This article was originally published by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builder’s Association (SHRBA) – It has been reposted with permission. For any questions about the SHRBA please contact Krystal Rubyk, Marketing & Communications Manager.
Q & A WITH SHRBA BOARD CHAIR CAM SKOROPAT
Cam Skoropat, whom recently began his two-year term as Chair of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association Board of Directors, has a unique lens to look through when it comes to the residential construction industry in the Saskatoon Region. Cam got his start in real estate investments while working as an engineer after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, which then led to a custom home building career and the founding of Lexis Homes in Saskatoon. We sat down with Cam to ask him a few questions about his focus as Chair, his view on the current industry landscape, and what he’d like to see happen moving forward.
What are some challenges you see Saskatoon’s residential construction industry facing right now?
There have been major changes introduced in the past couple of years that builders have had to adapt to, both of which affect home buyers’ ability to afford homes – the introduction of a mandatory stress test on mortgages, as well as PST now being applied to new homes are two of the most significant examples. From the Association’s standpoint, these are challenges to the affordability of homes, which we are always working to protect, and will continue to do so in the upcoming year. We are also concerned with ensuring that Professional Builders are properly supported and equipped to handle these kind of changes and maintain the success of their business, so that will continue to be a focus.
What does it mean to you when you see that a company is a member of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association?
For us personally, Lexis Homes became involved with the Association early on in the start of our business. The Association does a lot of work advocating on behalf of the industry, and we wanted to be able to contribute to those discussions. And although it was not originally why we joined, the ability to network with other builders has become a very valuable part of being a member – we help each other raise the bar. In general, I think that a membership with the Association shows that a company is serious about improving their company and having the most current industry information and training, which indicates a high degree of professionalism.
On the flip side, when I see that a company isn’t a member, it indicates to me that they don’t plan to be in the industry for the long term, and that they may not be willing to make that investment in an effort to improve professionalism – and for the public of those looking to select a builder, that should be concerning.
What would you like to focus on during your 2-year term as chair?
Focusing on advocacy work related to high impact topics at the provincial level (like the PST issue noted earlier) is going to be really important. The Association also introduced additional ongoing educational offerings last year, and I’d like to see that expand during my term. Bigger picture, I’d like to make sure that we’re doing a good job conveying the value of the Association to members, and to the public.
How will you judge your own term as SRHBA Chair – what will define your success?
One thing I want to make sure of during my time as Chair is that we, as a board, continue focus on governance excellence. If we tone the top, we will lead by example. I also want to ensure that we continue protecting the financial stability and sustainability of the Association, especially in what is turning out to be a bit of a “transition period,” logistically. The Association’s staff and main office will be moving this year, so it will be important to make sure this is a successful move, and that we maintain that stability and accessibility to the membership that we’ve worked hard to establish.