Friday, July 24, 2009
Required Reading for Association Execs
Very useful and important publication for Realtors--Thanks, WAV Group...and Marilyn! I would hope this is widely read in the real estate community....
And association execs should read it, too. There are some lessons learned here. A few that intrigued me:
1. 'Agent/Broker Branding' is based on area of expertise, not on company or the color of your jacket. All the more reason why Realtor associations should encourage specialty groups. Education is, of course, one way of doing that--and designation programs. But building specialty networking into your organization infrastructure is a useful replacement for committees. And measuring interest and specialty group participation is an antidote to the old whine of 'nobody comes to meetings so they must not love us any more'.
2. Consumers want more information. Well, duh! But some of what consumers want is information than the association is better positioned to provide than the members--market statistics, for instance. And they don't want to be white washed with "the market is doing better" from the association spokesperson (we all know who HE is). Consumers want info they can trust, even if it's the ugly truth. What are you doing to provide accurate, meaningful statistics to your members who can repackage them? Or directly to consumers, for that matter?
Consumers also want to know about the performance and satisfaction level of the agent/broker to whom they are paying money. What about a rating system for your members? Somebody's gonna do it, if the association doesn't.
3. There are a whole bunch of tools out there now for our members to use in this market environment. What are real estate associations doing to educate members about available tools? Are we partnering with providers and making it possible for members to make good investments in technology and software?
4. This white paper ends with 5 'edutizing' rules which are directed to Realtors, but I think they hold true for associations as well. I am paraphrasing them--and you can add your own interpretations as far as association management goes:
a. Identify your unique association position in providing member services and stick to it!
b. Focus on providing the tools that will be best for your members.
c. Provide valuable information for members--valuable in their terms, of course. Ask them what they want/need.
d. Give your members a way to share your services (data, for instance) with their customers easily and attractively.
e. Deliver great service and the rest will follow (that's a direct quote from the white paper. It stands by itself!)
This white paper ends with a bibliography of additional links and sources, and I suggest that every Realtor AE should be familiar with these tools, and should be teaching their association members about them.
In other words, "Edutizing" should be required reading for association execs. (And I'm not affiliated with these folks in any way). You can get the white paper at this link:http://waves.wavgroup.com/content/uploads/blogs/wavgrp/Edutizing1.pdf