The Power of Being Part of Something Bigger—HBA Membership

Dear MI Builder Readers—

I’ve written previously about our superhero staff members. Today I want to point out when we stand united as industry advocates, we too become superheroes acting as agents for positive change. We defend, protect and preserve homebuilding as our chosen cause. There is great strength in numbers. In this, my last message as your HBAM president, I say to you all that it’s time to make an investment in your industry and help us grow our ranks.

Readers here are likely experienced, dedicated members and know well the many benefits of membership and that the benefits far exceed membership expense. But even our biggest Spike Club members often pass up opportunities to share those benefits with prospective members. And when we do successfully recruit, we sometimes drop that ball, expecting every new member will immediately see and reap every membership benefit!

This issue highlights some best practices employed by locals around the state to address membership retention. With net growth as the objective, retention goes hand-in-hand with efforts to grow our new member ranks. It’s easier to retain a member than recruit one--assuming of course that the member’s expectations have been met or exceeded. Because membership numbers across the state remain flat, we need to bolster our efforts on both fronts.

Compared to our other industry challenges, membership should be a piece of cake! And, as also outlined in a previous issue, our advocacy victories prove we get the job done for our members. But, in my experience, it’s a rare individual who joins solely because they understand our mission of industry advocacy at the local, state and national levels.

Members, current and prospective, all have different wants and needs. Much like choosing a favorite flavor, it’s totally understandable that a potential builder member is interested in something different than a prospective associate. So, take the time to understand the prospect, ask questions, then match another benefit to his or her need. For benefit examples, you need only flip through this issue to find text boxes that list countless member benefits. You might even find one or two that are new to you.

You and I know advocacy is a tangible member benefit because we’ve seen and felt its effects in our businesses and job sites. I think of advocacy as being our HBA cake and all those other benefits are just like the icing on top. But I’m aware that it’s often the frosting that whets a prospect’s appetite. So, choose an icing flavor that might be most temping to a new prospect or a renewing member and offer a big (it’s calorie free!) slice with pride. You’ll retain your superhero status; our association will grow stronger and together we’ll keep winning our industry battles!


Lynne Pratt

2018 HBA Michigan President l