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After a busy few months here at BATC there is much to share and celebrate. Here is a quick update on what we’ve been working on.
PARADE OF HOMES
We are now three weeks into the fall Parade of Homes and the reports indicate strong traffic that is serious about buying. This is great news for our members and I want to thank all of you who put homes in the event.
This Parade has 423 homes, compared with 390 last fall – growth of 8.5%. I have a home in this Parade and I’ve been having great conversations with prospective buyers. We’re all looking forward to finishing the event strong, and wishing our remodeling community a great Remodelers Showcase this weekend.
BATC also led in the formation of a Twin Cities’ events and attractions roundtable that is sharing marketing data and tactics. The goal is for all of us to be better at marketing our events. We are always looking to enhance our marketing and get out the message about why new and newly remodeled homes are better.
HOUSING FIRST, ADVOCACY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Our greatly expanded Housing First effort is running at full tilt, working to bring pro-housing candidates to office to protect our industry. We’ve endorsed 16 candidates that we feel are the nucleus of the Housing Caucus and are clear housing champions. And, for the first time, we are supporting several races for city council.
Our advocacy program has become one of the most respected in the business community. Our lobbying efforts, Home Builders Advocate Network, press relations and regulatory engagement are ensuring that BATC is at the table with the major statewide business organizations
In addition to working diligently to elect candidates that are favorable to our industry, we’ve also launched a new external public relations program, aimed at providing a consistent, positive, pro-builder message to our key audiences. This industry communications program is based on research we completed this past spring. You’ll be hearing a great deal more about this in the year to come – but remember our tagline, “Experts in Building Community.”
As you know, after two years of negotiations and rejection of a mediated settlement by BAM, we have disaffiliated with BAM and NAHB. Leadership from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) asked representatives of BATC and BAM to meet in Miami and again here in the Twin Cities to discuss. In addition, NAHB’s Chairman of the Board, Ed Brady attended our most recent Board of Directors meeting to hear BATC’s concerns. BATC has provided two pathways forward – direct access to NAHB or a limited service agreement with BAM, and are awaiting a September 30 deadline for a final response. We are moving ahead with our focus on serving our members and will keep you updated if the situation changes.
Our membership is up by 5.3% year over year from this August compared to last August. Currently, we have 1,147 members and we are averaging 15.75 new members per month this year compared to 10.5 per month last year. Equally as powerful, retention for the past year is running at 92%, which is considered exceptional for a large association such as ours.
This is the new rising concern for our members. BATC has launched the Education and Workforce Development Committee (an expanded role for the former Education Committee). We are collaborating with The Builders Group (TBG) Foundation and its 15 partner associations to bring forward an industry-wide marketing and PR effort promoting construction as a career of choice. More details will be shared as the plan develops.
THE BIG NIGHT
Our mission is to help our member businesses grow through marketing, advocacy and industry connections. The BIG NIGHT of the year is our massive industry celebration taking place on October 20 at Mystic Lake Hotel. We’ll be honoring our Reggie winners, ROMA winners, Builder of the Year, Remodeler of the Year, Associate of the Year, Building BATC Award, Green Path award, Robert L. Hansen award, Legislator of the Year, Legislative Advocate of the Year and more. Make plans now to attend. See you at the Big Night in October!