EDITOR’S NOTE: This Associates Council Chair Report to be published in the next edition of Oklahoma Builder magazine is the second of two parts about the purpose and mission of associate membership – to provide unity, collaboration, promotion, forum, advocacy and community support.
By Steve Sullivan, Chair, State Associates Council
Builders, do business with active associates
If you believe in what your association does for you, in terms of industry advocacy which helps with the bottom line, doing business with those who volunteer their time to generate new members and net profits from HBA fund-raisers is a very good way to be a better member.
The associates on the sidelines will see the increased business opportunities the active associates are experiencing and will look to become engaged within the HBA as well. This translates into a stronger HBA, meaning a stronger advocacy arm for builders and associates.
Make sure all your suppliers, service providers and subcontractors are members of the HBA. If it affects builders, it will affect these trade partners as well.
Why should they not be a member also? They benefit from your success so they should also invest to protect that success. Builders should not feel badly about leveraging their position. These vendors need to invest in the industry that supports them, through builder business.
Builders should volunteer also, serve as an officer for your HBA and serve as a board member. Look to be a mentor for the new or younger builder members of your HBA.
Invest in the local HBA serving on behalf of all of us who earn a living in the building industry.
Why should building industry participants cross the threshold from nonmember to member? Why join or maintain HBA membership?
Every associate would like the opportunity to sell to builders. The reason most join is to build their book of business. There will be opportunities but no guarantees. They want to network with like-minded industry professionals. Builders and associates also join to learn more about their business, whether it's about codes or best practices.
Educational opportunities are readily available at all three levels of membership. Associations, through a collective, offer insurance, whether it be health, workers compensation or any other needed insurance a company would require to supply or construct a home.
Without HBAs, there are limited opportunities for business. Without advocacy, environmentalists win, and anybody else who is against home building. Why?
Without advocacy, we as an industry have no voice in our cities, state capitals or in Washington, D.C. If that's the case, no reason for industry education, no need to meet new folks. You still might need insurance, but it will be extremely high because the associations’ discounts won't be available.
Membership -- Advocate
We lose political strength in those areas where membership is down. Legislators will take notice of the stronger locals -- those with high membership totals. To have legislative victories locally and at our state Capitol, we need all legislators to have an understanding of our issues.
If one or more locals are struggling for members, those districts will seem unimportant to those state legislators in those counties.
Why? Simply put: Lack of viable votes. Politicians are not as complicated as some would think. They see it as to how many votes can you deliver. It is always on their minds, or at least in tandem with any other thoughts.