Knowledge is a key pillar of NAHB membership to provide the tools needed to stay competitive in the home building industry. Opportunities include industry events, such as the IBSx Virtual Experience, as well as dedicated online courses and designations, which is how Todd Usher — founder and president of Addison Homes in Greenville, S.C. — was introduced to NAHB's continuing education options.
"Several years into my building career, I learned about NAHB designations during one of my first International Builders' Show (IBS) trips and started taking NAHB continuing education courses, working towards various NAHB designations," he stated. "These courses were informative and often led to other sources for continuing education in the industry, including high-performance building courses and conferences."
Usher's thirst for knowledge continues today. His current pursuit? A Ph.D. in Planning, Design, and the Built Environment at Clemson University. The multidisciplinary doctoral program has helped him expand his perspective and look on the home building industry with a more holistic view.
"My preliminary research has been in the arena of consumer trust in home builders," he explained. "I have always felt that many aspects of high-performance home building must have positive effects on consumer trust. I am exploring this thought further in my research, which may provide insight into what we builders can do to impact our client's trust in us positively."
In addition to studying client relationships, Usher has been able to incorporate a number of his learnings to work quickly in his business, such as drone technology to document the construction process. He encourages others in the industry to take advantage of as many educational opportunities as possible to help them build on their professional success.
"I feel that builders are professionals with unique skills and knowledge, and we should continuously be honing our craft to increase our knowledge and improve our business practices," Usher stated. "We must also invest in our employees and partners."
A question-and-answer session with Usher was recently featured in the December issue of the Green Intersects eNews. To read more about his educational journey and tips for pursuing continued education, visit nahb.org.
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