Tips for maximizing your first year of membership

So you are a new member. You are not alone. The HBA of Greenville has more than 100 new members in 2010 alone. So how do you get the most our of your membership?

· Get connected. Access members only content at www.HBAofGreenville.com and www.NAHB.com. Topics range from business management to effective networking to housing issues. Need help logging in? Email info@HBAofGreenville.com or login@NAHB.com.
· Learn more. The University of Housing of the Upstate provides opportunities ranging from lunch seminars to multi-day seminars that will lead you to earning industry designations. Find our programs at www.NAHB.org/Education.
· Save money on many services you probably already use. Visit our member savings section at www.HBAofGreenville.com.
· Show up. Check the listing of upcoming meetings at www.HBAofGreenville.com. Want to meet builders? Attend meetings that appeal to them. You may not be interested in building codes, but builders are interested in those types of topics, so that is where they will be.
· Talk to the experts. Your industry-specific questions can be answered by the staff at the HBA of Greenville, the HBA of South Carolina, and NAHB. Call on them for help.
· Look at the big picture. You are a member of three assocations: local, state, and national. Each branch of the federation offers distinct packages of benefits that will enhance your membership experience and your company’s bottom line. Tap into all of them.
· Read our publications and online resources. Builder Review Online, our weekly e-newsletter, Builder Review Daily, our blog, Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine, Nations Building News, a weekly e-newsletter from NAHB, Builder Journal magazine, and Builder News Network. These publications and our website are your sources for the latest housing news and ideas.

Membership is what you make of it. Get the most out of your membership but getting involved, reading the news, and using the services of your Home Builders Association.

Where Do My Dues Dollars Go?

Where do my dues dollars go? And what am I getting for what I pay?

These questions are most often asked by new members and members who have not been active in the association until a dues increase occurs or your membership is up for renewal. That is when the association is asked to prove itself. Once proven, the member usually discovers that the services provided, either directly or indirectly, are of higher value than the actual amount of the total dues.

Let’s take a look at the Home Builders Association of Greenville dues and what services are provided. The total dues that the HBA of Greenville currently invoices is $505 for Builder and Associate members and $90 for Affiliate members. It is important to know that these amounts are split four ways:

  • NAHB: Builders and Associates—$150
  • NAHB: Affiliates—$5
  • HBA of South Carolina: Builders and Associates—$90.00
  • HBA of South Carolina: Affiliates—$10.00
  • HBA of Greenville: Builders and Associates—$250.00
  • HBA of Greenville: Affiliates—$60.00
  • S.C. Builders PAC: Builders, Associate, and Affiliates—$15.00

Let’s first take a look at the $150 that is sent to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The HBA of Greenville is affiliated with NAHB. When you join our local Association, you also join NAHB. That membership entitles you to everything from discounts on car rentals, hotels, and office supplies to mobile phones, shipping, computers and other services. Your NAHB dues also support the University of Housing, which provides training and certification programs through our local association. One of the most significant services your dues support at the national level is representation on behalf of members at our nation’s Capitol. Promoting legislation that is favorable to Home Builders is something that must be done. No member can afford to do it alone at the national level, and the industry can not afford to be without that representation.

Next is the $90 that we forward to the Home Builders Association of South Carolina (HBASC) on your behalf. At the state level, your dues support representation in the legislature, as well as various offices within state government. From building codes, to land use, to environmental and energy standards, taxes, property rights and job site safety, HBASC is working on your behalf in Columbia representing you. You can not find anyone willing to monitor the hundreds of proposed regulatory and legislative changes that are occurring for $90.00 a year.

The funds you pay to the S.C. Builders PAC are discretionary. You can choose not to pay that portion of your dues without recourse against you or any loss of benefit of membership in the home builders association. However, when you do pay that amount, you are doing your fair share to help the association’s government affairs program to elect people who will represent your industry’s interests in Congress, the State House, and at County Square.

Finally, there is the amount that stays here in Greenville. Your dues fund all of the programs your Home Builders Association of Greenville implements to meet your professional needs from government affairs to education programs to networking meetings to keeping you informed about what is happening in your industry. A professional staff is retained to manage your Association and carry out that work and implement the policies of the Association

Together the three Associations (local, state and national) form one of the nation’s largest and strongest trade organizations that benefit an industry of such fundamental importance. Our Associations comprise the only organization working around the clock exclusively in the interest of the residential home building and land development industry.