Recruiting new members while helping to retain existing members can be challenging. HBA staff simply can’t do it alone, which is why encouraging current members to step up as recruiting volunteers is a great way to build engagement and get your HBA’s name out there.
“Volunteers are your biggest cheerleaders, and they are most likely the biggest reason why someone was persuaded to join,” said Anthony Footé, Fredericksburg (VA) Area Builders Association
For some, recruiting comes naturally. They are the volunteers who have big personalities, can connect with people easily and have a wide network of relationships. But organizations are made up of all different types of people, and utilizing everyone's unique strengths is crucial to growing membership.
Footé spoke during the most recent Third Tuesday Townhall
— a free, monthly webinar series hosted by NAHB to discuss membership-related topics — where he shared several examples of how FABA's members have had recruiting success by emphasizing their unique strengths. Some of his tips included:
- Keep volunteers knowledgeable by hosting training sessions to review not only your local benefits, but also the state and national ones.
- Make cold calling less daunting by providing a script or talking points.
- Simplify how members can communicate with their contacts by providing draft email language.
- Pair newer members with seasoned recruiters who are more familiar with the process.
- Allow stronger recruiters to reach out on someone else’s behalf when they have a lead.
The variety of fields that Builder and Associate members represent can help HBAs reach new audiences, as well as encourage business connections. This is especially important in peer-to-peer recruitment efforts, as one of the biggest reasons why people join is to grow their business. The more people who are brought into the association, the more opportunities there are for that to happen.
“Membership and recruitment efforts have a significant impact on all of us," said Alma Jacobs, MIRM, of the Home Builders Association of Greater Charlotte, who has been part of her membership committee ever since joining the HBA more than 40 years ago.
"Each of us knows someone who should be a member, we just sometimes forget to ask," Jacobs said. "But when we put forth the effort to help our membership grow, we are helping support the industry that supports our livelihoods. Without HBAs, we just would not be as successful."
For more recruitment resources, visit the HBA resource page
. The next Third Tuesday Townhall will be held Oct. 15, when members and HBA staff will learn how to clearly articulate a response to this common question from prospective members: "What's in it for me?" RSVP here.