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As NAHB Senior Officers and Membership Committee volunteers cheered them on via a telephone hookup at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C., 400 participating home builders associations welcomed more than 3,600 new builders, remodelers and suppliers recruited on National Membership Day on May 24.
Among the success stories: All 65 local HBAs in North Carolina participated in Membership Day events, adding 366 members to the state’s roster.
This year’s largest recruitment class came from Texas, which added 627 members.
“This day is very important to our industry,” said Membership Committee Second Vice Chair John Sizemore, a risk management specialist for 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty of Lexington, Ky., who joined other committee members and NAHB employees to work the phones and tally the numbers as the day progressed.
More members mean more opportunity for home builders and product manufacturers, he said.
As each HBA reported in new membership totals, cheers and applause rose up from the gathered volunteers, who were seated at tables bedecked with playing cards, poker chips and other props representing this year’s membership drive theme, “The Winning Hand.”
Many HBAs are taking advantage of the poker-themed promotions to drive membership recruitment year-round, said Gabrielle Alahouzos, NAHB’s director of membership marketing. This makes recruitment easier for those associations that don’t participate in one-month or one-day drives like National Membership Day, she added.
The committee is driving home the message that NAHB membership is more important than ever as the home building industry begins to climb out of the worst economic meltdown in memory.
“Where else can you get the great benefits we offer? Where can you get the education, the networking? You can only get it here, and the value is much greater than the cost of membership,” said Membership Chair Robin Newhouse of Dominion Virginia Power in Fredericksburg.
Jones said her local HBA, the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan, makes a point of emphasizing membership recruitment and retention at every meeting.
“We grow by one member at a time,” agreed Membership First Vice Chair Dianne Beaton, principal of 2DiFore Marketing Solutions in Manchester, N.H. “We have to engage them and get excited.”