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Home Builders Association

HBAMP Fall 2014 Membership Drive

Fall-Membership-TimelineHelp us capture industry professionals who have eluded HBA members during the week of October 13 – 23. Super sleuthing skills not required – simply grab your phone gadget and make a call to some offenders you already know. Invite them to one of our groovy events and you could be the one to score big.

October 15 – 5:30pm
at Ferguson Gallery

October 23 – 5:30pm
at Standard TV & Appliance

Your new capture gets these extras at booking during the month of October:

• Builder & Remodeler Member Dues Special Offer – Value $100
$100 off first-year membership Courtesy of NW Natural

• Associate Member Dues Special Offer – Value $50
$50 off first-year membership Courtesy of NW Natural

• FREE Continuing Education is always a benefit of membership at the HBA! Value of $189

• Our everyday HBA membership benefits of business savings, industry advocacy, career and business development! Value – Priceless!

Make a successful bust and score some of your own loot!

• Recruit 6 or more members and win a trip to Vegas to attend IBS in January 20-22!
Trip includes airfare, 3-night hotel stay, IBS registration and ticket to the exclusive SPIKE party and concert!*

• Recruit even 1 member and win:
An invite to the exclusive lunch and cocktails!
Gift cards valued at $100!

• Win an additional $50 value in gift cards for EVERY additional member your recruit!*

2014 HBA Membership Info Flyer
Overcoming objections to joining the HBA

*At 6 or more members recruited, prize winner may choose $100 gift card and Vegas trip OR the $450 in gift card prizes, not both.

Worksite theft is up – but it doesn’t have to be

It used to be that thieves might prowl through a Renaissance Homes development that was under construction and strip out electrical wiring that they could sell for a quick buck.

More recently, however, the criminals have upped their game — and their haul. Instead of copper wire, they’ve rolled up in the dark of night in moving trucks and cleaned out entire model homes.

“Furnishings, fixtures, everything,” said Randy Sebastian, president of Renaissance Homes. “We had quite a bit of that going on.”

Chalk it up to the return of the housing market, laws that have made it harder for crooks to sell stolen metal or any number of other factors, but construction site theft has been on the rise over the past couple years. And just as Sebastian and Renaissance have seen, no longer are thieves sticking to small-time, albeit still damaging, losses. They’ve also gotten more sophisticated, staking out worksites to familiarize themselves with who’s coming and going and when might be the best time to strike. When that time comes, they often pull up in trucks similar to those of contractors so as to avoid suspicion, black out windows and get down to business.

“Theft has really just ramped up the past couple years,” said Dave Nielsen, CEO of the HBAMP. “It used to be random tweakers on bikes trying to strip out metal. Now it’s furnished homes and they’re going in and ripping everything out. It’s a growing epidemic.”

Karen Blythe got into the world of worksite theft prevention about 18 years ago during a period of high crime and vandalism. In response, she helped establish the Construction Industry Crime Prevention Program of the Pacific Northwest, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent and reduce theft and vandalism on residential and commercial construction sites. Today, the CICP network includes contractors, trade associations, law enforcement agencies, scrap metal recyclers, community members and others. Since CICP’s founding in 1996, builders and contractors have reported more than $16 million in losses to the nonprofit; CICP has helped recover more than $5.3 million.

“We see thieves taking advantage of empty homes and finding creative ways to get inside,” Blythe said. “They’re leaving doors unlocked when they go on a tour with a Realtor, they’re scoping out sites so they know when people come on and off the job sites. Basically, they’re playing the part.”

It’s not just homebuilders who are at risk, either. Blythe said remodelers can find themselves being targeted, especially if they’re leaving trailers at a job site and if the homeowners doing the remodel aren’t staying the home during construction.

To help curb the worksite theft that was befalling Renaissance Homes, Sebastian turned to OmniGuard, a home and business security company in Lake Oswego. The company is able to install home security systems as soon as power is available on a site; no Internet or telephone line is required. The systems can be controlled and monitored from a mobile phone and custom-programmed to send text alerts to certain people whenever the system is disarmed or an alarm goes off.

“It’s whoever you want to get notified,” said Noah Stokes, president and CEO of OmniGuard. “The customization is unlimited, really.”

In addition, some systems include motion sensors with cameras. If someone comes in and disarms the alarm, the camera takes their picture and sends an alert to the selected devices. That can help reduce false alarms, which can rack up fees from police departments that respond to them. The systems, which can also keep any shady subcontractors in check, also have two-way voice technology so that, for example, a remote project manager from Renaissance Homes who receives an alert could inquire in real-time who’s in the home or who disarmed the alarm.

“It’s a real person and their voice asking them who is there,” Sebastian said. “That will freak a bad guy out.”

Both Sebastian and Stokes said the OmniGuard systems have foiled several break-ins at Renaissance homes.

“There have been obvious instances where people have tried to break in and been stopped,” Stokes said. “The theft has dropped significantly.”

Beyond alarm systems, there are other steps builders and remodelers can take to prevent theft from their sites. After all, Blythe said, it’s better to focus on prevention than recovery.

“The odds of recovery are pretty darn small,” she said. “Prevention is much more effective.”

For starters, Blythe said it’s important for homebuilders to make contact with neighbors and share some basic information with them so they know, in general, who will be on site and when. If neighbors don’t know that someone’s not supposed to be on-site at 11 p.m. at night, they might not think it’s all that odd. Putting up fencing can be an easy deterrent, as can properly securing materials, and it’s important to always double check that tool trailers are properly locked at the end of the day.

Members of the CICP program also have access to other resources, including a round-the-clock hotline and reward program that provides posters, signs and decals for contractors. There’s also an email alert system for urgent crime information and a confidential, 24-hour emergency contact number.

Blythe said properly labeling and inventorying all tools and materials — even going so far as to label 2x4s with an identifying mark — can be helpful, perhaps more in recovering stolen goods than in actually preventing theft.

“Marking it will make it more difficult to be sold and will make it easier to identify as yours if it’s stolen and recovered,” she said. “You won’t know what’s been stolen if you don’t know or can’t show what you have.”

At the moment, the CICP is offering HBA members a special membership rate, starting as low as $88 a year for companies with up to 10 employees. For more information, visit

Marking tool flyer final


Just in case: Builder’s risk insurance

Despite builders’ best efforts to deter theft from their job sites, there’s still the chance that something — or someone — may slip through. If that happens, there may be some peace of mind to be hand through builder’s risk insurance.

“Builder’s Risk coverage is a type of property insurance specifically designed to cover property during the course of construction, including renovation and repair,” said Jeff Cecchini, senior vice president at Montgomery & Graham, Lake Oswego insurance company.

He said typical property policies don’t always cover the additional risks and responsibilities inherent in homebuilding and other similar types of work. For example, if someone steals contractors’ equipment from the job site or if construction materials are damaged, you could be liable for the loss if you do not have builder’s risk coverage.

“Careful planning is the foundation for a smooth construction project, which includes the right exposure coverages,” Cecchini said. “Many businesses choose to transfer or accept risk through contracts, purchase orders and lease agreements. However, not all contracts or endorsements are created equal. An agent who understands your business can help you with builder’s risk policy language to meet your individual needs.”


How great leaders think with Dave Mitchell

Dave Mitchell 2

A Sales, Marketing and Business Development Special Event presented by Pamplin Media Group on October 17

The majority of people perform in a range between adequate and good. A precious few consistently perform at levels that are exceptional. What characteristics do these people have that separate them from others? Is it possible to develop these traits in yourself and others? Is there a blueprint for performance excellence? Dave Mitchell has worked with organizations all over the world to help them achieve greater levels of human resources performance, authored two books and was named Best Speaker of the Year at the 2013 World Education Congress in Las Vegas. He will discuss the unique attributes of peak performers and provide attendees with a thought provoking look into the “mind of excellence.”

WHEN: Friday, October 17, 2014
Registration & breakfast at 8:30am
Presentation from 9:00am-11:30am

WHERE: The HBA JMG Conference Center
15555 SW Bangy Road, Lake Oswego OR 97035

HOW MUCH: $55 per person. Breakfast is included.
Space is limited to 200 people, and this event will sell out! REGISTER NOW

PRESENTED BY: The Pamplin Media Group

Pamlin logo





Hungry for more? Get the book! Buy Live and Learn or Die Stupid and achieve self-contentment today!

About Dave Mitchell and The Leadership Difference

Since founding the Leadership Difference in 1995, over 250,000 people have attended Dave Mitchell’s “enter-TRAIN-ment” seminars on topics that include leadership, customer service, selling skills, and personal performance enhancement. His clients include Allstate Insurance, Bank of America, Universal Studios, Sub-Zero Wolf Appliances, Electrolux Appliances, Trek Bikes, Walt Disney World, and the CIA just to name a few.

Prior to starting his own organization development consulting firm, Dave was the Vice President of Human Resources and Quality for Buena Vista Hospitality Group, Corporate Director of Training and Development for Marshall Field’s and a television reporter and producer for CBS News. He has a B.A. in Mass-Communications with an emphasis in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Global Human Resources Development. Dave is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois and has been designated as a Certified Advanced Wine Sommelier (som-uh-yay) by the International Wine Guild.

Dave is the author of the book Live and Learn or Die Stupid! The book focuses on personal contentment and performance excellence. His next book, The Power of Understanding People, was released in December 2013 by Wiley Publishing and was immediately selected as Best Business Book of the Month by Amazon. Dave was named Best Speaker of 2013 by Meeting Professionals International at the World Education Congress in Las Vegas.

Dave lives in the mountains of Colorado with his wife of 28 years, Lori; his two children, Brooke and Slade; three horses and four dogs including two yellow labs: Martini and Rossi.

What our members are saying about Dave:

“I wanted to send you a quick note to thank you, Nancy and everyone else at the HBA who brought Dave Mitchell to us in Portland! His talk was absolutely amazing. I learned so many things about myself, about my family and about the people that we work with in the HBA. I can’t remember the last time I laughed as much as I did yesterday morning. The tools he gave us are going to be invaluable as we move forward with our business and will certainly shine light on some of those people we have a hard time connecting with. If ever there was a way to bring him back for another session, I would make sure I was among the first to sign up! I would also recommend it to everyone I know – his information is a great fit for anyone.”

– Abigail Adams, Classic Electric, LLC

“The speaker, Dave Mitchell was intelligent and probably one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. I was actually disappointed when it ended because I think I could have listened to him all day.”

– Nancy Long, Sisu Painting, Inc.

Portland Fall Home and Garden Show Coupon

Get out and get inspired, plus meet the people that can help you accomplish your home dreams! PRINT this page and bring it with you to the show for $2 off admission on Thursday and Friday, October 2-3. Come after 4pm and parking is free!


Benchmarking your company’s benefits program

M&GAn attractive benefits program is vital for your recruiting and retention efforts, but is also a significant expense. To ensure you are providing a package that is both competitive and economical, you need to know how your offerings compare to others in your industry. Benchmark data can provide valuable insight for evaluating your benefits package, something that is more important than ever in light of health care reform.

Employer interest in benchmark data has grown over the past decade, as the cost of providing health care benefits continues to skyrocket and companies look for new ways to manage costs. Analyzing how other companies are structuring their plans and the strategies they are using to cut costs may make your own benefit plan decisions a bit easier.

What data can you benchmark?

There is information available for almost any aspect of a benefits program, including total costs, cost-sharing measures, plan design, voluntary offerings, workers’ compensation and paid leave.

Whether you are curious to know how your voluntary disability benefits stack up or are wondering if your paid leave program is comparable to competitors, there is likely benchmark data available. We at Montgomery & Graham would be happy to provide you with a variety of benchmark data—simply let us know what you are interested in learning.

Health care reform implications:

Interest in benefits benchmark data has grown since the introduction and ongoing implementation of health care reform. With the Supreme Court ruling health care reform constitutional and President Obama’s re-election, it is now clear that the law is here to stay.

The regulations and provisions of health care reform require significant changes to benefit plans, and in many cases, tough decisions for employers. How are you handling the expansion of dependent coverage for children or the impact of removing annual limits? How is your company planning to manage the increased costs associated with the auto-enrollment provision that will take effect?

Knowing how other employers are approaching these issues could be beneficial in helping you reshape your benefit program for this new health care landscape.

Employers are responsible for implementing many new rules and absorbing their costs, which will likely mean cutting or shifting costs elsewhere. These decisions can make the difference between maintaining a competitive benefits package and seeing a decline in recruiting and retention of quality employees.

Knowing how other employers plan to address these benefits decisions can be incredibly advantageous for your company. Contact Brian Leong, Employee Benefits Consultant with Montgomery & Graham at (971) 327-5785 or for more information on benefit plan benchmark data.


Is Metro ‘Stack and Pack’ housing plan going to work?

Asa_Apartments_Portland_300_cropDoes recent Residential Preference Study impact Metro’s growth plans?

Our regional government, Metro, is responsible for planning for job and housing growth in our region and managing our Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). Every five years, they are required to produce an Urban Growth Report and make necessary decisions to accommodate planned growth. This report looks ahead 20 years, plans on ways to efficiently use lands to accommodate jobs and housing growth, and ultimately gives the Metro Council guidance on whether or not any expansion of the UGB is necessary.

Below are some resources related to this work and HBA’s efforts to engage in the process.

Residential Preference Study: click here to access the press release from Metro, as well as the Executive Summary and full Study

Urban Growth Report: click here to link to the full report, including all of the appendices. See also our recent post “Metro’s draft Urban Growth Report sees things differently from builders

Various local newspaper stories run on Residential Housing Preference Study:

Residential preference presentation for the HBMP summarizing the Residential Preference Study and some highlights of the UGR as well as HBAMP’s work on these issues (given by HBAMP CEO Dave Nielsen at the HBAMP Lunch.Learn.Link on September 11, 2014)

Metro’s draft urban growth report sees it differently from builders

house-development_194_600x450This article appears courtesy of Jon Bell in September’s Home Building News

Between 1990 and 2010, the population of the seven-county Portland Metro region grew by about 700,000 people. According to Metro, and depending on how circumstances unfold in the next 20 years, the region could add anywhere from 470,000 to 725,000 more people. If the number falls about mid-range — 600,000 — it would be like adding a whole other Portland, people-wise, to the metro region.

Whether or not the Metro urban growth boundary has enough space to accommodate that kind of an increase is the central question in the “2014 Urban Growth Report,” which Metro released in July. Subtitled “Investing in our communities: 2015-2035,” the report is required by state law every five years as a way to gauge how much the region is growing, whether or not the Metro council needs to add land to the urban growth boundary and, if so, how much and where.

“It’s an effort to look forward at what kind of growth we should anticipate and how to accommodate it,” said Ted Reid, a senior regional planner with Metro.

While the report is not necessarily the law of the land, nor is it even finalized yet, it is meant to help inform the Metro council when it makes its growth management decision by the end of 2015. Among other repercussions, that decision will determine whether or not any new land is added to the UGB in the coming years. Should the council base its decision on the mid- to low-range population forecast numbers, the Metro report shows that there would be no need to expand the UGB; only if the higher-end of the range were considered would more land need to be added.

There are some good things laid out in the report, said Dave Nielsen, CEO of the HBAMP, but also some problematic areas.

“For the first time ever, Metro staff have issued a draft report that lays out some of the real challenges our region faces,” he said. “Things like housing preferences, voter annexation requirements, resistance to infill density, Damascus build-out potential and affordability concerns.  However, the study also makes it appear that the safe and easy route is to not expand the boundary, which gives policy makers an out.  It does that by making some huge assumptions for multi-family housing capacity in Portland that are off the charts.”

Reid noted that the midpoint is the “most likely result if our assumptions are correct,” though nothing is for certain.

“We are looking 20 years out; there are going to be some things we get wrong,” he said. “But we are trying to lay out the information for policymakers so they can have those discussions.”

Another issue pertinent for builders in the draft Metro report deals with density, which some say gets a little over-emphasized in the report.

“The report is a well-rounded approach to looking at the growth both economically and population-wise in the region,” said Andrew Tull, a principal planner with 3J Consulting and the current chair of the HBAMP’s Government Affairs Committee. “We were a little surprised by the amount of density that some of the interior suburbs claim to have available though.”

In addition, Tull said that some of the projections in the report don’t take into account everything that goes into development projects. For example, one projection in the report suggests that the city of Portland has existing capacity for more than 170,000 residences over the next 20 years. Nielsen said that assumes an annual rate of new residences that Portland has never come close to, and Tull said that such a rate discounts the fact that so few proposed developments ever actually make it to fruition.

“As consultants, we look at a lot of development projects, and it’s not exaggerating to say that we’ll analyze 50 deals before one becomes an actual project,” he said. “There’s not a high connection rate between builders, developers and property owners. So much has to go right for that to happen, so I think a projection like that discounts how hard it is to make a deal go.”

As far as density goes, Nielsen said the projections assume that much of the growth can be absorbed in high density, multifamily housing units and that a disproportionate number of new residents, particularly in Portland, are going to want to live in that kind of housing. That may be a faulty assumption, especially considering a forthcoming study that should be out this month that shows just the opposite: that more people prefer single family residences over apartments, condominiums and other multifamily options.

“We’re not sure (high density) matches the preference of everyone in the market,” Tull said. “There is a portion of people who want the multifamily life and experience, but as you settle down and start to have a family, a more suburban lifestyle makes a lot of sense for a lot of people.”

Reid said the main takeaway from the draft is that the quality of life in the metro region is fuelling growth. A big part of accommodating that growth, he said, will be making the most of the land within the UGB.

“We need to start talking more about land readiness than supply,” he said. That means looking into investments in infrastructure, annexing lands that have already been added to the UGB and other measures. “The land available to build on is scarce, but it’s not because it’s in the UGB or not in the UGB.”

The Metro report cites developments like Villebois in Wilsonville and Witch Hazel in Hillsboro as successful examples of projects that came to be on lands added to the UGB in the past. At the other end of the spectrum are areas such as Damascus, which was added 10 years ago but that has since been bogged down in all kinds of political morass. Metro expects at least another decade of wrangling and notes in the report that “If Damascus’ capacity is not available, it may become somewhat more difficult to provide new single-family housing inside the existing urban growth boundary.”

Since the report won’t be finalized until the end of the year, Tull said he anticipates more discussions with Metro councilors to tweak it before then. One thing builders would like to see more of is greater focus on land that may be outside the boundary but that can be easily served by nearby infrastructure and existing transportation amenities. The Stafford area, for one, is on everybody’s mind, Tull said, but in general “the region’s focus should be on providing housing near to where future employment is being contemplated.”

Though there are some points of contention in the draft report, Reid said that Metro planners and staff “had a close relationship with builders and HBAMP members this time around.”

“We worked hard to get the perspectives of the people in the business in this report,” he said. “We really valued the input the builders brought to the process. They have lent a lot of expertise to that, and we appreciate it.”

To view the draft report, visit and click on “2015 Growth Management Decision.”

From the Top: September 2014

Jan LewisFrom HBAMP President, Jan Lewis in September’s edition of the Home Building News.

As September gets started, I look back on the wonderful NW Natural Street of Dreams that we just completed – a beautiful site and lovely homes made for a fantastic show! It was our 39th annual show and many thank-yous are in order. A special thank you to our major sponsors–NW Natural, Banner Bank/Community Financial, and Standard TV & Appliance–as well as all of the other sponsors who participated in this years’ show. We could not have done it without you.

Also, thank you to the four builders who participated in this year’s show. Thank you for stepping forward and taking the risk to build a show home. It appears that risk has paid off as four of the five homes sold before the Street opened. Please extend our thanks to your subcontractors and suppliers, too.

Another thank you goes to the City of Happy Valley. They welcomed the NW Natural Street of Dreams with open arms and worked with the HBAMP every step of the way to make this show successful. Truly a bright spot in our show planning!

Kudos also go to our wonderful HBAMP staff as well as the staff of the Home Builders Foundation. What a lot of hard work, but you pulled it off. The Street kicked off with the successful Block Party before the show opened. This year’s Block Party beneficiary was the Home Builders Foundation and specifically the Clackamas Women’s Service Domestic Violence Shelter. Besides the proceeds from the Block Party, visitors to the Street of Dreams were asked to contribute a dollar toward HBF and CWS, and that solicitation was very successful, too. In addition to viewing the homes in the show, our visitors to the Street were treated to live music on Wednesday nights, as well as two new features–Style in the Street and a special day honoring our Veterans.

I hope you all had a chance to visit this year’s show. If you didn’t, you definitely missed out; but it’s not too late to mark your calendar for next year. It will be our 40th year, and the show returns to Lake Oswego in the new Highlands development. It promises to be a great show.

As we head into fall, I’d like to share with you an update on the Professional Women in Building (PWB) group. Just before I was installed as your President, the officers became aware of the Atlanta HBA’s very successful PWB Council. Having been a woman in the construction industry for 37 years, PWB piqued my interest. This past winter, Dave Nielsen, Carol Eisenlohr of Legend Homes, and I met to discuss the idea. We took it a step further by having a phone conference call with leaders of the Atlanta PWB as well as NAHB’s PWB Council leaders. In late July, we held our first informational meeting of those women interested in exploring the idea. Eighteen members attended the first meeting, and the majority of them had never attended an HBA event. We came away from the meeting realizing that there is a need for a way for women in the building industry to improve their skills, network, and be mentored. If you missed the informational meeting, stay tuned for additional developments this fall. I’m really excited about where this is going!

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