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January 1, 2009

Member apathy. It’s what I hear regularly from both veteran and newcomer AEs (not to mention their leadership). The common frustration: “My members don’t get involved, they don’t participate in our programs or classes, and they have the -REALTORS®-Don’t-Read syndrome.”
January 1, 2009

You want me to do what? You never told me I was supposed to do that! How many times have you said or heard this? When I facilitate strategic planning sessions or leadership training at REALTOR® associations across the country, I hear it frequently. Often, elected leaders are just as unclear about what is expected of them as AEs are about what their elected leaders expect them to be doing.

So much of the strife and discontent that I encounter can be avoided with clearly established and communicated expectations.
January 1, 2009

Building a successful association hinges on finding volunteers to give their time, energy, and talent. Yet some associations continually struggle to attract volunteers. These days, some fear even asking members who are experiencing a challenging business environment. Here are some new (and some tried-and-true) tips for recruiting volunteers.
January 1, 2009

When financial and economic times get tough, we concentrate on what value our associations bring to our members. For some, the value proposition is ongoing, drives their strategic thinking, and factors in today’s economy as just another part of the mix. But for many of us, we were caught in a wave of new members, higher membership retention rates, and an eagerness to raise our budgets to match the new revenues. Life was too easy, and for many years, we did not have to face our relevancy.
January 1, 2009

In my outreach visits, I am increasingly finding that associations and their members are caught up in the whirlwind of social media. There are networking sites for just about any business, hobby, or game—you name it. And it can be fun, but Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, and many more allow anyone to post about everyone . . . and they’re not always saying nice things. Your association and members may be the subject of posts by fellow members, clients, or even strangers, and never know it.
January 1, 2009

Associations everywhere are talking about value propositions and how important it is to have a good one. But what does that really mean?

Essentially, a value proposition is the statement of the tangible things your association offers in return for membership dues.

Clearly defining the association’s value proposition, or redefining it in terms of today’s challenges, is a high priority for the association strategic planning groups I’ve observed out in the field. Yet, most association staff and volunteers struggle to identify a clear value proposition.
January 1, 2009

The search for a new CEO always starts with a long wish list of characteristics, usually paired with the caveat “There is no way anyone could meet these requirements, but this is what we want to see in the candidates you bring us.” We hear this statement all the time from the association boards of -directors we work with to locate a new CEO.

At first, their wish list of CEO characteristics is long. But as the search progresses, the same four or five key criteria always move to the top.
January 1, 2009

Why REALTOR® associations should publish their own real estate news.

People don’t rely on national weather reports to plan a day outdoors, so why should they rely on national statistics to plan their home purchase or sale? This is the point the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® makes on its consumer-focused Web site, www.marealtor.com, underscoring their message, “Real estate, like the weather, is local.”
January 1, 2009

Offer members business-building value
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? Here are 22 great benefits to promote to your members.
By Alice Martin and Carolyn Schwaar

Chair Report
The art of value.
By Gary Clayton, AEC Chair

Briefing: Realtor® association news, events, people, and programs.
By Carolyn Schwaar

From the Field
Why you need a value proposition.
By Alice Martin
January 1, 2009

When Carol Van Gorp, RCE, CAE, CIPS, e-pro, CEO of the Columbia Board of REALTORS®, Mo., launched her blog in December, she said she’d give it a few weeks to see how it went. Four months later, it’s still going and filled with her observations, explanations, and analyses of association activities and local market happenings.