The REALTOR® Association Models Planning Tool is based on a chart of three kinds of associations: Administrative, Management, and Leadership.

View the Association Models Chart (DOC: 159KB).

Under each model association you'll find a list of their characteristic standard practices and the ideal level and breadth of skills for volunteers, staff, and members. No model is "better" than another. They merely reflect an association’s resources, volunteer involvement, and priorities.

What's an Administrative Association?

An administrative association is member-focused. It typically has a fairly small staff, ranging from one part-time association executive to three full-time professional staff.

The AE maintains a general familiarity in legal, regulatory, and business issues impacting the association and has a basic competency in the office management skills, including word processing and spreadsheets, bookkeeping, and basic technology skills, such as e-mail and the Internet.

The AE knows where to find information that is important to members in conducting their daily business activities.

AE compensation is locally competitive and comparable to other high-level administrative positions.

Elected leadership is very involved in the administration of the association, and the authority for nearly all decision-making is vested in the officers and the board of directors. The association focuses on networking activities and opportunities for members to learn from one another.

What Is a Management Association?

A management association is a source of information for its members on best business practices and trends. Staff size typically ranges from three to 12, with defined positions responsible for specific programs.

The staff possesses expertise in managing and communicating legal, regulatory, and business issues impacting the association and effectively manages association business. Most of the staff are non-exempt.

The association executive is responsible for all administration and management of the association, with added focus on community and real estate industry issues. The AE creates staff job descriptions, hires and manages staff, sets staff salaries within the budget, and determines staff structure.

AE compensation consideration is regionally competitive and may be based on data from statewide salary surveys.

Volunteer leadership determines the association's strategic vision and sets parameters for staff empowerment. Decision-making authority is vested in the board of directors with authority for most operational decisions delegated to staff. Overall, management is a hands-on model with healthy volunteer involvement and some restrictions on the AE's authority.

What Is a Leadership Association?

A leadership association implements innovative and creative programs, products, and services that provide enhanced value for members beyond their day-to-day businesses.

Typically staff includes a senior management team of department heads who report to the association executive and are responsible for all association administration and management.

The AE and the senior management team position the organization based on envisioned real estate industry trends. Staff possesses expertise and provides leadership in political, legal, regulatory, and business issues impacting the association.

AE compensation consideration is nationally competitive in the upper range and may vary depending on member needs and market conditions.

Elected leadership determines strategic vision, but staff develops goals and plans to implement the vision. Decision-making authority for all operational procedures is vested in the association executive. Further, policies are in place to authorize the AE to take action quickly when an emergency arises, without having to seek approval from elected leaders.

Proceed to "Custom AE Job Descriptions and Leadership Focus" >

This online assessment is a tool that will help provide guidance in the delivery of products, services, programs, and value to the association. This assessment is only one tool that should be used to examine expectations and responsibilities for the association and its volunteers and key staff leader.