A message from Peter Schwartz
Chief Executive Officer
Our industry both nationally and regionally is at yet another cross roads—one that some of us have seen before—too many times, but it seems to be our fate. Business is down, production is in retreat, and everyone is scrambling for cover. Many other industries experience the ebb and flow of market fluctuations—but we somehow manage to wander between feast and famine.
In spite of more sophisticated management techniques, the prognosis of highly educated consultants and analysts, better trained employees, and far more sophisticated marketing executives we somehow wind up bewildered and cross eyed over where the customers went and why buying a new or newly remodeled home doesn’t smell as good as it should.
That is our fate—at least in later 2006 and in all probability 2007. My belief is that it will not be in 2008, which is what most forecasters are already beginning to project.
I see our industry in this region as exceptionally vibrant long term and able to sustain qualitative growth in new housing throughout my anticipated lifetime. That said, there are challenges both short and long term that our industry cannot and should not ignore—the ongoing and somewhat accelerated venture of local and county governmental agencies to slow growth or to drive the cost of our industry’s products out of the reach of our customers—all to the detriment of our region’s natural evolution. It is becoming harder to provide services and products to our builder developers whose mission is to grow our nation’s housing stock and quality of life. It is becoming harder to be the purveyor of the American Dream.
Hard times require hard tactics. No organization succeeds by resting on its heels and I believe it is our time to mobilize as an association—to act, rather than react—to reach out to our members both small and large, and demonstrate that there is not only intrinsic value in belonging to HBAGC but that we are firmly committed to being their safe harbor during these challenging times.
That is our mission, I believe, in 2007. I ask all volunteers to join me and the HBAGC staff to continue reaching out at all levels of our membership to re-affirm our value, our critical necessity, and our importance to everyone within our extended family. We need to proactively and aggressively re-galvanize the bonds that are long established with our Associates, our Custom Builders, our Remodelors, our Sales and Marketing Executives, our Young Builders—who certainly are experiencing this for the first time, and our Multifamily Housing Executives. We need to re-confirm long standing covenants—at many levels—with our large production builders, who instinctively and innately will evaluate our net worth to their organizations both locally and nationally and codify the importance of their involvement at a variety of levels within our association as a viable and mandatory component of their business plan moving forward.
Benjamin Franklin, when signing the Declaration of Independence, was quoted as saying, "Gentlemen, we now must all hang together. For if we do not we shall all undoubtedly hang separately."
God Bless our industry, and God Bless our association. Please join me in working towards an outstanding 2007 and rest assured that that we stand with you and by you, ready to help—ready to defend.