Joining a professional local and national association can be the start of great things for your company. With all the valuable contacts, classes, forms and staff available to members, you instantly have an edge over the other remodelers and builders who are not members.
The designation courses offered through the NAHB University of Housing are not only prepared well, they are taught by individuals who are industry experts. Their hands-on approach helps you in your everyday business dealings.
Once you have earned your designations, display them on all your stationery, business cards, company vehicles and agreements, and your Web site. Tell your customers, clients and friends about your certifications.
Whenever you are asked to state your name at a meeting, always state any designations you have earned. Be proud of all your hard work. Be proud of your involvement in your association. All this will make you a better remodeler and business person.
Another important benefit of belonging to an association is the variety of people who are always available to assist you. If you have a legal or contractual question, call NAHB. If you need help with codes, lead paint problems, or employment issues, call your national association.
You will have this same benefit at the local association level. There are always remodelers, builders and associates who are eager to share their wealth of knowledge with fellow members. By taking advantage of their expertise, my company has been able to dive into the Green movement with more knowledge than non-members or non-designees.
At our local association, we also have contracts, warranties and "Know Your Rights — Lead Paint — Right of Recision" forms. These forms were not available when I started my business 25 years ago. There are also many professional certifications offered. I know this because I have taken many classes myself and take great pride in being known as a CGR, CAPS, GMB and the NAHB 2006 GMB of the Year.
Attend national meetings. The NAHB has four major national meetings a year. The Spring Board of Directors legislation meeting is always held in Washington, D.C. This is an open meeting. If you have never attended, ask an attendee to be your chaperone. This is when Lobby Day at Capitol Hill takes place. We do make a difference.
After the Remodeling Show is the Fall Board of Directors meeting which takes place in a different city each year and includes several council meetings as well as the general session board meeting, and all are open meetings.
The last meeting is the International Builders' Show, the world's largest construction trade show, which also alternates cities every few years. Don't miss it! It has great seminars and great classes, and every product manufactured for the building industry is on display.
Join an association today and work hard to gain your designations.