A motivated workforce is a creative workforce. However, innovation and creativity cannot exist in an atmosphere of apathy. Over the past few years, many REALTOR® associations have been very motivated by the desire to survive as membership has declined. This motivation helped us all become more creative, as the Game Changer programs show (see p.14). What’s the saying? “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It sure is. In these difficult times, we have found new ways to cut costs, provide services, and help members.
We all know the value of offering fresh and innovative programs to members. New offerings can attract and retain more members, and even inspire them to become volunteers. Cutting-edge services canboost your association’s budget, enhance its reputation, and deepen its political and community influence. However, building innovation into our organizations doesn’t happen overnight. Often, the hardest part is just getting started.
We know REALTOR® associations are communicating their advocacy efforts, because members consistently say legislative and regulatory updates are an important part of the information they
receive. But communicating in ways that unite and motivate action often remains a challenge.
Discussing advocacy should be simple, jargon-free, and personal—the hallmarks of any effective communication plan. Easier said than done? Here’s how communications pros overcome the challenges of simple but effective communication when it comes to politics.
At a time when REALTORS® are weighing the benefits of staying in the business, you’re more likely to hear this question: What do I get for my dues dollars?
Many associations communicate their benefits with lists of services and programs, rarely taking the extra step to describe the advantage a member would derive from participating. Obviously, the association appreciates the immense benefit of legislative advocacy, for example. Members (and potential members), on the other hand, need you to spell it out for them.
For large associations, weathering an economic downturn is about creative budgeting or layoffs; for small associations it’s about keeping the family together. I know my members personally and I can see how the slow market in my area is affecting them.
by Nan Roytberg