association. While there are often monetary and time commitments involved with this type of membership, there are also numerous benefits that usually far outweigh any objections that you may have. While every home builder association is different, and you will need to contact your local group to find out what exact benefits may be available to you, most associations offer similar advantages that you may want to consider.
The home building industry is constantly changing, and it’s changing more quickly today than it ever has before. You need to stay up to date, not only on current trends, but also current materials, recommendations, LEED certifications, sustainability, and even how to continue to stay relevant and reach new clients.
Nearly every home builder association from the National Association of Home Builders down to local groups offer some level of education. This may be classes you can take for certifications, or it may be lists of specifications, materials, and designs that you can use to stay relevant with your clients. Many of these courses and sources of information are free for members, so you can more easily keep up with what you need to get ahead.
In fact, many home builder associations offer the ability to earn certification and credentials that can help set you apart from the rest of the crowd. This includes things like earning recognition as a Certified Graduate Remodeler or Certified Sales Professional. These types of credentials can help you grow your business, helping you gain trust with clients that can help you get ahead.
As a builder, you probably have a crew relying on you. You probably also have to take care of things like your own taxes, 401K and health insurance – particularly in light of current laws. One thing that many home builder associations offer is a type of group protection to members.
In other words, you can get discounted health insurance for yourself and your crew. You can also eliminate a lot of your paperwork and your fiduciary liability on your 401K, saving you time and money. When many builders band together, it gives you multiple employer options that you aren’t eligible for on your own.
Monetary Savings on Business Expenses
Many home builder associations also work to obtain discounts on numerous items, materials, and services that they then pass on to members. This means that you can often find deep discounts on the type of things you use every day, saving you money, and helping you become more efficient at what it is that you do.
Keep in mind that sometimes it’s not only materials and job related items that you’ll find discounts on either; a typical sampling of discounts offered by one association includes things like Omaha Steaks, Dell Computers, and FTD florals. This is on top of discounts on things like FedEx shipping, Lowes, Home Depot, and other lumberyards, as well as discounted credit card processing, and hotel group room rate reductions. Some associations even offer scholarships to the children of members, so your whole family benefits.
Need a new member for your team? What about someone to work in the office while you’re in the field? Many associations offer things like job boards and recommendations for workers looking for new jobs. This can make screening and hiring a new team member faster and easier for you, so you can get back to doing the tasks you enjoy, and not the administrative stuff you don’t.
Stay Current on Industry Trends
In addition to educational opportunities, most associations publish numerous articles on industry trends each month. Whether in the form a newsletter or a blog, you can usually find the information that you need to offer your clients the latest in technology and design that they’ve come to expect. With things like HGTV, Pinterest, and home design blogs driving homeowners to educate themselves and stay on top of trends, it’s more important than ever before that you also stay on top of what’s new to help meet their demands. By subscribing to an association’s newsletter or blog, you can stay current without having to do a lot of legwork or research on your own.
Instant Recognition and Credibility
Being able to use the name of your association may also open a lot of doors for you both with clients and with professionals. While you may not have a personal connection with a client or supplier yet, there’s always a chance that your builders association will; you end up benefiting by association.
Look into a Home Builder Association near You
There are local and national association memberships for builders that can offer you a lot more in return for your yearly dues. Look into what associations may be available near you to find out exactly how you can benefit.