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Field Guide to Association Shared Services

(Updated April 2014)

Meaningful partnerships are the foundation for success. Whether the motivation to "share services" or partner with another association is economic, or to offer new, increased and improved services for members, there is information to help you do just that. Below you will find a selection of articles and books pointing out the positive aspects, as well as, the 'how-to' to partnering.

Also visit the Shared Services page and RARE database on REALTOR.org for sample agreements, manuals, and other material on shared services. (M. Glick, Senior Information Specialist)

Advantages of Partnerships

  1. Increased customer access.
  2. Enhanced market image and credibility.
  3. Access to valuable new technology.
  4. Access to needed capital.
  5. Shared risk in research and development investments.
  6. Access to the basic entrepreneurial know-how in a particular industry.
  7. Shared use of common infrastructure.

Source: Partnership profile: A guide to effective collaboration and partnering, (REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, Summer 1998).

The 4 C's of Successful Partnerships

  1. Commitment
  2. Communication
  3. Compromise
  4. Caring about Success

Source: REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, Summer 1998.

"Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success" —Christopher Lisch

Marketing Tips for Your Members

Sales & Marketing, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2014).

Shared Services: The Basics

Join the Workforce Housing Online Community, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2014).

Report of The Organizational Alignment Presidential Advisory Group (National Association of REALTORS®, 2014). 

Associations Putting Ideas Into Action

Find out how some REALTOR® associations are putting NAR housing opportunity grants, classes, and resources to work in their communities by watching the video success story below.

Balancing Act 12 ways to save, cut and do more with less, (REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, 2008).

Do You Teach Enough?, (REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, Aug. 2006). 

Shared Services Workshop Reports, (REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, 2014).

Shared Services: MLSs Share data, costs, (REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, 2014).

Greater Gatherings: Joint Association meetings, (REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, 2014).

Building Partnerships & Making Them Work

30 collaboration ideas for better member service and association efficiency, (REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine, Summer 2006).

re-imagining Board Communication, (Association Management, July. 2005). Q

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Are Your Customers Being Served? (Overdrive Digital Audiobook)

Co-Leaders: The Power of Partnerships (Overdrive Digital Audiobook)

Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders (Adobe eReader)

Nonprofit Boards that Work (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Powerful Conversations, How High Impact Leaders Communicate (Adobe eReader)

Startup Boards (OverDrive Read, Adobe PDF eBook, Adobe EPUB eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Achieving sponsorship success, Washington D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2002). HF 294 B62

Partnering intelligence, (Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publishing, 1999). HD 69 D43

Trusted partners: how companies build mutual trust and win together, (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1999). HD 69 L58

Field Guides & More

These Field Guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Association Mergers & Partnerships

Field Guide to Communication for Associations

Field Guide to Partnerships and Teams

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The inclusion of links on this Field Guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this Field Guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.