Association Management Programs and Resources

New AE Orientation—First-time association executives, both local and state, are invited to attend one of two New AE Orientations offered each year in the winter and summer at NAR's Chicago headquarters. Approximately 80 new AEs attend the orientation each year.

Tools for New Association Executives This online resource is an orientation tool for AEs who are new to the REALTOR® organization. It features a checklist of must-know responsibilities for an AE’s first weeks and months on the job. The site also includes advice from peers and other information on policies, procedures, references, and resources. As NAR becomes aware of new AEs, the association directs them to this site and invites them to the New AE Orientation.

REALTOR® Association Models Planning Tool ——— = —   —This self-evaluation resource allows association staff and volunteer leaders to align their expectations of the association, to identify where they want to be in delivering association services, and to help determine what kind of staff and volunteer leadership traits are needed to lead the association. This tool also generates personalized AE job descriptions and personalized “elected leadership focus” that can be used to develop customized job descriptions for elected leaders.

The Answer Book: The Source for REALTOR® Association Management LeadersThis comprehensive compilation of REALTOR® association management information, a valuable resource for AEs and volunteer leadership, is provided free and online. It is a reference for the REALTOR® Association Management Self-Study Course and the RCE exam.

AE Competencies and Body of KnowledgeThis document identifies five competency areas in which an AE shall be proficient to successfully serve the evolving REALTOR® association through the 21st century. Within each competency there are three levels of knowledge: Administrative, Management, and Leadership. Each of the five competencies is attached to topics that lead to proficiency at the three defined levels.

AE CalendarThe REALTOR® association online calendar, populated by NAR staff, is posted on The calendar enables local and state associations to schedule plans, so all major REALTOR® association initiatives and events are coordinated on an association-wide basis. With advance information, AEs can allocate necessary resources and schedule local activities so they are in sync with national events. Current calendar entries are highlighted each week in the INS.

Association Planning Calendar— Populated by NAR staff, the Association Planning calendar enables local and state associations to plan ahead, so all major REALTOR® association initiatives and events are coordinated on an association-wide basis. With advance information, AEs can allocate necessary resources and schedule local activities, so they are in sync with national events.

Award Programs—The REALTOR® AE Recognition Program is a consolidated effort by the Association Executives Committee (AEC) and NAR to honor excellence in the REALTOR® association management profession. The following awards are included in the program:

Professional Development Programs

AE InstituteThe AE Institute is an annual four-day educational conference for AEs, focusing on aspects of REALTOR® association management and real estate industry issues and trends.

Self-Study Courses—The free REALTOR® Association Management Self-Study Course, which covers 29 topic areas to increase awareness and understanding of all REALTOR® association management issues, is completely online and includes automatic scoring and immediate access to correct answers. Expanding on the content of this course is the Advanced REALTOR® Association Management Self-Study Course ($150), which is also online and serves as preparation for the RCE exam. The Professional Standards Advanced Administrative Concepts Self-Study Course ($75) provides in-depth study of professional standards and goes beyond the information that is taught in NAR's Professional Standards Administrator Training.

RCE Designation ProgramRCE is a professional designation specifically for REALTOR® association executives that comprises an experience- and education-based application and exam.  RCE exams are offered locally online in April and October annually with an RCE proctor.

Leadership Development Programs

Volunteer Leadership ResourcesThis section of briefs incoming local and state association presidents on their responsibilities and informs all volunteer leaders of the resources available to them at NAR. It is filled with essential information for the first-time volunteer leader. The guide is updated and promoted annually for the August Leadership Summit.

REALTORS® Excelling in Association Leadership (REAL) Self-Study CourseThis online self-study course provides an introduction for REALTORS® who want to get involved and pursue a leadership position with their local or state association. This training tool, which is available at no cost, covers the following six topics: Real Estate Issues and Trends; Enhancing Leadership Skills; Meeting Management; Governing Documents and Policies; Legal and Regulatory Activities; and Visioning, Planning, and Budgeting.

REALTOR® L.E.A.D. Courses—These courses set volunteer leaders out on a path to succeed. Developed by top REALTOR® leaders exclusively for REALTOR® leaders at any stage of their journey, these exciting courses equip participants with the practical skills, concepts, knowledge, and practices needed for effective association leadership.

Leadership ExpressThe REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Leadership Express, for association staff and volunteer leadership teams, is formatted as three 40-minute sessions, scheduled concurrently and then repeated, allowing attendees the opportunity to attend two of the three workshops. All sessions are presented by industry leaders, association management experts, or leadership consultants.

Networking Opportunities

AE YPN Meet-Up—Offered at each of the two national meetings and the AE Institute, the AE YPN Meet-Up was created so that young and new REALTOR® association staff can discuss next-generation technology, industry trends, and communication best practices and initiatives.

Association Management Roundtables—Offered at each of the two national meetings, the roundtables are for local and state AEs and focus on a variety of administration topics in a setting that encourages idea exchange and networking.

Local Presidents/Presidents-Elect Roundtables—Offered at each of the two national meetings, these leadership roundtables focus on a variety of local topics in an informal setting to encourage information exchange and networking.

RCE Leadership Luncheon—Sponsored by the RCE Certification Advisory Board, this ticketed luncheon, held at each national meeting, features keynote speakers on industry issues.

State and Local Leadership Idea Exchange Councils—The State Leadership Idea Exchange Council and the Local Leadership Idea Exchange Council are both offered at NAR's REALTORS® Legislative Meeting and NAR NXT, the REALTOR® Experience for presidents and AEs to attend together. Presidents-elect are also encouraged to attend. The councils are structured according to association membership size so presidents can exchange ideas and hot topics with other presidents of like-size associations. In addition, the councils provide presidents with the opportunity to convey grassroots concerns to national association leaders who attend and respond to questions from council members.  AEs and presidents should attend the council breakout sessions according to the following membership sizes:

Large State: The 17 largest state associations, based on total membership
Medium State: The next 17 largest state associations, based on total membership
Small State: The remaining 16 state associations, and Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands

Mega Board: Boards with 7,000 or more members
Large Board: Boards with 2,000 to 6,999 members
Medium Board: Boards with 500 to 1,999 members
Small Board: Boards with fewer than 500 members