Association Executives Committee
Chapter Formation Work Group
Friday, November 13, 2015
San Diego

Final Report

Work Group Purpose​

To create a resource with guidelines, models, and best practices to assist associations that are interested in incorporating chapters or councils into their governance structure.


With implementation of the Organizational Alignment Core Standards program, some local associations are considering a “chapter” structure to help them meet the standards.  NAR does not charter "chapters," nor is there any defined "chapter" structure within the REALTOR® organization.  Over the years a few associations have surrendered their charter to merge into another association, with the resulting association creating a community-based "chapter" that allowed the dissolved association to retain a local presence and a measure of local identity.  These instances have been the exception rather than the rule.

Simply put, chapters (sometimes referred to as councils) are sub-units of an existing, chartered local association of REALTORS®, with that association of REALTORS® being the only chartered (or recognized) entity. The structure, as well as the privileges and responsibilities of a local association's "chapter" would need to be determined locally and should be spelled out with specificity in the "parent" association's bylaws or other governing documents.

In most cases, chapters are the residual effect of mergers of two or more associations that resulted in a larger "regional" association. Chapters can enable the former associations that surrendered their charters as part of a merger to retain some measure of identity/presence in their community, coupled with the efficiencies and economies of scale resulting from the merger. Use of the term REALTOR® in a chapter's name must be in connection with the parent organization (e.g. the XYZ Chapter of the ABC Association of REALTORS®).


The work group met in four teams to identify procedural steps in forming a chapter, organizational and operational factors, programs and services considerations, and best practices.  The result of these discussions is a Chapter Formation Resource that can help guide associations as they consider the possibility of merging or forming a chapter (attached).  The compilation includes organizational and operational factors, as well as sample summaries covering board of directors representation, dues structure and budget examples, and bylaws and policy excerpts for chapters. 

The Chapter Formation Resource will be posted on the  Core  Standards Resources page and the AE Manage Your Association/Association Structures page.

Work Group Members

Steve Francks, RCE, CAE, Chair
Ginger Downs, RCE, CAE, Vice Chair
Jean Beck, RCE
Jill Beck
Ryan Castle
Isaac Chavez, RCE
Dallas Hancock, RCE
Kathy Harbaugh
Russell Hokanson, RCE
Tracy Huotari, RCE
Hank Lerner
Steven Louchheim, RCE, CAE
Kevan Lyons, RCE
Jerry Panz, RCE, CAE
Patrick Reilly, RCE
Doug Rotthaus, RCE, CAE
Diane Ruggiero, RCE, CAE
Margery Shinners, RCE, CAE
Kathleen Sweeten, RCE
Rachel Tristano, CAE
Janie Wilson
James Yockel, RCE


Stephanie Walker

Staff Executives

Cindy Sampalis
Cliff Niersbach, RCE
Kevin Milligan, RCE

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