Sunday, March 22, 2009

Construction Associations Provide Great Support to Builders

There are a number of different construction organizations in Massachusetts, and it is certainly worth your while to investigate them and attend some meetings. I, for one, belong to BAGB (Builders Association of Greater Boston), and I have been surprised by the amount of value I have received by being a member so far.

This is what I have found:

1. Members tend to be more sophisticated and committed to their profession. Most who I have spoken with say they have never been sued and have good relationships with their clients.

2. The Association is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to its members and makes every effort to stay current on law and developments in building (for example, there is a committee on green construction).

3. Aside from the obvious hope for members to get business from each other, the membership is extremely diverse and consists of tradespeople and associates in insurance, design, banking, accounting, you name it.

4. The group is incredibly welcoming to women. Even though construction is a male-dominated field, I have never felt even a hint of discrimination or prejudice towards women.

5. The members like to have fun together and have created a sense of community.

6. Members frequently hail from other professions (there are a number of former lawyers, for example) and are generally pretty interesting people.

7. BAGB makes the world of construction a bit smaller. I am starting to know people from the group and have run into them at other events, like the Traditional Builders Show.

8. People are supportive. With the downturn in the economy, it has been encouraging to spend time with others whose business has suffered and speak to them about what they are doing to plan for the recovery.

9. Membership also provides membership in NAHB, the National Association of Home Builders.

10. Membership allows me to provide additional value to my clients. I can introduce them to others I have met from the Association, bring them to meetings and work on creating connections.

Isn't that what networking is all about?