The purpose of this column is to empower the Associates Council and offer effective ideas for generating non-dues revenue, events and associate education and involvement through Georgia Builder. My name is Amanda Roland with Reeves, Roland & Abbott Ins. and have been involved with HBAG for 10 years and my local association for 12. My mantra is, “You’d be CRAZY not to get involved with your local and state association!”As the VP of the HBAG Associates Council, I have been given the opportunity to write the first article.
The economic downturn of 2008 caused many associations to lose members, which greatly impacted local and state association budgets. As a result, the HBA of Middle GA needed another source of revenue to meet its needs. We felt we needed to set the precedence by building a home to show builders that we were behind them and that we were willing to put our money where our mouth was. We also wanted the community to know that building was alive and well and to let our voice be heard in a positive way. Concered about competing with our builders, we chose to build in a price range where fewer builders were attempting new starts and we got approval from our local builders to move forward. In fact, many felt that any attention to building was good for everybody, especially since we had the media involved.
For our first Showcase Home, we partnered with Central Georgia Autism, another non-profit, in order to give back. We had our first-ever 5K Run to support the group. The run took place in our subdivision to highlight its features. We also partnered with Tony Butler of Tony Butler Home Design & Construction, LLC. Here’s what worked and what didn’t work in a project of this magnitude:
1. You can’t start soon enough prior to your deadline, especially if you intend to negotiate pricing for supplies, upgrades and services. And let’s not forget “in kind” donations, which we coupled with a sponsorship package. Try to utilize your members for this event in every way.
2. Partner with a solid realtor who works routinely with clients in that price range. Linda Davis, Agent with Coldwell Banker SSK, was extremely helpful and generous in listing the property and sold the house within 3 months.
3. Target gated communities for maximum square foot appraisal value.
4. Make sure you have a media package for the event and partner with media to maximize coverage. As a non-profit, most media venues will give you dollar for dollar on your advertising budget. Diversify your ad campaign and use social media.
5. Showcase the home for a period of two to four weekends and make sure that you get local decorators involved to put all the “bells and whistles” on the home. They decorate, and HBA sells tickets for the event –“build it and they will come”.
In closing, stay tuned for our 2015 Showcase Home Dos and Don’ts.
I hope this article was informative. I look forward to writing again soon. Please let Kailey Murphy know if you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions for our next column that you feel would benefit the local associations.
I would also like to thank Chris Cole, current HBA of Middle Georgia President, and Executive Officer Bunnie Coker for their collaboration on this article. o