Dear Michigan Builder Readers,
I hope your holiday season has been wonderful. With New Year’s resolutions and goals for the coming year on many people’s minds, I thought I’d take a little stab (as your 2018 state association president) at some HBA Michigan predictions:
1. I predict that 2018 will continue to be a busy time for all of us in the home building sector. New home starts are predicted to steadily increase. A combination of factors including consumer confidence, new family formations, low unemployment and continued favorable interest rates (among other factors) are expected to keep our industry
humming along. That said, we still have to continue to navigate our way through impediments to growth
2. I predict our state association will make significant progress in at least 3 areas that will create an environment that is more favorable to the residential building industry. A few major projects that we will work on include:
• Continuing, enhancing and growing our ongoing work force development projects on various fronts across the state;
• Creating greater predictability and transparency in zoning, permitting, application and inspection processes that will benefit builders, remodelers and consumers alike; and
• Protecting our building code development process.
In addition, we’ll continue to publicize and disseminate the information in our 2017 Housing Report that seeks to create a better understanding of how our industry has changed and how local communities must look at housing (and lack thereof) as a vital infrastructure issue impacting economic development. We’ve already made progress in several targeted areas identified in that report, the concept of which was the brainchild of 2017 President, Lynn Swadley.
3. I predict more members will join in 2018. As of this writing HBAM has just under 4,800 members. Some locals will soon be taking part in the new NAHB Affiliation Fee Pilot program that could benefit those associations in numerous ways — but only if they are committed to growing their membership base. Let’s re-think membership — we’re not selling something so much as we are gifting a potential member the opportunity to create a better business for themselves. In the end we all benefit from a larger membership. Given the pool of over 40,000 individual licensed builders in the state, my calculations indicate we have lots of folks to talk to. Let’s work together and grow in 2018!