The Value of Membership: Young Builder on the Rise Gets a Boost from 20 Club

In the past few years, 34-year-old builder Eric Render has seen his already successful company reach impressive new heights and was recently named a “40 Under 40” by Professional Builder magazine. A key to that rise, he says, is his participation in the Hammers, an NAHB 20 Club.

"Having that resource available allows us to leverage the experience of 19 other companies," said Render, president of Render Construction in Gaylord, Mich. "Their experience is right at our fingertips, just a phone call away."

By the age of 26, Render had made his mark as a builder, having completed two high-end custom homes. He joined the Hammers in 2010, becoming part of a group of 20 NAHB member-only builders in non-competing markets who share expertise and experiences to help each other thrive.

"It has really helped me grow my business and hire and train new employees," Render said. "We’ve had the guidance to grow and improve our business every year since joining the club."

For example, Render turned to fellow 20 Club members for counsel when creating a new position in his company.

"Instead of reinventing the wheel, we had the benefit from other 20 Club members who already had job descriptions and documents to help us develop our own versions," he said.

Shared wisdom and ideas from the 20 Club has helped boost many areas of the business. Since 2012, he has closed on more than 20 projects.

"We’ve had unique circumstances that some of the other members had experience with and that really helped us out," Render said.

Membership in his local HBA and NAHB have also proved valuable.

"On the local level, it’s a tremendous advantage that they have continuing education available for members,' Render said. For example, his own Home Builders Association of Northern Michigan offers first-aid certifications required by law, making it convenient to stay current.

Render Construction has also enjoyed a lift to its bottom line by taking advantage of discounts available through NAHB when buying new trucks and supplies.

When it comes right down to it, Render is getting his membership money's worth — and his business is the better for it.

Render Construction is a northern Michigan builder specializing in fine custom homes, including log, timber-frame and conventional-frame structures, as well as offering progressive general contracting and construction management services for both residential and commercial projects.