Work Group Purpose

To review the latest REALTOR® association industry issues and trends reports and create a dialogue on how associations can consider these issues in their planning so they can proactively address some of the challenges facing associations.


“Unleashing the Power of Real Estate Data” is the issues and trends report that the Issues Analysis Work Group referenced for its discussions.  Released during the May 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, this report is based on facilitated discussions between the AEC Strategic Issues Work Group and brokers, sales associates, real estate consultants, economists, and technology experts.  The report is intended to assist real estate associations, brokers, sales associates, and affiliated professionals in their strategic planning.

Meeting Activity

Work group members shared their initial observations with the “Unleashing the Power of Real Estate Data” report, and then met in four teams to discuss the major components of the report.  Below is a summary of the team discussions.

Team #1:  Data Analytics and Concept of Home -- Laura Crowther, Margery Shinners, Laura Tilley, Alexander Wald, Debbie Wilkens

  • How to provide useful and appropriate data to members and educate them on how to use and understand the data.
  • Plan an AEI session on “how not to drown in data.”
  • Understanding data should be key competency of AEs.
  • Can NAR help the states push data out to the locals? Available research needs to filter down.
  • New definition of “home” does not address cultural diversity – mother-in-law pods, multi-family homes, Airbnb.
  • Need more diversity training to work with different cultures.

Team #2: Value of Millennials and On Demand Economy -- Amanda Woods, Melanie Blakeney, Ryan Castle, Sheila Dodson

  • Simplicity and independence – make it quick and easy for millennials.
  • Associations and MLSs can create value for millennials by providing the following:  online apps for virtual experiences with all services; online learning experiences and library resources; streamlined governance structures and meetings; courses and materials to bridge gaps between generations and to adapt to the new “demand.”
  • Success may need to be redefined from participation rates and attendance to more individualized services with metrics to support the success of programs.
  • Associations and MLSs need to be the source for the technology, knowledge, experience, and education to members – expand members’ businesses and knowledge.
  • Modify entrance to organization – education and services (example – teams).
  • Top down implementation – be the example.
  • Limitations – size, money, inexperienced staff.

Team #3: Housing Trends and Broker Trends and Agent Trends – Angela Shields, Jeff Arakelian, Lance Evans, Deb Frazier

  • Housing Trends – use housing stats to educate elected officers, members, economic development organizations, and the media. Track more of the property management trends.
  • Broker Trends – conduct best practices forums and other training formats, perhaps with teams, to identify what’s working in other associations.  Identify the association’s value proposition.  Why should millennials join? What’s in it for them?  More on concierge and specialty services. Consider Upstream and the brokers’ need for a bigger role for the MLSs.
  • Agent Trends – Regulators working with states on license laws.  Engage in storytelling to make REALTORS® more interesting. 

Team #4: Technology Trends and MLS Trends -- Anne Marie DeCatsye, Alan Hetkowski, John Leonardi, Robert Taylor, Cathy Faulkner

  • How does an association without an MLS relate and get advantages of an MLS?
  • Market-centric – ask brokers what’s important to them.  Analytics and other products sell to brokers as more cost-effective thru the MLS vs. leveling the playing field.
  • How do we level the playing field?  May not be desirable, but necessary.
  • AEs and MLSs need to push MLS vendors to be more responsive. 
  • Need to do due diligence on exploring tech tools and analytics.

Next Steps

  • Work group members to continue discussion and more fully develop ideas in teams via phone and email throughout the summer. Expected output for each team is a series of recommendations or actions that associations can consider and explore to attain the greatest benefit from the 2016 AEC strategic issues report, “Unleashing the Power of Real Estate Data.” 
  • Teams to submit recommendations to NAR staff Cindy Sampalis by August 1.

Next Meeting

2016 REALTORS® Conference and Expo – Saturday, November 5, 9:30a.m.-11:00a.m.  

Work Gr​​oup Members

Janet Kane, RCE, CAE, Chair
Janie Wilson, RCE, Vice Chair
Jeff Arakelian, RCE
Melanie Blakeney, RCE
Ryan Castle, RCE
Laura Crowther, RCE
Anne Marie DeCatsye
Sheila Dodson, RCE
Lance Evans, RCE
Cathy Faulkner, RCE
Deborah Frazier
Allan Hetkowski, RCE, CAE
John Leonardi, RCE
Angela Shields, RCE, CAE
Margery Shinners, RCE, CAE
Robert Taylor, RCE
Laura Tilley
Alexander Wald
Debbie Wilkens
Amanda Woods


David Peretti

Staff Executive

Cindy Sampalis

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