A Competitive Spirit and Careful Planning Net 1,100 New Members

Filed in Leadership, Membership by on June 19, 2018 0 Comments

Far away from the big cities of the Texas Triangle, a passionate and heated competition would ultimately determine the champion of the entire Lone Star State.

No, it wasn’t a football game under Friday night lights. It was a few Texas HBAs lining up for the kickoff of a statewide membership drive.

While members of the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) were discussing their upcoming membership drive, one group made the challenge: the Texas Panhandle BA would recruit more new members than the West Texas HBA. And there was $100 riding on it.

It seemed audacious. The West Texas HBA, with 818 members, was the second-largest HBA in the state. How could the Panhandle, with its 293 members, hope to compete against that Rolodex?

To compound the matter, West Texas’ biggest gun was Robert Woods, longtime association leader and soon-to-be state president.

“To be clear, the bet was for percentage gain, not total number of new members,” noted Panhandle President Chris Lyons.

West Texas members gather in Lubbock for the drive.

Over two days in May, members from 20 Texas HBAs made calls, fired off emails and sent texts to all their non-member industry contacts. West Texas and the Panhandle focused on beating each other and the El Paso Association of Builders, which provided an additional spark at the board meeting.

“The competition was everything,” said Lyons. “It was the most intense I’ve ever seen it. Everyone was taking it so seriously and no one wanted to lose.”

When the dust settled, the Texas Panhandle BA and West Texas HBA tied with a whopping 140 new members each, with El Paso not far behind with 108 new recruits. The HBAs participating in the state drive brought in 1,152 new members in just two days.

Number of New Members Recruited by the Top Texas HBAs in the Drive

Months of preparation and planning went into the two-day drive: Working with Oliver Group Direct, an association membership consultancy, TAB and NAHB deployed coaches to train members and help leadership develop a plan for the drive.

“It was a lot of fun, really,” Lyons said. “We did some work, set some goals and structured our incentives, then we had some drinks.”

West Texas decided to create member teams that together would recruit new members, with the winning team receiving $1,000.

Under the leadership of First Vice President Brad Stark, the Texas Panhandle BA did the same, offering attractive prizes.

Lyons said that many teams developed their own strategies, like having builder members call on potential associate members and vice versa. Builders, vendors and subs also came up with incentive offers to sweeten the deal.

The Panhandle already has a formal membership program to encourage builders to actively recruit their vendors. The Golden Hammer Club comprises builder members that have recruited 75% or more of their subs. Associate members can join by recruiting three new builder members each year.

The Golden Hammer Club is an example of the NAHB motto, “It’s good business to do business with a member.”

Both Woods and Lyons said the friendly, but intense, competition among TAB members was the most important factor in the success of the two-day membership drive.

“We all know the value of an NAHB and TAB membership, and all we had to do was sell it to others, which comes naturally to home builders,” said Woods. “So making it more personal and competitive really ramped up the energy.”

Woods said he plans to make a big deal out of paying off his $100 wager at the next TAB board meeting. He might even have an oversized check printed.

NAHB provides HBA leaders with membership recruiting tools in both English and Spanish and can also help you plan your campaign efforts. Visit nahb.org/advisoryservices to learn more about the Membership Planning Program and download Your Membership Strategy for tips. SKS is the 2018 NAHB Membership sponsor.

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