Two of builders’ biggest challenges may have a similar solution.
The labor shortage and construction defect litigation were the two main topics of discussion at a roundtable Colorado Builder held in mid-December 2017.
These seemingly disparate challenges both result from misinformation. Potential workers are unaware of the opportunities the industry has to offer as a career, and consumers are unaware of the realities of an industry facing shrinking margins and increasing pressures.
“The perception in the general public is that as a builder, what your biggest job is, is to figure out how to get the money truck to the bank,” Scott Moberg of Joyce Homes, and 2018 president of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, said.
Builders’ jobs are decidedly more nuanced than that, but consumers and potential workers don’t know it.
“Whose fault is it if we’re not telling the story of our industry correctly to the people?” Stephanie Beninati of Strategic Insurance Services, and founding member of the Construction Resource Group, said. She wants to see the industry and the associations that support it do more to change the perception of the builder industry.
You’ll find highlights of our conversation here. The discussion was useful for me, being new to the industry after 10 years in the financial press, but I hope it will be edifying for you as well. The participants were candid in discussing their concerns and their optimism about this industry.
And they are optimistic. Home building is more than just a great way to make a living, David Baltz of Phoenix Framing said; it’s an honorable profession.
“That’s what I think needs to be promoted; the value, the usefulness to society of what we all do. It runs the whole gamut from the guy who picks up trash on the job site to the highest level national builder’s executive.”
I hope that I can be part of the solution, helping builders tell their stories and find ways to address these and other challenges that they face every day. If you have a story to tell, don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected].
(Photo: Dave Jackson and Stephanie Beninati by Povy Atchison Kendal)