Hold Your Most Successful Membership Drive Yet

Filed in Membership by on April 17, 2019 0 Comments

networking, handshakeNAHB’s spring membership drive is about to get underway, and to help kick it off, state and local home builder associations (HBAs) are sharing their best practices through Third Tuesday Townhalls. The first session for 2019 held yesterday focused on mastering the art of membership drives.

Guest speakers Gena Godinez, executive officer of the West Texas HBA, and Donna Barrett, executive officer of the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association, shared their top tips with the forum, along with additional input from the group.

Best Sources for Leads

  • List of registered subcontractors from the building inspection department
  • Lapsed membership lists
  • Exhibitors at major events (e.g., annual home & garden show)
  • IBS attendees
  • Business cards from event attendees

For outreach, a personal touch goes a long way — even if you have multiple connections calling the same person.

“We don’t prohibit calls to those who have already been contacted,” Godinez noted. “It should show the [prospective member] how many members they do business with.”

Top Benefits to Pitch

Networking and creating a community are key values of membership. So is addressing the challenges that prospective members face.

“When you know the challenge, you can provide clear examples of the benefits,”Barrett shared, whether it’s connecting them to new business or cutting the red tape on the home building industry.

Asking members who have joined in the last six months why they became members can also provide valuable information to engage prospective members, she added.

How to Engage and Motivate Participants

  • Utilize your leadership and long-term members by putting them in charge of teams or asking them to mentor other members.
  • Engage members’ competitive spirits — whether it’s pitting past presidents against young professionals or competing against other HBAs across the state.
  • Provide incentives, from a “Hot Tamale” award to cash prizes — or even a trip to IBS. (Plus, Spike members who recruit five or more new members not only can attend the closing concert, but can gain access to a special VIP area.)

NAHB may also have special incentives for members as part of its seasonal member drives. For example, six NAHB Builder members who recruited the most new members between Sept. 1–Oct. 31, 2018, won a recent trip to Napa, Calif., to experience Signature Kitchen Suite’s new Experience and Design Center — a first-of-its-kind facility to explore the intersection of culinary innovation and technology. (Stay tuned for more on the visit to this state-of-the-art facility and upcoming details for a future opportunity during the fall.)

To help recruit new members, Jason Chandler — president of the Greater Morgan County Builders Association and a Napa trip contest winner — recommends inviting interesting and successful guest speakers to attract new people to attend HBA meetings.

“If you feed people good information, they’ll want to come,” said Chandler. “You’re fighting for people’s time, and people are a lot busier than they were 20 years ago.”

Another winner — Bill Truex, CGB, CGP, of the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association, and the current president of the Florida Home Builders Association — recommends personal invitations and follow-up to help engage new members, and encourages recruiters to reach out to younger prospective members.

“I recruited a younger member. We exchanged numbers, and now he calls me whenever he has a problem or has a business question,” Truex said. “I originally joined because of the expertise of older members, and it’s important to remember to give back to younger members to give them the same value.”

For more information, including resources to help promote your membership drive, visit nahb.org/membershipdrive.

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