During my time as a member of the Greater Houston Builders Association, and especially this year as president, the most common question I am asked is some variation of, “How do I get the most from my membership?”
My answer comes in 10 steps that can easily be accomplished throughout a year. Commit to this list for one year and I’m confident you will happily be a member for many years to come.
1: Maximize Your Member Benefits. You paid for them. A strategic and calculated approach at utilizing these benefits can easily cover your dues for the year. For new members, send in your 100-word company profile for $800 in free advertising value. Enroll your company in the GHBA-endorsed insurance program, the Associations of Texas Retirement Plan, enjoy some statewide rebates through the TAB Member Rebate Program, or get free listings for your homes through NewHomeSource. Members also are granted access to the Texas Residential Construction Contract Package, which could cover the value of membership altogether. There are a multitude of other benefits to explore as well.
2: Go Shake Some Hands! Your membership provides access to a wide variety of great events where you can make lasting friendships and business relationships. Pick a big event, like one of the cookoffs, the BABA Fishing Tournament, the MCBDD Home on the Range shooting/archery event, or one of the golf tournaments. Get there early, stay late, and meet as many people as you can.
3: Invest in Yourself! Pick one education course in your field or select a professional designation to work towards. Not only will you learn a lot, you’ll meet more engaged colleagues as well as course trainers.
4: Stay Informed! Attend one of GHBA’s economic forecasts or special political events. Our industry is cyclical, as well as prone to regulatory changes, so staying in front of the curve provides an incredible benefit to your company.
5: Attend Rally Day. Rally Day occurs every two years during Session and is the Texas homebuilding industry’s legislative day at the capitol in Austin. Your ticket includes a bus ride there and back, meals, visits with legislators, lots of education, and an opportunity to represent your industry and practice active democracy with lots of members of the GHBA as well as other members from across the state.
6: Join a club! The GHBA is an organization comprised of 14 different councils and committees that span the breadth of all areas of our industry. Find yours and attend a meeting. Shake more hands! You may find a new passion, as well as some great new friends.
7: Do Something Good. The GHBA has several volunteer opportunities through our sanctioned charities, such as HomeAid Houston, Operation Finally Home, or the Benefit Homes Project, as well as many charitable events. Not only will you earn some good karma, but it’s another great way to meet other members.
8: Attend New Member Orientation. This special event, normally held twice a year, is the most informative way to find your home at the GHBA. Consisting of condensed informational sessions led by leadership from each council and committee, you’ll have the best map to navigate the benefits of membership. In addition, there is usually beer and wine after as well. Stick around and shake some more hands.
9: Take Someone to Lunch. Find an opportunity to make lasting friendships and business relationships. You’ve shook a bunch of hands by now, so the next step is continuing to build that connection. Plus, you’ll have another friendly face to visit with at your next GHBA meeting.
10: Shameless Plug! If you ever have the chance to serve as president, sneak in as many pictures of your kids as possible. My girls think they are famous for being featured in a magazine, so I had to sneak in one more picture in my last article as president.
It’s been an incredible year and I’m very grateful and deeply honored to have served. If there is something I can do to help you maximize your membership, please let me know. Start by following my guide and Be Your Best Member!