For the second year in a row a majority (52 percent) of associations surveyed for the annual Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General Inc. report a growth in membership. Slightly more than 30 percent reported a decline in their membership for this year’s survey of nearly 700 associations nationwide.
My small association, like so many others, went through some belt-tightening over the past few years that made us refocus our offerings on what our members say they need and value most. Unfortunately, that left some areas that I feel are really important—such as smart growth, housing opportunity, and local legislative advocacy—relatively unfunded. We don’t have the resources to devote to educating members on these topics or to put behind grassroots community development programs.
A valuable benefit of membership in the REALTOR® organization is being able to use the REALTOR® trademark. Consumer awareness campaigns at the local, state, and national level promote the value of using a REALTOR® and the difference between REALTORS® and real estate agents who are not members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
REALTORS® have always known that accessible and efficient public transportation boosts property values and encourages development. Especially today with gas prices, congestion, and environmental concerns making cars a less desirable way to get around, REALTOR® associations see growing value in actively supporting public transportation projects that connect people to jobs, services, and each other.