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Field Guide to Technology Tools for Association Executives

(Updated June 2014)

This guide will help you learn tips for doing information technology yourself, keep up with legal issues and learn new training ideas. (D. Shumaker, Senior Library Information Specialist)


Q - Proquest articles available for NAR members only.  Password can be found on the Proquest/Find Articles page.


Technology in Action

According to the Center for REALTOR® Technology 2013-2014 REALTOR® Technology Survey Report, the three most important functions that REALTORS® feel REALTOR® associations can offer electronically via the web are:

  • Industry News (72%)
  • Class Registration (71%)
  • Dues Payment (64%)

Technology Presentation

NAR's Chief Technology Officer Mark Lesswing presented to the 2008 Leadership Summit in Chicago on technology issues and adapting to change.


Technology in Practice

Rethinking the Association App, (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Spring 2014). More and more associations are moving away from stand-alone apps to mobile-friendly websites.

Lights, Camera, Action! How and Why to Make Association Videos, (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Spring 2013). Video is exploding as the fastest-growing online medium.

Get Your Social Media Ducks in a Row, (Associations Now, Mar. 2013). Creating a uniform social media policy.

REALTOR® AE Magazine’s 10th Annual Outstanding REALTOR® Association Web Site Contest Winners, (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Spring 2012). Across all association sizes, member-focused Web sites have become simpler and more, well, member-focused.


Technology Training

Six Tips for Writing Better E-Learning Scripts, (T+D, June 2014). Good writing is the single biggest factor that can make the difference between an e-learning program that bores people to death and one that gets them to pay attention. Q

Beef up your Training Toolbox with Web Tools, (T+D, June 2011). Your learning and development materials can sizzle with some easy, and often free, online tools. Q

Build Your E-Learning Business Model, (Associations Now, Mar. 2011). Associations have learned the hard way that a "build it and they will come" attitude is not enough for a profitable e-learning program. But if you follow five strategic principles, you can build an e-learning business model that will provide a positive revenue flow sooner rather than later.

Build an eLearning Center in 120 Days, (Associations Now, Aug. 2009). "If you build it, they will come." That's what one association hoped for when it put together an e-learning center in 120 days.

Teach first, install second, (Associations Now, Mar. 2008). The biggest roadblock to success with a new technology in the workplace? Your own staff. As promising as your fancy new system might be, if you don’t teach your staff how to adapt, they’ll never fully realize those new advantages you’re trying to give them.


Technology and the Law

Associations and Social Media: Managing the Risks and Liabilities, (National Association of REALTORS®, May 2014). Like every new technology and means of communication, blogs and online social networks are accompanied by risks and potential legal liabilities.

Tips for Updating Your Company’s Social Media Policy, (Mashable, Oct. 6, 2012). Just as social media is evolving, so should your policy.


Tech Reviews

Bits and Bytes—Keep up to date with what's catching the attention of NAR's tech gurus in the Center for REALTOR® Technology blog.

REALTOR® Magazine Buyers Guide, Get details on the latest products and technologies that impact your business. REALTOR® Association Executive also frequently reviews tech tools for Associations, including Top Smart Phone Apps along with more general tech tips.

CNET—Previews, rates and reviews a wide range of consumer technology - from cell phones and digital cameras to PDAs and home stereos.

PCWorld—Online version of the popular magazine. Top 10 lists for PCs, laptops, peripherals, etc. Offers some tech tips and training for simple upgrades and pc maintenance.

Center for REALTOR® Technology Blog—Keep up to date with what's catching the attention of NAR's tech gurus.


Security Issues

Data Security: Keep a lid on it, (Associations Now, June 2014). Every association faces data-security threats. The appropriate fix has as much to do with keeping staff smart as it does with keeping hackers at bay.

Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business, (Federal Trade Commission, n.d.). Free resources for business from the FTC.

Data Security and Privacy, (REALTOR® Association Executive, Spring 2011). Does your state have data security laws that your association must follow? Does your state regulate what businesses must do in the event of a security breach? Does your state have laws requiring you to properly dispose of personal information or implement a written data security program? It very well could.

Avoiding Data Disaster: Many small businesses fail to protect their core documents from the threat of calamity, (Vital Records Protection, June 4, 2003).

The Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT), facilitates the adoption and use of technology by REALTOR® organizations.


eBooks & Other Resources

eBooks.realtor.org

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

Beyond E-Learning (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Blogging for Business (MP3/WMA Audiobook)

Buying a Computer For Dummies (Adobe eReader)

Cloud Computing for Dummies (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Digital Video For Dummies (Adobe eReader)

Electronics for Dummies (Adobe eReader)

Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business (Adobe eReader)

Nonprofit Internet Strategies (Adobe eReader)

Podcasting for Dummies (Adobe eReader)

The Mobile Learning Edge (Adobe eReader)

Social Media Marketing (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

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.

A Real Estate Agents Guide to Technology, (Chicago: Trans-Equity Inc., 2009). HF 5548.5 B64a

Policies and Procedures in Association Management: A Benchmarking Guide [Technology], (Washington DC: ASAE, 2006). HF 294 Am3ppt

Realty Blogging: build your brand and outsmart your competition, (Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill, 2006). HF 5548 N11

Digital handshake: finding revenue in new relationships, (Chicago, IL: American Society of Association Executives, 2002). HF 5415 H22

Executive's guide to Internet law, (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2001). HF 294 M61

The myth of the paperless office, (Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2002). HF 5521 S43

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Choosing and Using a Smartphone

Field Guide to Marketing With Blogs

Field Guide to Podcasting

Field Guide to Redesigning Association Web Sites

Field Guide to Using Digital Video as a Marketing Tool

InfoCentral Blog


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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.