The NAHB Membership Committee is focused on three core activities: increasing awareness of how national membership adds value to local membership, supporting the recruitment efforts of affiliated local associations, and supporting the retention efforts of local associations. The committee works to accomplish these goals through a combination of training and the sharing of best practices, which help to establish benchmarks for local operations.
The Membership Committee has jurisdiction over matters relating to membership development and retention. It makes recommendations regarding the Spike Club, direct-to-member communications planning, the Association Leadership Institute and any similar membership activities, including the relationship between NAHB and its affiliated state and local associations.
Critical and Emerging Membership Issues
Membership appears to be stabilizing and retention continues to be a bright spot. Given the current housing market and general economic climate, it should not be surprising that NAHB's membership is down from previous highs. According to data through December 2013:
NAHB has about 140,000 members, a drop of 45% since the peak of 256,142 in May 2007 when the association held its annual National Membership Day recruitment drive.
The rate of membership decline has slowed significantly–and a substantial portion of "new" members are actually returning members.
While recruitment has yet to recover and continues to slip, retention rates began to increase in August 2009 at 65.7% and have since climbed to 78.2%, a level last seen 2007
Given these realities, the Membership Committee is focused on systematizing lead generation, recruitment and retention tools (such as the Touch System) and providing increased support to our local associations.
The committee is working on a new three-phase recruitment tool.
Phase 1: Incorporate a broader general marketing initial push to cold leads.
Phase 2: Develop a follow-up mechanism for warm leads.
Phase 3: Integrate a closing procedure with Spikes.
Fragmentation and membership confusion is an ongoing issue. The ties between local and national membership play an important role in helping home builders, product suppliers and other members understand the full range of benefits and resources available to them through the 3-in-1 (local, state, national) membership. Given the tough decisions that many of our members face, effectively communicating the added value of 3-in-1 membership is more important than ever. The Membership Committee seeks to strengthen and discover channels that facilitate the delivery of this message.
How Does the Federation Benefit from the Committee's Work?
Supporting those activities that recruit new and retain existing members is at the heart of our health and long-term existence. Membership dues account for about one-third of the association's annual revenues, and NAHB's status as the voice of the housing industry and its lobbying clout on Capitol Hill are directly tied to the numbers it represents. Most non-dues revenue and sponsorship products also benefit from the strength of the membership base as the primary target market for these products and services.
The committee also serves to ensure that a highly effective membership communication channel and workflow exists between the local and the national association. This is critical to the branded delivery of the federation's three levels of benefits, and to the membership experience overall. The Membership Committee frequently coordinates and collaborates with the Executive Officers Council, Affiliate Services and Economics on initiatives that affect member attraction and retention.