Done right, new-member onboarding can lead to more productive, loyal and engaged members.
But here’s the challenge: New members can find the amount of information provided overwhelming, say association membership directors. At the same time, new members want that information available and easily accessible. Here are two approaches.
Brunswick County Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina. Shannon Jackson, director of membership and professional standards administrator, was charged with creating a new member drip campaign when she joined the association five years ago. “It took a few years to develop, as we wanted to research the best delivery methods and better understand what information was the most valuable to members,” she says.
BCAR’s campaign includes roughly 10 email communications, depending on membership type, sent out over 12 months and ending with a “Happy Anniversary!” email. “Dripping the pertinent information out to them over time eases them into the association while still providing them the information they need to best utilize their membership,” she says.
The first five messages are sent in the first month of membership, when agents need the most help and support. Those messages include:
- A welcome email that includes bylaws and other rules and regulations, an orientation reminder, login information and other resources.
- A “meet the staff” video.
- Setup detail for BrokerBay, a showing management ecosystem.
- BCAR member-portal reminder.
- Member involvement committee invitation.
Greater Syracuse Association of REALTORS®, New York. Danielle Mizon, director of professional development and new membership onboarding and professional standards administrator, has taken an approach that focuses on ensuring easy access to resources. She makes materials and resources available both in hard copy form and online at cnyrealtor.com (search for New Member Resources). “I like having it all in one place so after we go over it on the call, new members can easily find it,” Mizon says.
She starts her onboarding with a brief group call for new members. That’s followed by training on the MLS, products and services, and rules and regulations within 30 days. New member orientation, including Code of Ethics and Fairhaven training, takes place within six months.
Whatever your approach, your onboarding needs to reinforce member value.
“With the implementation of [our new member onboarding] campaign, we have seen our member engagement and participation increase exponentially. We have also seen a drop in calls regarding the typical questions of ‘Where can I find?’ or ‘How do I?’ ”
—Shannon Jackson, Brunswick County Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina