WHY BE A MEMBER OF WHBA?
It may seem counter-intuitive to say that the way you keep your competitive advantage is to collaborate with competitors. And yet, I’ve encountered many active WHBA members who find this to be true.
While you always hope to outdo the competition, one of the best ways to maintain that competitive advantage is to show up and participate in WHBA activities. Contractors and suppliers who are not active in WHBA, or don’t even belong, just don’t get it. I personally have observed what active members have told me – you stay competitive by having the latest information at your disposal. You get the latest information and advice from your fellow WHBA members – many of them competitors – as you get to know them and talk at WHBA meetings about marketing ideas, new products, government regulations, public officials and much more.
These are not imagined benefits. As I attend WHBA Board of Directors meetings and hear many of the best minds in our industry discuss the issues that they must deal with every day to remain a successful home builder. Members also make friends with whom they can commiserate as they battle the harsh economy. WHBA meetings can often almost act as your company’s informal advisory board. You are hearing ideas from others who are successful. And thanks to the WHBA staff and every WHBA member’s affiliation with the Home Builders Association of Georgia and the National Association of Home Builders, you also have access to learn what new approaches and ideas are helping builders and remodelers succeed across the country.
Suppliers and subcontractors (WHBA Associate Members) in our industry know that if builders pull permits, they will be successful too. They participate in WHBA and build relationships with builders and remodelers. Associate members include architects, bankers, land planners, marketing professionals and many more who supply products and services to builders and remodelers.
I hope by now that I have convinced you that it makes sense to show up at WHBA functions. You will learn the most by being around fellow quality contractors, suppliers and subcontractors.
All of you face hundreds of fly-by-night contractors who don’t associate with others in the industry. They are not WHBA members. They are not on top of the latest and best information. Some consumers hire them. Usually they are consumers who don’t know how to ask the right questions or don’t do a good job researching before making a decision. Through WHBA, you learn what the non-member fly-by-nighters have to mostly guess at. That allows you to run quality businesses that play by the rules and get our share of whatever business is out there.
Here’s a tip that non-members won’t hear. The nationally-renowned home sales and marketing expert Daniel Levitan wrote an article titled “Strategic Residential Marketing”. In the article, he advises that a builder should quit using the term “walk-through” and replace the term with “initial orientation.” Think about that for a moment. Who among you hasn’t commonly heard and used the term “walk-through” when going through your newly completed home with the buyers? Levitan points out that “walk-through” prejudices the process, virtually implying to the buyer that you are walking through the home with them because there obviously will be defects. By simply using the phrase “initial orientation” there no longer is a pre-conceived perception that defects obviously have occurred and need to be discovered. Sure, it’s a minor point. But as you attempt to build excitement in the minds of buyers, you want them thinking with positive anticipation, not fretting.
In the end, it is up to you to run a successful business. By participating in WHBA, you will find hundreds of reasons to help you along that path toward success.