It’s ‘Hammer Time’ In Wisconsin

Filed in Awards, Councils & Committees, Membership by on May 6, 2016 0 Comments

EO Mari McAllister-Charles wasn’t getting the results she wanted by hammering on her members to get them to recruit their subs and suppliers. Until she started using real hammers.

By that, we’re talking about the Brown County HBA Hammers Program, formed in conjunction with the twice-a-year Showcase of Homes, the Green Bay, Wisc.-based HBA’s parade of homes event.

As part of the entry application, each participating builder and remodeler must include the names of all trade partners and product suppliers for their Showcase homes. The HBA staff then determines how many are Brown County HBA members so they can list the company’s name with the builder’s on the Showcase tourbook page featuring their project.

The more members you have as subs, the more “hammers” you can have assigned to your page. It’s a sign “that tells consumers that this builder uses fellow members of the association that share their philosophy of professionalism,” says McAllister-Charles.

Another 'three-hammer" builder in Wisconsin is featured in the Brown County HBA showcase.

A ‘three-hammer” builder is featured in the Brown County HBA showcase.

The list of non-members is returned to the participating builder. The message: Get those guys to join the HBA.

And that’s when it gets competitive. “They want to be a three-hammer builder,” the highest designation the program offers, she said. “They don’t want to be seen as a zero- or a one- or two-hammer. They will get on the phone and sell the partnership – why that sub needs to be a member of the association, why together we are seen as building a quality product.”

If the participating builder is too busy to make the calls, he or she will send the list to the HBA staff, who, with the endorsement of the builder behind them, have much less trouble turning these qualified leads into new memberships.

But the builders are so competitive among themselves that passing the baton to the HBA rarely happens. “Maybe 25 or 30 calls a year,” she said – not a heavy lift for staff.

The reward: a lovely etched hammer for the participating builder to display, follow-up certificates for continued participation, and best of all, an HBA with a steady membership base that is increasing slowly but surely.

And let’s not forget those cool hammers on their Showcase pages. “It’s well worth the results,” McAllister-Charles says.

What is your HBA doing to attract new members? May means it’s time once again for the NAHB Spring Membership Drive, when Spike recruiters win bonus points and HBAs vie for cash prizes. For membership recruitment tips, contact Brace Ford.

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