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2012 REALTOR Association Outlook Survey

January 1, 2012

PDF of the published survey charts >

Raw survey data >

AEs share their advice and 2012 survival techniques

“We have taken a very hard look at the office operations and eliminated “nice-to-have” telephone lines, transitioned to a less expensive copier/fax machine, eliminated a postage meter machine, eliminated almost all snail mail to reduce postage costs. Every office expense is scrubbed to find the lost dollars that do not substantially add to the member benefits.”

“We are trying to be not only the voice of real estate in our area but we’re doing our best to be the voice of good news, too! We are also doing everything we can to get our members to stop ‘hunkering down’ and look outside of their bunkers for opportunities for their business.”

“Stay positive, master sales statistics and the local economy, be creative with your resources, renegotiate all contracts, and challenge staff to find ways to cut expenses.”

“We are currently exploring a merger that, if approved by the boards of directors and then by the memberships, should provide economies and efficiencies that can then be translated into an ability to enhance existing services or provide new services to the members.”

“Our 2012 goals are to improve on member retention and acquire new affiliate members.”

“Those who chose to stay in the business need the association more than ever—especially to protect them from onerous regulations. We are highlighting this benefit of membership in all of our publications and at events.”

“We don’t want to remove any benefits for 2012 but will look at restructuring them for cost savings. Staff benefits, health insurance, staff education, staff travel will remain the same as in 2011 but are at the top of the list should cuts need to be made.”

“We’ve cut staff, given no raises (including cost of living), automated office processes, cut expenses by renegotiating all contracts, including MLS, and found some meager new revenue resources to avoid cuts in services. This year’s fee increases were the first in nearly 12 years and it was painful to have no choice but to increase fees.”

“We feel it is vital to keep looking forward. The more difficult conditions are, the more our members look to their leadership for help. We provide any assistance that is needed, from technology to understanding new regulations, and everything in between. Our board membership has remained steady throughout these tough times because our members perceive value.”

“We moved into our new association office that was built during the recession. The board felt that this was the time to build because building prices were down. Now the staff and I get to clean our new 13,000 sq. ft. building ourselves, but we really don’t mind because we haven’t had to cut staff. It might not be very professional for the AE to clean bathrooms, but we learn to do what has to be done.”

“Our recession survival techniques were both difficult (laying off a staff person) and invigorating. We found ways to offer more programs and events at no cost to the members; we conducted a membership campaign where we are looking to increase our membership in 2012. We have a great and energetic leadership team who are committed to helping us recover and grow.”

“I found a new office location last year and now rent is less than half what it was. This allowed me to keep my dues low and not raise them in the three years I’ve been here.”