For so long now I’ve seen the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association (GVHBA) logo and not really known what it stood for or what exactly they did for the industry and more specifically the home owner. I asked around to a good many of my friends and collegues and discovered that very few of them knew either. So I picked up my phone and called Bob de Witt, the CEO for the association. Although he was back east in Ottawa on business I did get a preliminary meeting with Director of Communications, Dawn Sondergaard. She was very informative and concise. We talked for some time so that I could get a handle on what to ask Bob when he returned so that I could get the best out of our meeting.
I learned quickly, upon meeting Bob, that he too is very informative and concise … and a pleasure to talk to. I began my interrogation with the obvious fact finders to get that out of the way. There are currently 900 members of the GVHBA, 400 of which are manufacturers/suppliers and balancing 500 are a split between builders and renovators/designers. They not only have to show that they are a registered builder (which means they have completed the courses necessary to get their license) and must not only go through a financial investigation, but also must have multiple letters of reference (most specifically from other members of the GVHBA).
Now although it is not mandatory for members to attend the many seminars/classes that are put on by the association Bob tells me that their attendance record is very high. “Virtually all of our members are seen attending this course or that course … so essentially attendance is 100%.” he informed me. But here’s the kicker, I realized as we talked that the GVHBA uses a carrot instead of a stick where their members are concerned. And they must be hungry because each year the association holds a gala to honour the best and attendance is large. Bob told me that there are 47 awards presented to members at the “Ovations Awards” ceremony which has gone on for 7 years now. That was when the light bulb came on for me.
The Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association creates a win-win situation for the builders/developers and the home owners. By becoming a member of the GVHBA, a builder can not only use the logo but also attend the many seminars to improve their work and potentially win an Ovations award … I’m told that those bragging rights are worth their weight in gold! And by using a member, as a home owner, you know that this individual and/or company is on the straight and narrow and most likely is the type of person that will try to exceed your expectations.
There is a means of registering a complaint with the GVHBA on their web site, but Bob informed me that that rarely ever occurs and when it does the builder is contacted immediately to repair the problem. Seemingly another advantage to seek out a member of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association.
I thanked Bob for his time, we shook hands and off I went to write this article in hopes that I have answered as many questions for you as I had for myself.