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Recognizing our Spikes, the “Builders of Membership”

December 5, 2022

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) celebrates Spike Appreciation Month every November. It’s a time to recognize and thank members who dedicate their time and support towards member recruitment and retention.

Member-to-member recruitment is the largest source of HBA growth across the country, making Spikes the true builders of our association.

What is a Spike?

A Spike is any current member who recruits new members. Spikes earn points for their efforts: one point for each new member, one point on the first anniversary for recruited members, half a point for each following anniversary, and half a point if recruited members join a council. When a Spike earns six points, they’re officially a part of NAHB’s Spike Club–a network of Spikes across the nation focused on the growth of their associations.

Why become a Spike?

Aside from the pride of growing the strength of the home building industry locally, Spikes also receive recognition and awards at the state and national levels. For over a decade, BIAW has hosted an exclusive summer Spike party, where members come together for themed events, prize drawings, games and music.

BIAW also recognizes top recruiters at each winter board meeting, providing increased visibility and member-to-member networking opportunities.

Nationally, Spikes who have recruited at least one new builder and/or associate member receive two complimentary tickets to the Closing Spike Concert at the International Builders’ Show (IBS), which is set to take place in Las Vegas in February 2023. Unique lapel pins are also provided by NAHB when Spikes achieve new levels of credits.

Advice from Spikes

We asked several of our Spikes to share their success as recruiters/retainers and why they believe it is so important for members to lead recruitment efforts. Here are their top tips:

  1. Give prospective members a reason to join

Builder association membership offers benefits with something for everyone. Everyone has a different reason for joining.

“What benefits would suit them best is what you need to ask yourself,” says Corey Condron, with Condron Homes in Spokane. “It’s really about finding the match for a business and its needs, whether it be advocacy, savings opportunities, education/ expertise or networking.”

“There are multiple benefits to joining BIAW, but in my opinion the top reason is the political action efforts at both the local and state levels,” said Aaron Helmes with Generation Homes NW, LLC, in Vancouver. “Our industry is constantly under attack. BIAW is at the forefront of pushing back on out-of-control regulations that push up the cost of housing and to protect and promote our members as they run their businesses.”

  1. Stay in touch with recruited members

Where recruitment ends, retention begins. New members must feel connected to other members as they begin their membership journey.

“I stay in touch with new members by calling and inviting them to attend local events,” said Sue Elkin with the Homeownership Center in Tacoma. “Sometimes they just need that nudge. Plus, when they enter an event, they immediately see a familiar face.”

A direct way to stay in touch with new members is to do business with them. “Most of the members I ask to join work directly with us as a company. We try to only use subcontractors who are members to give them that value for their membership,” agreed Scott Walker with Rush Residential in Gig Harbor.

Spikes get another chance to stay in touch with their recruited members when assisting with local association membership renewal efforts. Kurt Wilson with SoundBuilt Homes in Puyallup follows up with recruited members 60-90 days before their renewal dates to remind members not to let their membership lapse.

  1. Get new members involved

Members have a greater chance of experiencing the full range of benefits when they’re involved. “When members understand the value of their membership through their involvement in programs, renewal is almost automatic,” said Nicole Ahola with Ahola Benefit Consultants, LLC in Cle Elum.

Involvement isn’t just a way to retain members but also a way to increase the influence and impact of our association within the home building industry. “We all have a voice, and it is necessary for our industry to work together to properly represent who we are and what we do,” said Scott Walker. “The broader the participation level, the stronger our voice becomes and the more we can impact decisions that impact our industry and the customers we serve.”

Our Spikes are one of our most valuable resources. We appreciate all of our recruiters and what they do for membership, the association and the industry.

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