July 2015 Building Buzz

Page 1

Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association

BUILDING uzz B July 2015

President’s Letter Summer News, page 4

PAC Golf Tourney, page 5 Marketing Techniques, page 6 City/County Beat eTRAKiT, page 7

BMHBA News Sporting Clay Shoot, page 9

National News To Rent or Buy, page 10

NDAB News Patent Trolls, page 14

VANCE VETTER HOMES combines defined spaces with Modern Style in this Oakland Subdivision home.

BUILDING Buzz Building Buzz is a publication of the Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association

Your membership is three-in-one: BMHBA, NDAB and NAHB

2600 Gateway Ave., Suite 1 Bismarck, ND 58503 Phone: 701.222.2400 Fax: 701.250.9730

Professionals building our community through promotion of home ownership, education and legislation since 1958.

Like Us! www.facebook.com/bmhba Follow Us! www.twitter.com/bmhba

Publisher/Editor: Dot Frank Layout Editor: Michael L. Quinn

Cover Photo Vance Vetter Homes


2015 Board of Directors PRESIDENT Drew Knutson Knutson Homes, Inc. Phone: (701) 258-3464

1ST VICE PRESIDENT Greg Zenker Ferguson Enterprises Phone: (701) 663-2446 2ND VICE PRESIDENT Shannon Reichenberg Diversity Homes Phone: (701) 220-8177

Susie Franklin Capital Credit Union Phone: (701) 255-0042 Nathan Jones Tollberg Homes Phone: (763) 205-2037


Oakland Subdivision, Bismarck Built in 2015 2 Story Farmhouse 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths

Parker Pladson Venture Building Co. Phone: (701) 290-6734

PAST PRESIDENT Vance Vetter Vance Vetter Homes Phone: (701) 751-8218

SECRETARY/TREASURER Lynn Klein Gate City Bank Phone: (701) 355-7633 Paula Haider Haider Glass Specialties Phone: (701) 250-6787 Chad Moldenhauer K & L Homes, Inc. Phone: (701) 258-4584 Jeff Sattler Sattler Homes Phone: (701) 255-7628 Bill Schmid Townsquare Media Phone: (701) 250-6602

Defined spaces joined with modern farmhouse style give this two-story home the look and space every growing family deserves. This home features 4 large bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a separate home office and a kid’s play room. A central gathering space was a must on the main floor so we designed an open concept kitchen and living room with defined spaces making it more cozy and intimate. The family also incorporated a kids’ play room off of the kitchen so mom and dad can keep an eye on kids while preparing meals. Having a young family in mind, all of the bedrooms are located on the second story. It was also important to have a covered front porch and back deck for the memory-making spots with friends and family for years to come.


Caribbean Cruise and get a $50 Gift Certificate When you do your closing with Quality Title, Inc.

Contact your Realtor or lender for details! Due to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Lenders, Realtors and Contractors are excluded from this promotion

Participating Vendors Blarney Stone, Gee WilLiquors, Bistro, A&B Pizza, Ace Hardware


Building Buzz | July 2015

New Members & Anniversaries May 2015 New Members Ferrellgas | Michelle Bushee | www.ferrellgas.com Larson Engineering, Inc. | Dale Johnson www.larsonengr.com | Engineering

Priority Plumbing | Jamie Wilson | Plumbing/ Heating/Air Conditioning

Cardinal Home Improvements, Inc. | Robert David Remodeling-Residential Carpet World | Brian Dauenhauer www.carpetworldbismarck.com | Flooring Coverings CornerStone Bank | Jerry Hauff www.CornerStoneBaks.net | Mortgage Banking

Corwin Churchill Appliance Co. | Neil Whittey www.ccappliance.com | Appliances

Time to Renew!

Electro Watchman, Inc. | Rachelle Johnson www.electrowatchman.com | Computer Products

Members with July Anniversaries Renew by July 31, 2015

Bismarck-Mandan Board of Realtors Nancy Deichert | www.bmbor.org Bobcat of Mandan | John Dinneen bobcatofmandan.net | Landscaping

Brady Martz & Associates | John Mongeon | www. bradymartz.com | Accounting | Mortgage Banking Bremer Bank | Phil Sjoberg | www.bremer.com Mortgage Banking

Brock White | Jon Zabolotny | www.brockwhite.com Building Materials Lumber (Retail Dealership)

Gate City Bank - Lynn Klein | Mortgage Banking

Northern Plains Equipment Co., Inc. | Marc Taylor www.npend.com | Landscaping

Choice Financial | Tim Karsky www.choicefinancialgroup.com | Mortgage Banking

Bianco Realty - Shirley Thomas shirleythomashomes.com | Real Estate

Bilfinger Westcon Inc. | Sue Gustafson www.westconindustries.com

Century 21 Morrison Realty - Kristin Eisenzimmer www.century21morrison.com

Haider Glass Specialties | Paula Haider www.haiderglass.com | Building Materials Lumber

Premier Audio | Don Braunagel www.premieraudio.biz

Prestige Homes & Design, Inc. | Josh Kuntz www.prestigend.com | General Contracting

Rudnick Construction | Gerry Rudnick | Single Family Spec/Tract Building | Building Materials Lumber

Hebron Brick & Block | Blaine Lokhorst www.mybrickstore.com | Building Materials Lumber

Hopfauf Custom Builders | Mike Hopfauf www.hopfaufcustomhomes.com | General Contracting Interior Woodworks | Mike Emmel | Building Materials Lumber (Retail Dealership)

Kendall Cabinets, Inc. | Maureen Kendall www.kendallcabinets.com | Building Materials Lumber Kevin Fischer Construction, LLC | Kevin Fischer www.kevinfischerconstruction.com

Schauer Construction | Jerry Schauer | Single Family Spec/Tract Building | Single Family General Contracting The Painters, Inc. | Donald Klym www.thepaintersinc.com | Paint/Wall coverings

The Printers | Larry Berget | www.the-printers.com Marketing/Advertising or Public Relations United Printing | Taylor Rash www.unitedprinting.com

Visionary Homes, LLC | Brandon Miller Single Family Spec/Tract Building | General Contracting Vue Community Credit Union | Patty Mathisen www.vueccu.com | Mortgage Banking

Bismarck-Mandan Permit Reports Through April 2015 Permit Type

YTD 2014

YTD 2015

BISMARCK - www.bismarck.org Single Family – 14* Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 1

Value - $2,50,2199* Units – 14* Value - $0 Units - 0 Value - $2,500 Units – N/A

Single Family – 51 Multi-Family – 1 Commercial – 4

Value - $2,598,375 Value – $0 Value - $229,315

Units - 51 Units - 2 Units – N/A

Single Family – 26 Multi-Family – 1 Commercial – 0

Value - $4,989,379 Value - $5,485,756 Value - $0

Single Family – 19 Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 3

Value - $4,705,700 Value - $0 Value - $1,670,354

Units - 19 Units - 0 Units – N/A

Single Family – 11* Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 0

Value - $1,563,627* Units – 11* Value - $0 Units - 0 Value - $0 Units – N/A

Single Family – 7 Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 0

Value – $149,750 Value - $0 Value - $0

Units - 7 Units - 0 Units - 0

Single Family – 7 Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 0

Value - $2,179,290 Value - $0 Value - $0

Units - 7 Units - 0 Units – N/A

Single Family – 8 Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 0

Value - $2,910,215 Value - $0 Value - $0

Units - 8 Units - 0 Units – 0

Single Family – 7 Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 0

Value - $5,073,687 Value - $0 Value - $0

Units - 7 Units - 0 Units – N/A

Single Family – 7 Multi-Family – 0 Commercial – 0

Value - $1,990,518 Value - $0 Value - $0

Units - 7 Units - 0 Units – N/A

MANDAN - www.cityofmandan.com

LINCOLN - www.cityoflincolnnd.com

BURLEIGH COUNTY - www.co.burleigh.nd.us MORTON COUNTY - www.co.morton.nd.us

Units - 26 Units – N/A Units – N/A

*incomplete data.

July 2015 | Building Buzz


President’s Letter


e’re already halfway through 2015, which is hard to believe but not surprising: time truly flies when you’re having fun and we’ve been having fun as an association.

We welcomed new members with a backyard BBQ event at the association office. Event sponsor Ferguson Enterprises put a twist on the event by deep frying steak instead of grilling burgers and brats. The participants didn’t complain as they enjoyed perfectly cooked Butcher Block cut meat. Thank you members for recognizing the value of working together to advance the housing industry. We appreciate your membership and look forward to working with you on jobsites and off as we connect at other HBA events.

June also featured the association’s Annual Picnic. More than 200 of you attended the event at The Post – a 9% increase in attendance over last year! While the focus tends to be on the free beer and food, I’d like to draw your attention to the real highlight of the evening…with your support we fully funded the 2015 scholarship fund. Through the 50/50, grill raffle, silent auction and dunk tank our members raised $3211. That will allow our association to support three students pursuing home building trades with a $1000 scholarship for each.

Drew Knutson Board President

Looking ahead, the association is hosting events that are of particular importance to builders. As I write this column, staff is preparing to host a lunch event that includes NAHB’s webinar on mortgage disclosure changes. I know it’s hard to walk away from a jobsite during the summer, but if you can commit an hour or two to our educational event each month, I promise you won’t regret it. The HBA committees are committed to providing events that are timely, specific and succinct so you can get in, get educated and get out. Be sure to check our calendar regularly at bmhba.com/events.

In response to concerns by our members, the Government Affairs Committee is hosting an appraiser roundtable event. On July 8 at the Bismarck Public Works Building, we’ll have the opportunity to learn about the appraisal process, the national regulations and requirements that appraisers must abide by and more. Please consider attending this event to get your questions answered and show our shared interest in this important step of the buying and selling process. Registration is open at bmhba.com/events. Finally, I’d like to encourage you to register for a round of golf at Hawktree on July 14 for the association’s PAC Golf Tournament. We’ll be teeing off at noon. Registration is $125 and includes lunch, 18-holes, a cart, contests and dinner. Until August, Drew Knutson President

New home sales increased 2.2% in May, reaching the highest level since February 2008. For more analysis, the Eye On Housing, blog provides members with data on economic and housing related topics.


Building Buzz | July 2015

Courtesy Hawktree.com

Golf, Food, Fun & Sun

The Annual PAC Golf Tournament is quickly approaching. Register now before it’s too late! Date: July 14, 2015 Time: 12:00 Noon Location: Hawktree Golf Club Join the Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association and the Bismarck-Mandan Board of Realtors for our Annual PAC Golf Tournament on Tuesday, July 14 at Hawktree Golf Club. Participants will enjoy lunch, a fun day of golf, dinner and awards.

Golfers also have the opportunity to buy into five different hole-in-one contests, a putting contest and purchase Mulligans.

Individual and team registrations are encouraged. Teams may register in one form or if registering separately, just note your team in the notes section. Registration is $125 per person and includes: • Boxed Lunch • Driving Range • 18 Holes of Golf • Golf Cart • Team and Individual Prizes • Sirloin Steak Dinner

Sponsorship Opportunities A variety of sponsorships are available to promote your business at our event. Sponsors will be recognized before, during and after the tournament online, in-print and on-location.

Registration is from 11:00 to 11:30 am, carts will be ready at 11:35 am, followed by a shotgun start at noon.

All proceeds benefit BMHBA’s BUILD-PAC and the Bismarck Mandan Board of REALTORS RPAC accounts to ensure effective advocacy that benefits the building and real estate industries.

For additional information, call 222-2400 or email info@bmhba.com.

Cancellations are required 48 hours in advance of each event for a full refund. Participants who do not attend and haven’t cancelled 48 hours in advance will still be billed.

July 2015 | Building Buzz


Marketing Techniques That Help You Close More Sales


t the intersection of sales and marketing lies this reality: Sales is tough, but it’s made even more difficult when potential customers haven’t heard of your company or its offerings. In most cases, these two business levers– sales and marketing–need to be pulled together to be most effective. Here are four steps that can help you create new leads and keep existing leads warm. Whether you are selling and marketing new homes, remodeling services, or your own business’s services, these tips should come in handy.

Create a Top Relationship List One of the first and most important steps in the marketing process is knowing your target audience. Things to consider when determining your potential buyers include their income, location, household size, career, and recent life events or changes. If you sell products or services to other companies, be mindful of the customer’s potential revenue, location, number of employees, industry, customer base, and any recent changes to the business. Once you have a list, narrow it down to top prospects. Find a balance between a pool that is small enough to be focused, yet large enough to meet

revenue goals.

Tailor your approach The research does not stop after you’ve identified your target market. Avoid sending a scripted message that simply lists your products or services — anyone can do that. After identifying your top prospects, uncover everything you can about the challenges they may be facing.

For a home buyer, that could mean discovering why they could benefit from a new home: lower utility bills thanks to the green building features of a new home, more bedrooms for a growing family or fewer bedrooms for empty nesters. For a company that you are targeting to buy your services, their challenges might be an industry upswing (understanding strategic growth) or downturn (managing revenue goals), human capital issues, and market competition. Once you understand the customer, you begin to see the unmet needs. Armed with this information, you can tailor your messages to them in a way that truly resonates by addressing their needs. If you are not able to uncover anything truly specific, put feelers out to your network and ask around. Any insight will allow you to set yourself up as someone who can help solve their

specific challenges and help them reach their goals.

Use marketing collateral to avoid cold calls Put your research to work by regularly sending relevant content to your target audiences. Share an interesting article or a link to helpful research on a pertinent topic. The key is to deliver something that is relevant to them. When using marketing collateral to initiate a conversation, it provides a more natural opportunity and conversation starter for a follow-up call to a prospective client.

Let them know you would like to discuss the content you shared and how it relates to them. Remember, people want to talk about themselves. Positioning the call as a time for you to learn about their challenges and how they relate to





Starting at $20. Email info@bmhba.com.


Building Buzz | July 2015

CIT Y & COUNT Y NEWS BISMARCK LAUNCHES ETRAKIT LAND MANAGEMENT RECORDS SYSTEM The City of Bismarck is pleased to announce the successful launch of the eTRAKiT Land Records Management System. eTRAKiT moves traditional counter services to the Web and provides citizens and contractors with easy and convenient online access to permitting, parcel, property and project information, and allows for payment of permit and license fees on-line. The eTRAKiT Land Records Management System software is implemented city-wide and includes permit, inspection, project and licensing activities across various city departments and divisions including: Community Development, Planning, Building Inspections, Engineering, Environmental Health, Fire, Forestry and Public Works. “Customers can conveniently access eTRAKiT 24 hours a day/ seven days a week from their mobile device, home or office –

anywhere they have an Internet connection.”

“As the City continues to grow, we believe the eTRAKiT Land Records Management System to be a very positive change in the way we do business with more transparency, greater efficiency and enhanced communications with both our

Assistant City Administrator Keith Hunke announces the City of Bismarck’s eTRAKiT system.

customers, internal departments and City staff,” said Keith Hunke, Assistant City Administrator.

eTRAKiT streamlines processes and provides more self-service options and connectivity for customers and mobile workforce efficiency for City staff.

NEW MEMBERS MINGLE The association hosted its annual New Member BBQ on May 26. Members who joined the BMHBA over the past two years, along with the board of directors and committee members, were invited to the free event sponsored by Ferguson Enterprises.

First Vice President of the Board and Ferguson employee Greg Zenker prepared and served a pitchfork fondue with potatoes, beans and cake for dessert. The association welcomes all new members and thanks event sponsor Ferguson Enterprises for hosting this year’s event.

BMHBA Administrative Assistant Terri Johnson and Board Member Susie Franklin at the New Member BBQ.

July 2015 | Building Buzz




BSC Scholarships fully funded at Annual Picnic More than 200 members gathered at The Post for the Association’s Annual Picnic on June 11. Guests were greeted by Events Committee members who encouraged participation in the event’s fundraising activities that included a 50/50, grill raffle, silent auction and dunk tank. The committee’s salesmanship and our member’s generosity added up – the event raised $3,211, fully funding the BSC Scholarship Fund, which

bestows three $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing home building trades.

The 2015 Events Committee infused new fun into this year’s Picnic through the addition of a dunk tank. Board members Parker Pladson of Venture Building Co. and Jeff Sattler of Sattler Homes volunteered to take the plunge to benefit the scholarship fund. A spontaneous fundraising event also was initiated by board member

Shannon Reichenberg of Diversity Homes. Reichenberg worked to raise $500 to get Executive Officer Dot Frank to take a dip in the dunk tank.

The association thanks the event sponsors including: Kupper Chevrolet, Starion Financial, Anyleaks, Inc., Midcontinent Communications, Venture Building Co., Dakota Community Bank & Trust, Northland Financial, Meridian Land Survey and Capital Electric Cooperative.

SHORT ON HELP? REQUEST OUR LIST If you’re struggling to fill employment slots, consider requesting our weekly list of job prospects. The Bismarck-Mandan Development Association is providing the HBA with a weekly database of job seekers in the trades industry. Contact us at info@ bmhba.com or 222-2400 to request a weekly list of active job seekers.


Building Buzz | July 2015

BMHBA NEWS 8TH ANNUA L SPORTING CLAY SHOOT REGISTRATION OPEN NOW August 27, 2015, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Location: Capital City Sporting Clays The BMHBA will host its 7th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot on Thursday, Aug. 28. The $75 Registration Fee includes 10 shooting stations, target fees, shells, earplugs, dinner and door prizes. Shooters need only bring their own gun and eye protection. Each team will consist of six shooters. Registration opens at 3:30 p.m. and shooting begins at 4 p.m. Cancellations are required 48 hours in advance of each event for a full refund. Participants who do not attend and haven’t cancelled 48 hours in advance will still be billed. Available Sponsorships • Station Sponsor (10) will receive recognition at their respective station. They also will be recognized from the podium at the event, through our website, e-newsletter and printed in the Building Buzz. $150.

• Prize Sponsor (1) is promoted as the underwriter of the grand prize, which is a shotgun that is eligible for shooting participants to win during the event. They also will be recognized from the podium at the event, through our website, e-newsletter and printed in the Building Buzz. $300. • Dinner Sponsor (2) is recognized at the event during dinner. They also will be recognized from the podium at the event, through our website, e-newsletter and printed in the Building Buzz. Dinner sponsor get three shooters. $500. • Platinum Sponsor (1) is recognized as the premier event sponsor. They also will be recognized from the podium at the event, through our website, e-newsletter and printed in the Building Buzz. The platinum sponsor gets three shooters. $500

• Gold Sponsor (2) will be recognized from the podium at the event, through our website, e-newsletter and printed in the Building Buzz. Gold sponsors get two shooters. $300. • Silver Sponsor (3) will be recognized from the podium at the event, through our website, e-newsletter and printed in the Building Buzz. Silver sponsors get one shooter. $200. • Bronze Sponsor (unlimited) will be recognized from the podium at the event, through our website, e-newsletter and printed in the Building Buzz. $100. Register now: Online www.bmhba.com Phone 222-2400 Email info@bmhba.com

NEW MORTGAGE DISCLOSURES DISCUSSED Builder members were invited to attend a special NAHB webinar sponsored by First Dakota Title on June 24. Participants were treated a lunch by Broadway Grill & Tavern prior to engaging in a national discussion on the new mortgage disclosures that will take effect Oct. 1. First Dakota Title sponsored the event, which was free for members and featured a Q&A session led by AnnMarie Arens, Upper Midwest Regional Manager and Vice President for First American Title Insurance.

Thank you First Dakota Title and members for joining in on this important discussion.

Members enjoy a meal prior to the NAHB webinar on new mortgage disclosures.

July 2015 | Building Buzz





According to a Federal Reserve analysis, U.S. households surveyed during October 2014 reported only modest improvements with respect to economic well-being but felt increasingly optimistic about the future. The Survey of Household Economics and Decision-making (SHED), first conducted in 2013, complements the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, the Federal Reserve’s key report on household wealth. Among the housing-focused findings of the report: • 74% of homeowners reported “doing okay” or “living comfortably,” in contrast to only 48% of renters • 10% of respondents reported living with parents, compared to 5% who are living with a roommate The report details a number of motivations for renting a home,

including challenges associated with attaining homeownership: • 81% of renters indicate that they would prefer to own if they could afford to do so • 50% of renters reported that they lack the funds for a down payment • 31% of renters noted that they could not qualify for a mortgage Among other reasons for renting: • 27% of renters revealed it was cheaper for their household • 25% thought renting was more convenient • Only 12% preferred renting • 9% of current renters are actively looking to buy a home There were noticeable differences among income classes for reasons to rent: For renters earning less than $40,000 a year: • 35% reported they were unable

to qualify for a mortgage 52% indicated that they could not amass a down payment For renters earning more than $100,000 a year: • 39% believed renting was more convenient • 17% preferred renting to owning • 29% planned on moving in the near-term •




NAHB’s continual efforts to ensure that building codes promote safety and energy efficiency — but always keeping affordability in mind — were on display in April when the International Code Council (ICC) Group A Committee Action hearings were held in Memphis, Tenn.

Members can be proud of the hard work of the NAHB and volunteer speakers who testified at the hearings: Of the 259 proposals on which the association took a stand, the committees agreed 81% of the time. And only 6% of the proposals that NAHB opposed made


Building Buzz | July 2015

it through the committee hearings intact.

In Memphis, 1,330 code changes were debated for the non-structural provisions of the International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, International Property Maintenance Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code, International Fuel Gas Code and the Mechanical and Plumbing Chapters of the International Residential Code. The ICC Code Development Committees recommended to approve 46% of all proposals submitted. The work continues as code officials, home builders and industry advocates race toward the finish line: The ICC Public Comment Hearings, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 7 in Long Beach, Calif. We need your help: Members need to continue to state their case to the 815 ICC Governmental members, or jurisdictions who are eligible to vote this year.

Just like last year, many code officials will be voting online using cdpACCESS, which the ICC has provided for officials who can’t make the meeting in person. The deadline to validate all voting representatives is Aug. 30, which means that members have the summer to ensure that potential voters send in all their paperwork —and understand which choices are the most cost effective. A NAHB’s Recommendations on Critical ICC Code Change Proposals is now available at www.nahb.org/ CodeDevelopment and NAHB’s Public Comment Hearing Voting Guide will be available in mid-September for those code officials who plan to attend the ICC Public Comment Hearings in person. The NAHB Governmental Consensus Voting Guide will be available in midOctober and will assist code officials during the final online voting period, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 19-30.

records are pre-populated when you sign in! Remember to fill out your profile, too – and upload a photo! You want to put your best marketing foot forward so consumers and potential customers can contact you through this national website. Keep in mind that this website, while a significant improvement over the old model – is still a work in progress. We’re still refining our product offerings, sharpening the powerful new search tool and checking and re-checking all the links. But every day,

you’ll see more and more features. We can’t wait to show you! Questions? Corrections? Suggestions? We look forward to hearing from you. Please email us at webnext@nahb.com.


By now, you’ve probably noticed a bit of a change when you visit your national association’s website, nahb. org. It’s cleaner. It’s brighter. It’s got less “stuff,” and more content. We hope you like it – and more importantly, we hope you will take advantage of many new features that will help you get the most of what our new site has to offer. Please sign in to the website (your old credentials should still work) and customize your preferences in the My Dashboard page. You’ll get the content you need as soon as it’s available. You’ll also know right away if your council memberships or professional designations are up for renewal – your




Let’s Build Together. When it comes to building a home, there are a lot of decisions to be made; counter-tops, flooring, lights!


On July 7 from 1-2 p.m., the BMHBA will host a webinar to spread awareness about the requirements of the new confined spaces rule, which goes into effect on Aug. 3. The webinar will provide background information about the new rule, 20 CFR 1926 Subpart AA – Confined Spaces in Construction, as well as general information about performing construction work in confined spaces. It will also address the relationship between the new construction standard and the general industry rule that has been in place since 1993, and will finish by focusing on particular areas of concern for residential home builders and remodelers. The webinar will be presented by Jessica Douma, regulatory analyst with OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, who has worked on several standards and a variety of subjects for the Office of Construction Standards and Guidance. Registration is open online at bmhba.com/ events. The cost to attend is $15 and includes lunch. Space is limited to 12 members, so don’t wait to register!

But when it comes to your closing, we’ve got you covered. We deliver the peace of mind you need to allow you to focus on what really matters, your new home. So give us a call - We'll take care of the rest.

701.223.6835 TheTitleTeam.com Montana | North Dakota | Minnesota July 2015 | Building Buzz


DON’T GET CAUGHT: Use the NAHB Independent Contractor Guide

Home builders, remodelers and their trade partners often hire independent contractors for specialized tasks. But none want to fall afoul of states that may classify these contractors as “employees” under tax, employee benefit, labor and employment laws. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Construction Liability, Risk Management and Building Materials Committee, NAHB has a brand-new guide to help you understand the law in your state — and any other state where you may do business.

The state-by-state guide examines the laws that determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee, with an emphasis on the tests commonly

used to determine worker status for purposes of unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and revenue, or taxation. Employers in a number of industries have classified some of their employees as independent contractors as a cost-savings measure. That has brought increased federal and state focus on the issue, and some states have sharpened their sights on the construction industry.

URGE YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT BILL THAT WILL OVERTURN ONEROUS EPA WATER RULE NAHB members are encouraged to The bill compels the Environmental urge their Senators to support S. 1140, Protection Agency and the U.S. Army the Federal Water Quality Protection Corps of Engineers to withdraw their Act. final rule defining “waters of the United States” that will place millions of additional acres of land under federal jurisdiction. Passing S. 1140 will force EPA and the Corps to recraft the rule to ensure that it reflects congressional intent and creates the clarity and




Starting at $80. Email info@bmhba.com.


Building Buzz | July 2015

balance needed for robust economic activity. Without this legislation, home builders will be forced to obtain federal permits that can cost as much as $271,000 and take many years to obtain. Send a letter to Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp urging them to support S. 1140. All you need to do is go to capitolconnect.com/builderlink. The process is quick and easy.

SURVEY (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10) Among homeowners, the median tenure of homeownership was 12 years. As to reasons for owning a home: • 44% said ownership allowed building home equity • 20% liked the certainty associated with costs • All total, 67% of homeowners preferred owning for financial reasons Most homeowners expressed optimism regarding home values: • 43% thought their home gained value over the prior year • Only 6% believed their home would lose value over the next year The survey found that 14% of mortgage holders reported owing more than the value of their home however.

The survey also provided another data point concerning sources of down payments. For buyers purchasing between 2011 and 2014: • 52.6% used personal savings • 29.3% used equity from a previous home • 15.3% used a loan/gift from family/friends Because the survey followed-up on an earlier 2013 study, additional yearover-year findings were also available: • Only one-third of renters in 2013 who noted they were looking to buy actually purchased a home (and only 3% of renters who reported not looking in turn made a purchase) • Among households who transitioned to renting, many viewed it as a short-term situation

• •

26% of new renters who owned a home in 2013 were looking to buy Among renters who previously owned a home, only 17% reported renting was more convenient

The Federal Reserve analysis stated that households faced fragile economic conditions, with 47% of survey respondents stating that they could not cover an emergency expense of $400. One-fifth of households revealed that their spending exceeded income over the prior year. 23% of adults also reported having student loan debt. With respect to retirement, 39% of currently non-retired households noted thy have given no or little thought to financial planning and 31% had no savings or pension.

MARKETING (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6) the research or article you sent them is a much more productive introduction than taking their time to sell your products and services.

Remember to track what you send. Taking note will help you avoid sending the same people the same article more than once. Nurture the relationship to close the sale

When your ultimate goal is to build a relationship and be a problem-solver for your customer, you position yourself as a trusted advisor. By focusing on building a relationship before attempting to sell, you create a nonthreatening common ground for open and frequent conversations — and therefore opportunities to sell more effectively.

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July 2015 | Building Buzz



Volume XXII, Issue 7

Monthly News from the North Dakota Association of Builders

Hill Visits

Patent Trolls

LeRoy Kurtyka NDAB President

This month, I want to take a moment to point out an important issue affecting our industry in some of areas of the country. Below is an article featuring information on patent trolls and some of the tactics they use, as well as some information on possible legislative reform. NDAB has joined the United for Patent Reform coalition and will keep an eye on pending developments. If you would like to report any experiences you encounter, or add your voice to any letters of support to our congressional delegates, please contact Kim. By Vinay Patel, president of Fairbrook Hotels in Chantilly

In a time of what seems like endless partisan fighting in Congress, there is one thing that both parties have agreed needs to be done: patent reform. For too long, patent trolls have been attacking businesses, including hotels, wielding vague, overly broad patents that they use to file outrageous lawsuits. Trolls have taken to attacking businesses of all types, claiming to have the patents for basic technologies used across nearly every industry. The trolls are taking advantage of businesses’ efforts to provide better service to their customers through new technology. This includes everything from store locators and online shopping carts to ATM technology and, in the case of the hotel industry, Wi-Fi.

July 2015

Last month in early June, over 20 members from North Dakota traveled to Washington, DC to join members from across the Nation for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Board of Directors meetings. Our members attended committee meetings, BUILD-PAC board meeting, Area 10 Caucus meeting lead by National Area Chairman Ralph Applegren from Grand Forks and on the Kim Schneider final day, NAHB Board of Directors meeting. InNDAB Executive Officer cluded in the meetings were great opportunities to shake hands with members from across the nation, meet NAHB staff members face to face and to socialize and even dance at the various receptions, dinners and Gold Key party. All in all, it was a great time and we appreciate our members who are involved at the National level and bring a voice from North Dakota.

What needs to be done is to pass reform that levels the playing field, giving businesses the opportunity to defend themselves from these cases. One of trolls’ favorite weapons, the demand letter, needs to be reformed to help businesses better understand what trolls are claiming. These letters are often intentionally vague, making it difficult, if not impossible, for a business owner to determine whether the accusations they include are legitimate or not. Trolls also use the exorbitant cost of these cases — often more than a $1 million — to bully businesses into simply paying settlements. We need to make it easier for judges to force trolls to pay defendants’ legal fees when they lose the case. This would not only make it more likely that businesses fight back, but also discourage trolls from suing in the first place.

We didn’t spend all of our time at the conference. We took time on Thursday morning to head to Capitol Hill where we had face to face meetings with North Dakota Senators Heitkamp and Hoeven. Both Senators were gracious enough to give us 30 minutes of their time to discuss various issues impacting our state and local associations. It also gave us an opportunity to meet with their staff who work on the specific issues and we were provided with insight on what is happening in DC. We always appreciate and value the time we have with them. Some of the members from the Fargo-Moorhead Association also had the opportunity to meet with the three delegation members from Minnesota! While we were in the area, a group was also given a great tour of the Capitol building and all of the amazing historical facts that are hidden inside of those beautiful walls.

In the same vein, the discovery process needs to be reformed to prevent trolls from using it to drive up costs. Under the current system, defendants often have to turn over thousands of pages of documents — many of which are never used — before the case even begins. Reform needs to limit discovery at the beginning of the lawsuit and make trolls pay for any additional documents needed. Reform also needs to provide for customer stays when manufacturers intervene in cases. Patent trolls often attack the end users of a technology, who purchased it believing that it infringed on no patents. For example, one patent troll sued hundreds of hotels across the country claiming that it had the patent for Wi-Fi technology. These hotels were stuck with the choice of paying thousands to settle the case or to pay upwards of a million to defend themselves in courts. Our broken patent system costs businesses $29 billion each year. This money comes straight from their revenues, preventing them from hiring new employees, investing in research or building their businesses. Many of these businesses, like the hotels mentioned above, are unsuspecting victims who are sued for using technology or practices that are standard in their industry.

Area 10 caucus is made up of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. National Area Chairman is a voted position that serves to two years and we are proud to have Ralph Applegren represent us. Our Area 10 Caucus meetings are a great opportunity for our states to gather to get NAHB updates, share what is happening in each state and hear from guest speakers. This year we heard from the Third Vice Chairman candidate for 2016, the current Third Vice Chairman and our Regional Field Rep. We were updated on Education License, about the upcoming Association Leadership Institute, the availability of online courses and upcoming board meetings. We were able to share ideas, express concern and overall, be heard. Area 10 caucus tends to be the most well attended caucus which is huge considering NAHB is 141,000+ members strong!

Congress is considering legislation that would help end patent troll lawsuits for good. Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte has spearheaded legislation to stop this litigation abuse. Earlier this year, he introduced the Innovation Act, which contains many of the reforms that we need to protect businesses from this extortion. This same bill was passed by the House in the last Congress, with clear bipartisan support. In addition, the Senate is considering another bill that would help stop trolls. These bills have support from both parties; our elected officials simply need to take action to make reform happen.

If you have been thinking about attending an NAHB Board of Directors meeting but are hesitant, I encourage you to reach out to your local association board members about getting registered. From the state, we share the meeting schedules, invite you to the group dinner and help guide you along the way. The experience is full of education, networking and fun. The next NAHB Board of Directors meeting will be held in Austin, TX September 26-29 and I hope to see you there!

Congress has an opportunity to pass legislation that will put money back in the economy and help businesses grow. The longer we wait, the more businesses suffer from these unnecessary lawsuits, costing jobs and sucking money out of the economy. The longer we wait, the more businesses suffer from these unnecessary lawsuits, costing jobs and sucking money out of the economy.

Warm wishes to you and yours, Kim Schneider

Back your PAC … your PAC backs you! NDAB-PAC is the North Dakota Association of Builders’ Political Action Committee. It is a non-partisan political action committee that provides support for candidates who are friends of the building industry. Contact NDAB at (800) 326-4746, (701) 222-2401 or info@ndbuild.com to contribute or learn more! North Dakota Association of Builders 1720 Burnt Boat Drive, Suite 207, Bismarck, ND 58503-0801 701/222-2401 or 800/326-4746 www.ndbuild.com


Building Buzz | July 2015

Around the State Dot Frank, Executive Officer 701-222-2400

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New members enjoyed a pitchfork fondue at the New Member BBQ in June. The event is open to members who joined in the past two years and all committee members. The Annual Picnic at The Post attracted 205 members who raised $3211 for the BSC Scholarship Fund. The Government Affairs Committee is hosting an appraiser roundtable event in early July. The event’s aim is to gather information about the appraisal process and discover ways builders can assist it. The PAC Golf Tournament is scheduled for July 14 at Hawktree. Registration is open at bmhba.com/events.

Minot Association of Builders Vicky Flagstad, Executive Officer 701-852-0496 minotab.com

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Dickinson Area Builders Assoc. Irene Schafer, Executive Officer 701-483-0044 dickinsonareabuilders.com

Dickinson Summer plans include our annual picnic at Eagles Park on Wednesday, August 12th and our annual Golf Scramble on Thursday, August 20th at Heart River Golf Course. Our next GMM is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2nd.

Bryce Johnson, Executive Vice President hbafm.com 701-232-5846

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The Herdina Academy for the Construction Trades was June 1-12. Nineteen students graduated and the Home Builders Care gave out a scholarship. The June Golf Outing at Oxbow Country Club was a success. The HBA of F-M looks forward to another outing July 14. A press conference was held to sign a proclamation declaring June as Homeownership month. The mayors of Moorhead and Dilworth attended, as well as the deputy mayor for Fargo and a West Fargo city commissioner. The HBA of F-M held a meeting with Builder members, Oxbow representatives and the FM Diversion Authority to assist in working toward a resolution after a judge ordered construction to stop on the Oxbow ring levee.

Forx Builders Association Betty McDonald, Executive Officer 701-746-4536 forxbuilders.com

We are excited to report that we sold


the 2015 Project House. Jake & Jenny Olson are the proud new owners. We are moving on to the 2016 Project House already. Our Sporting Clay Shoot was a great day. We are. thankful to Andersen Windows & Doors for sponsoring the event once again this year. Loren Abel of Abel Construction was the lucky winner of the gun. Tim She's Nursery & Landscaping will sponsor the July Builders after Hours.

July 14 BAH is being hosted by First International Bank and Trust at their new north hill location. Progress continues on the Stewart house in Underwood. We have most of the finish work lined up but will be short of funds to pay for that work. We are working with the lender to get it added to the Stewarts mortgage. Plans are to be finished with our participation by mid -July. Many, many hours have been put in by the project manager (Cindy Snay, Coughlin Construction) to keep everything on track and on time. Annual Past Presidents’ Golf Tournament is set for August 14th at The Vardon Golf Club. All NDAB members are welcome to participate.

Williston Area Builders Association 701-572-5744 willistonbuilders.com

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1st Annual Golf Scramble, Thursday August 6th, 2015 at 1pm at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course. Registration and information can be found on the WABA website atwww.willistonbuilders.com. An Appreciation Picnic for members is scheduled for August 20. Details will be provided in the near future. The Board has selected the weekend of Oct 3 & 4th for the 3rd Annual Parade of Homes Event. Our EO (Beth) has left us in pursuit of other ventures, and we wish her well. Our new search committee is busy working on her replacement. All correspondence and phone calls can still be directed to their current address and/or phone number which is now being manned by volunteers from our Board of Directors. Any urgent business can be accomplished by contacting David J. Nordenstrom, President, at 320-360-5807. We thank you for your patience while we are going through this process.

North Dakota Association of Builders

Thank you to all our players and sponsors at our 18th Annual Golf Tournament in June! We had a great day of sun and fun and prizes and we can’t wait to see everyone again next year!

Thank you to the NDAB 2015 Partners! We truly appreciate your support and we are very excited to serve you throughout the entire year!

Gold Partner - Montana Dakota Utilities Silver Partners - Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association, Dickinson Area Builders Association, Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, & Northern Plumbing Supply Bronze Partners - Bell State Bank & Trust, Forx Builders Association, Minot Association of Builders, ND Guaranty & Title Co., ND Housing Finance Agency, ProBuild, RDO Equipment Co., & Williston Area Builders Association Thanks to our 2015 ND Professional Builders! We appreciate your commitment to continuing educations and staying up to date with the newest industry standards! Visit www.ndbuild.com for more info or to apply!

Eric Berg, Eric Berg Construction, Fargo Charles Bon, C’est Bon Construction, Robinson Michael Bullinger, Western Products Inc., Fargo Don Dabbert, Dabbert Custom Homes, Fargo Jason Eid, Eid-Co Buildings, Inc., Fargo Arthur Goldammer, Verity Homes, Bismarck/ Fargo John Gunkelman, Dakota Construction, Fargo Todd Halle, T & S Custom Homes, Harwood Vern Hanson, Hanson Bros., Inc., Fargo Robert Kochmann, Kochmann Brothers Homes, Fargo Greg Krueger, Krueger Construction, Fargo Tyrone Leslie, Heritage Homes, Fargo Gary Orth, Cornerstone Specialties, Fargo Jarred Roloff, Paramount Builders, Bismarck Jamie Schmidt, Triton Homes, Bismarck Tom Spaeth, Accent Contracting, Fargo Mike Workman, Jordahl Custom Homes, Fargo Charlie Zach, Zach Construction, Wahpeton


July 2015

July 2015 | Building Buzz


PRSRT STD U.S. Postage

PAID Permit #72 Bismarck, ND 58501

2600 Gateway Ave., Ste. 1 Bismarck, ND 58503


New Confined Spaces in Construction - July 7 at 1pm Appraisal Roundtable Discussion - July 8 at 11:30am Annual PAC Golf Tournament - July 14 at Noon 8th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot - August 27 at 4pm Fall Parade of Homes - Sept. 24-27


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