In the Midland-Odessa area, there’s a big resource for business people in all aspects of residential and commercial construction, the Permian Basin Builders Association (PBBA).
This group is known for its two big annual events, the Home and Garden Show each February and the Parade of Homes each October. But they offer other benefits to members and homebuyers, as well, said member Travis Pate, Project Manager at Texas Classic Homes.
“The benefits are being able to know what is happening in the industry, being able to communicate as a group to the governmental entities, and being able to have a voice at state and national government entities, as well,” Pate said. “We have continuing education programs for builders, as we’re a social and philanthropic organization, as well.”
With many of their nearly 300 members small business owners, being part of a trade organization can help alleviate the “little fish in a big pond” feeling, Pate explained. Members often look to other members when they need services because there is a feeling of reliability.
“If somebody is willing to invest in themselves and their community to be a member and pay their dues, which are around $500, it probably means they are an upstanding person and have an upstanding business,” he said. “The analogy I use is that if parents are going to the bookstore or library and getting books on parenting, whether they read them or not, it probably means they’re pretty good parents to begin with.”
The main function of the PBBA is to be a unified voice for the industry, advocating for construction trades in the Permian Basin area.
“Annual events, whether it’s the Home and Garden Show or the Parade of Homes, are beneficial to us as ways to market our business,” Pate said. “[PBBA] helps us find a balance between buyers and sellers and making sure our housing stock is good quality, as well as making sure we have plenty of good developments, finding land, and working with landowners to create those developments.”
The Parade of Homes will have its fifth annual event Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 22-25. It’s an affair 10 months in the making for the association, which organizes the entire event and produces a book for people visiting the houses. The Parade has brought in as many as 4,000 people to tour the homes of local builders, showcasing vendor products, from paint and windows to tile and countertops.
“It’s probably the best way for a homebuilder to show something off, and the same thing is true for subcontractor and vendors—people get a better feel for it when it’s in a house,” said Pate, who was chairman of the Parade committee last year. “Most of the homes are fully furnished, so people can see trends, and we normally have different vendors and suppliers in the houses along with the builders so people can ask questions about the home or the products.”
The other headline event for PBBA is the Home and Garden Show, which will take place Feb. 26-27, 2016, at the Midland County Horseshoe Arena & Pavilion. They’ve had up to 150 booths from different members where they showcase their products and services.
The PBBA has longstanding relationships with nonprofits throughout the Midland-Odessa area, like Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, and the Gary Kahler Memorial Scholarship Fund, scholarships given each semester to students who graduate from within the 14-county PBBA jurisdiction.
Members also built a house for people getting cancer treatment.
“We built two Hope Houses, where people in treatment for cancer can stay for a reduced or no fee while they are getting treatments at Midland Memorial or over at the Odessa Medical Center,” Pate said.
Other PBBA resources for members include “lunch and learn” events, the Professional Women in Building meetings and networking events, and access to legal documents, critically important since there is no state mandated warrantee in Texas.
“The best way to ensure quality housing is to start with a [Texas Association of Builders] contract, written by lawyers for the association and available to every member who buys the contracts,” Pate said. “They spell out exactly what is included in terms of warrantee, what happens during construction, and everything is written down in plain language to protect the builder and the buyer.”
TAB seeks to create a positive environment for the housing industry by addressing the housing issues of the state and has the HOMEPAC, its political action committee. NAHB is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that seeks to enhance the climate for housing, homeownership, and the residential building industry.
With the almost 300 PBBA members, 10,000 TAB members, and 250,000 NAHB members, builders and contractors in the Midland-Odessa area are well-set for advocacy, networking opportunities, continuing education, access to expert advisors, industry publications, public exposure, and member discounts.