Membership has benefits. Or does it?

I’ve been asked by a number of people whether or not it’s worth being a member of one of the building industry associations (eg Master Builders, HIA etc). The answer really lies in understanding what they are capable of providing and what they can’t or won’t do. Only you can answer the question of the overall benefit to your business. 

First, think of your membership in terms of a building contract. When you create a quotation and then a building contract you are outlining three important aspects of your quotation:

  1. What you are agreeing to build (the the scope of works)
  2. What you will not be doing (the exclusions)
  3. What items have estimated costs that will need to be determined as you proceed (the allowances)

So as to not be disappointed you should thoroughly understand what you would get for paying to be a member an association, not what you THINK you are getting. It’s all about context. Here are some examples which I am going to rate the value out of 10 if I was a paid up member:

  1. Member associations provide lots of training courses. Could these be accessed if you were not a member? The answer is generally yes, but at a higher price for non members. Value from being a member 5/10.
  2. Some associations have regular monthly meetings for members. These are member only. They have product suppliers, information updates etc. Pretty handy and not easy to find on your own. Value to being a member 9/10
  3. They will most likely have a legal department. Will they help you in a building dispute. The long and short or it is no. They will only advise you what to do. And usually that advice ends with, “you need to find a building lawyer, we don’t represent members” Value to being a member 2/10
  4. They sell contracts and stationery emblazoned with their logos and beautifully set out. Can you buy these if you are not a member. The answer is usually yes. (Although perhaps not digital access.) They will have contracts you had not even thought you should have. But some you could get for free elsewhere. Value to being a member 7/10.
  5. Member associations that provide financial advice on running a business. Limited to some training and education. No day to day practical stuff. Value to being a member 3/10.
  6. Member associations also do things like provide updates from State Government bodies and the ATO. If you are not a member, you will not easily know about important updates. Value to being a member 8/10

So you can see membership does have some exclusive benefits and others can be purchased even if you are not a member. 

We believe using BuildManager (because it is estimating AND workflow software) + a coach + being a member of a building association can greatly benefit your business. It’s a case of 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.5! 

What are your thoughts? Are you a member or have you been a member and now not paid up anymore?

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