If you think running a REALTOR® association is enough of a technological challenge, Reggie McCrary, RCE, EVP of the Atlanta Board of REALTORS®, runs six REALTOR® associations and a full-service real estate school. Plus, he’s the president of Asset Management & Association Services and manages a building, the Atlanta REALTORS® Center, that has nearly 50 tenants.
How does he keep this many balls up in the air? McCrary, an AE for more than 23 years, searched for the right project management technology and found a perfect match for his needs in Manymoon (soon to be renamed Do.com as part of the Google app suite).
“Because of employee reduction over the past few years, we are all attempting to accomplish the same amount of work with less personnel, so this is a difficult challenge,” McCrary says. Manymoon has enabled him to make a smaller staff more productive by allowing workers to easily create, share, and track tasks, projects, and notes with each other. Staff and volunteers can access the association’s Manymoon system online or from a mobile device, so everyone can stay informed no matter where they are.
“We spent the first year creating several hundred projects, events, and tasks and are now able to reap some of the benefits of this information all being contained in one location,” notes McCray. “This has helped our team become more efficient and better organized by providing a clear picture of the resources needed at various times during the year and making sure we accomplished our tasks in a timely fashion.”
McCray established a technology solution that works for his staff of 22, but what about technology for serving his 7,500 members?
“The greatest challenge any association has is communication with the membership,” says McCrary. “That was true when I started with the association in 1988 and is still true today despite all of the advances in technology. Our attempt has been to try to place our information in as many places as possible in an effort to make the information easy for members to digest on the platform they prefer. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or the next great social platform, we believe we need to have a presence in order to cater to the members’ need.” Despite all the outlets, McCrary says, e-mail is still his organization’s most effective form of communication.
However, what members actually need most when it comes to technology, according to McCrary, is hands-on training. Given unlimited financial and manpower resources, McCray envisions forming a company that would provide training for all members at any location, and on any device, at no cost.
“Most of our members have attended technology training and have purchased all of the devices to keep them current in the market, but many truly don’t know how to use the vast majority of the tools that are available to them. I could see a tremendous benefit to members being able to purchase a device or an app and then connect with the association to schedule hands-on training at a location of their choice, without the concern of the cost involved.”
Until that time, McCrary says, his efforts for the rest of 2012 are focused on reducing operating costs without jeopardizing services. “We are looking at ways to become more mobile via smart phones and tablets, plus we want to upgrade the building’s phone system to VOIP.”
REALTOR AE, Spring 2012