Association Involvement: What's In It for Me? By Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS

Over the years, I have encouraged many colleagues to join NAHB and NAHBR explaining the benefits of membership and walking away feeling like, they got it, only to have them come back to me a year later and say, "I decided not to renew my membership; it did nothing for me.". The first thing I ask is, “What did you do for it?â€. You wouldn't pay for college, not attend the classes and expect to learn anything, would you? The same goes for association membership. NAHB and NAHBR, like many associations’ ROI, is directly proportional to the time and energy you invest in it. In this case, networking, education and advocacy reign supreme and the more you engage youself in these activities the more you will realize the benefits of membership. With NAHB and NAHBR, you get the benefits of membership on three levels: local, state and national. On the local level, you get direct networking with your peers and local suppliers.  These opportunities come in many forms, including general membership meetings, social events and educational gatherings--a perfect opportunity to sell your company and advance your professionalism. On the state level, it’s all about advocacy.  Part of your membership dues goes to support the efforts of the state association and the lobbying it does on your behalf. The state association stays abreast of all current state issues affecting our industry and keeps you informed.  The state legislature wants to hear from its constituents, and the state association provides this opportunity and keeps you up to speed with the most current information available.  On the national level, it is also about advocacy and much more.  With more than 10 fulltime lobbyists, NAHB keeps tabs on 250 plus issues annually and reports back to its members.  It also provides support for you if you would like to meet your senator or congressman on your next visit to D.C.  In addition to advocacy, the national level provides great networking opportunities with your peers from around the country in the form of the International Builders’ Show, Remodeling Show and tri-annual board meetings. So, you see, the more you get involved, the more benefits you receive. You reap what you sow and though the ROI is not always tangible, it will be there when you need it. Join now and begin harvesting the benefits.

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