Time to start accentuating the positive!

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Recently we’ve been reporting that we think our industry has reached the bottom of the trough and is showing slight signs of recovery, but there is still too much negativity in the headlines and I, for one, am sick of it.

If I look back with hindsight (and a fair degree of cynicism), while the market was good everyone talked it down. Now, when it is down, everyone laments the fact. What is going on?
The media need to start talking about the real news and the good things that are newsworthy. This will return confidence to the market as that is really the difference between good times and bad.

Confidence is largely driven by the media and the message they peddle. The herd just then follow along — and, unfortunately, the herd mentality is alive and well in New Zealand at the moment.

The message they should be reporting right now is that there has never been a better time to build, resources are available, and pricing is keen.
However, we all know that you won’t find a builder for love nor money in 12 months as the next boom, with its associated cost increases, arrives. It is a no-brainer, and all about confidence — or the lack of it. When would you build?

There’s been a lot of positive work done in the industry lately, and it would be great if it got some of that headline space and coverage.
For instance, there’s been the Sector Productivity Work Group Report, the Urban Intensification Taskforce Reports and the passing of the Building Amendment Act 2009 to simplify consents to name a few.

This is all good stuff which will result in significant improvements to the industry, with flow-on effects to the consumer.
We should be proud of our achievements in these important areas. However, the media is silent, and the commentators are still bashing the housing market.

Some commentators predict a further 30% drop in property values. We do not agree with this. Unfortunately, these kinds of headlines tend to get more air time than the positive signs within the industry — for instance, stabilising consent numbers, good commercial build numbers and an increase in customer enquiry across the sector.

I understand that everybody has the right to air their views and, should those views get picked up in the media, then so be it. But a bit more balance around the positive side of our industry that contributes a great deal to the economy would not go astray.

There are a lot of people relying on the wages supplied by the industry, and even more who have their life’s worth tied up in buildings supplied from this industry.
The doomsayers and their reporters should step lighter on an industry that drives the economy. For some reason they miss this.

Pleasure in the gold awards 

This year’s House of the Year is well under way. Now in its 19th year, the industry showcase of fine homes just keeps getting better.
I believe many homes entered, say, five years ago that won Gold would now barely make a prize today. The workmanship standard continues to rise.

I have attended six events so far this year, and all were professionally run with delighted entrant’s owners and organising committees. The entrants in next year’s contest now need to earmark next year’s properties.

This contest is one of the best ways to showcase your business. It doesn’t happen on the day and, like all success, it is planned for.
Choose your entrants now or before construction, as the judges see more than just cosmetic finish. 

And next year will see the RMBF celebrate 20 years — a very special occasion for us, our members and our loyal family of sponsors. We will be sure to recognise this in an appropriate fashion in 2010.