Nearly two decades ago, a group of REALTOR® association executives envisioned an association management system that could serve the entire REALTOR® organization.
State and local AEs involved in shaping that vision included retired CEOs Rob Authier, RCE, CAE, of Massachusetts REALTORS®, Belton Jennings of Orlando REALTORS® and later the Virgin Islands REALTORS®, and Texas REALTORS® CEO Travis Kessler (then with the San Antonio association). The founders had struggled with third-party systems that were expensive and slow to adapt to their needs. They dreamed of giving associations and MLSs a central place to manage member data, and one that would integrate with current and future industry platforms.
Their vision became RAMCO, which marks 15 years of operation in 2024. Since its inception in 2009, RAMCO has been run by the National Association of REALTORS® as a nonprofit subsidiary to offer a competitive and cost-efficient option in the market. Today, more than half of all state associations and roughly 120 local associations are RAMCO users.
“The AE leadership knew that no two associations operate the same way, so any system had to be flexible enough to accommodate that diversity,” says Mike Cutlip, RAMCO product leader. To meet that need, they chose an industry-leading technology, Microsoft Dynamics, as the underlying platform.
“It’s a great system for associations with four or more staff,” says Laura Vinci, director of association technology services for NAR. Smaller associations, she says, may find everything they need from the evolving REALTORS® M1 platform.
Those who haven’t considered RAMCO or who haven’t seen a demo lately will be surprised at how user-friendly the system is, says Cutlip: “Over the years, we’ve worked with associations to streamline processes, reducing system complexity while continuing to build functionality.”
“I highly recommend RAMCO as an exceptional partner,” says Rachel Tristano, cae, rce, CEO of South Shore REALTORS® in Massachusetts. “Throughout our history of subscribing, RAMCO has consistently delivered innovative technological improvements, significantly improving our operations and efficiency.”
According to Cutlip, the system is near infinitely customizable, allowing associations to add their own fields, data types, reporting and business automations. “This capability comes from the underlying Microsoft Dynamics platform we chose at the beginning,” he says.
Amy Moloney, membership manager for Tucson REALTORS® and MLS of Southern Arizona, says her association has enjoyed new options for reviewing online applications, which helps reduce any mistakes in member input. “It has cut down our processing time for a complete application from four days to one day—and in some cases, we can even get them approved in a matter of hours,” she says.
“Associations are always looking to differentiate themselves,” says Cutlip. “Miami REALTORS® provides one of many examples. They offer education discounts for early dues payments, and the discounts are automated using RAMCO’s flexible business rules. Our subscribers are always coming up with unique offerings, and it’s exciting to see how they share [these ideas] through our community and meetings.”
Training is essential, so RAMCO staff operate three free training calls each week. There’s also training offered each year at the REALTORS® Legislative and NAR NXT meetings. And every April, RAMCO hosts an annual user group meeting where association staff members who work with the system can learn what’s new, compare notes on usage and collaborate on solutions. “We like to reinforce the collaborative nature of this product,” Vinci says. “New users buddy with experienced users for ideas on how to meet their needs.”
Because Microsoft technologies form the backbone of NAR’s RAMCO, REALTORS® M1 and e-commerce solutions, users can depend on regular security updates and technology upgrades. In the future, for example, RAMCO will benefit from Microsoft’s leadership building artificial intelligence into its applications. “It’s convenient that all our systems are married under this technology,” Vinci says.
Says Cutlip, “Our commitment to REALTOR® associations and Microsoft’s commitment to pushing the envelope when it comes to business technology set us apart. We’re excited about where we’re able to take our subscribers in the future—and to fulfill the vision of our founding board members.”