David Clark

It’s no secret that crisis sometimes speeds innovation, and in that context at least one good thing has come of the Great Recession. It has hastened the acceptance and use of technology that enables distance learning and allows people to attend meetings remotely.

Like many other associations and institutions, the NAHB was already exploring the potential of webinars when the recession hit our industry. But the need to provide programs and meetings that people could “attend” without the expense and investment of time required by travel has definitely accelerated the use and acceptance of webinars throughout our federation.

That’s not to say that the NAHB is forsaking “in person” educational programs and meetings. Nothing can replace the personal interaction and networking opportunities they provide. But webinars are a very valuable addition to our lineup of products and services.

Simply put, webinars allow us to provide high-quality educational programs to more people at a lower cost. Moreover, attendance is not limited to people in a particular area or those who want to travel to the location where a program is being held. Thousands of people can attend each educational event without leaving their office or home.

And with the market growing increasingly complex, webinars can give members a distinct competitive advantage by providing important, up-to-the minute information as well as enabling them to earn valuable professional designations faster than in the past.

To help members prepare for the vastly different housing market that is emerging with the economic recovery, the NAHB will launch a new, members-only webinar series in September. “New Horizons: Setting a Course for Success in the New Market,” is a series of four webinars addressing key aspects of today’s unprecedented housing environment.

The webinars are being produced jointly by the NAHB and Builder magazine. They are sponsored by Simonton Windows and Therma-Tru Doors.

Scheduled for Sept. 16, the first webinar will focus on fine-tuning business operations and helping members position their companies for maximum effectiveness in an environment that is anything but business as usual.

The second webinar in the series will be held on Oct. 27 and will focus on financing, especially the thorny subject of funding for acquisition and development of land and construction of new homes. Also on the agenda will be the vastly different lending environment that home buyers will encounter as they seek mortgage loans.

Design and consumer preferences will be the focus on Nov. 18 as the third webinar examines market and buying trends in an effort to help builders determine the optimum product mix for their businesses. Home size, density, amenities, green features, and buyer demographics are just some of the subjects the webinar will address.

Scheduled for Dec. 16, the final webinar in the series will examine the rapidly changing marketing environment with a focus on the Internet and social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

All of the webinars will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, and registration is free for NAHB members. You can get more information and register at www.NAHB.org/newhorizons.

This webinar series is just one of the many products and services that the NAHB delivers to members daily. Whether it is protecting your business from regulatory mandates, working to defeat onerous legislation, or providing certification training that will give you an edge over the competition, the NAHB is there for you.