NAHB Education Instructors are a tremendous benefit to thousands of students every year, guiding them through the information, trends and skills that will help them grow their businesses.
NAHB Master Instructors have taken the extra steps to connect with students and HBA staff and they advocate for lifelong learning. They have more than 10 years of real-world experience in the content they teach and take pride in promoting NAHB Education.
Bill Asdal, CGP, CGR, GMB, has been running building and remodeling companies for over 40 years. An educator by trade, he speaks regularly at vendor and trade association events and has authored two books and numerous articles on creating change in the industry. He has completed five national industry research projects. He has created a portfolio of rental properties and teaches an investment curriculum he has produced around the country. Bill has held leadership positions in multiple housing-related associations and enjoys working admissions outreach for the U.S. Naval Academy.
Bill took some time from his busy schedule to talk about his work and teaching philosophies:
What is your favorite thing about being an NAHB instructor?
I thoroughly enjoy helping make companies better and entrepreneurs more successful. I measure by contact interaction and frequency after the class, having offered to sit on all their “unpaid boards of directors.” About 15% take me up on it with one or another quandary and some for many years after. I like to help.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
I was once told by a retiring industrial developer/builder that the key is to shift income to assets. He was right! I have since used that and my NAHB experience to develop a real estate boot camp to help others figure this out. In addition, I collect bits of advice from other professionals that I find useful, such as “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance,” and Wayne Gretzky’s famous, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
What was your first job in the building industry?
In high school, I ripped down the back porch on my mother’s house and built an addition well before I knew what I was doing. So, I guess I started as a self-employed builder and have kept that focus. I did teach industrial arts (shop!) for six years before full-time entrepreneurship.
What is your favorite course to teach?
Business Accounting and Job Costing. I helped rewrite this course, and it includes lots of solid information on metrics and passive income, and I hope it changes attitudes toward tracking everything you do: “Anything worth doing is worth measuring.”
What drew you to the building industry?
There is a lot of satisfaction in creating a view, then watching it come to fruition. Whether this be a repair, an addition, a home or a community each is fully satisfying to see to completion. Seeing companies streamline to profitability is a similar vision-plan-execute process.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
I bought a large parcel of land for $150 an acre when I was 24 and lived in a tent while building a house. It wasn’t very good, and I redid it all in 2010-11. I love spending time there with friends, watching seasons change and things grow.
What’s your favorite movie?
Darkest Hour. I appreciate the staunch resolve of Churchill.
What is one thing in your career you would go back and change if you could?
Nothing. There are surely bumps in business, but those are mitigated by honing your vision, strengthening resolve, and execution of a well-crafted plan. I see the systems now and am proud of how they have shaped our businesses.
I’m a busy builder with a lot on my plate. Why should I make time for education?
A static mental state is neither effective nor satisfying. Work harder, read more, take risks, manage outputs, measure change. These steps all foretell success and are founded in educational investment of time and experiences.