Community/Member Involvement and Networking

Arcadia Association of REALTORS®, CA (commercial structure)

What: Commercial Symposium – commercial practitioners gather to hear speakers and network on commercial real estate.
Is it successful:
Is it affordable:
Is it sustainable:
Is it replicable in other associations:

ph 626-446-2115

Athens Area Association of REALTORS®, GA

What: Monthly commercial committee event – networking and education.
Is it successful: Yes. Continues to sell out due to limited availability and continuing education credit.
Is it affordable: Free to members
Is it sustainable: Held at association office and offers three hours of continuing education credit; instructors rotate; participation capped at 60 people.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes.

ph 706-353-1126

Central Florida Commercial Association of REALTORS® (commercial overlay board)

What: CRE Outlook – annual program gives an in-depth look at commercial real estate trends and forecasts and how the current economy affects that.
Is it successful: The event has been successful each year with growing attendance; members look forward to it.
Is it affordable: Yes. $30 member; $35 nonmember.
Is it sustainable: Try to minimize costs by bringing in cohost and “big” sponsors to subsidize the event.
Is it replicable in other associations: There is no template to follow but other associations could organize something similar.

ph 407-816-7368

Chicago Association of REALTORS®, IL Commercial Forum (commercial structure)

What: Monthly breakfast meetings; includes speakers; allows commercial members to hear from public and economic development policy leaders.  Also featured is a governmental affairs briefing by state government affairs staff.  Past speakers have been leaders of local chambers, the city of Chicago and public policy leaders.
Is it successful:  Yes, members show up consistently every month, especially if there is a strong topic and presenter.
Is it affordable: This is a very affordable program with the help of sponsors who support it and allocated funds of the association.
Is it sustainable:  It helps to engage members in the civic and advocacy areas and allows staff to ask members about potential topics and speakers they would like to learn about in the coming months.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes, especially if you focus on economic development and allow time for member engagement.

ph 312-731-1407

Denver Commercial Association of REALTORS®, CO (commercial overlay board)

What: Heavy Hitters in Commercial Real Estate – annual production awards in conjunction with the Denver Business Journal; provides recognition and improves business.
Is it successful: Absolutely! The Heavy Hitters Awards program has existed in its present form for about 10+ years and is a virtual “who’s who” of the Denver business community. It is well-attended by commercial REALTORS®, drawing 300+ members as well as numerous affiliates and other stakeholders in the community such as banks, attorneys, title companies, etc.
Is it affordable: Yes. The event makes money and has become an important profit center. There are significant costs due to the superior quality of the program and upscale venue, but these costs are recovered by three streams of revenue: 1) award application fees, 2) sponsorship fees, and 3) individual admission/lunch fees. Many of these fees are in turn picked up by affiliate members and other interested stakeholders in the community, i.e., an affiliate member such as a bank may sponsor a table or purchase extra tickets to invite commercial REALTOR® members to join them. Therefore, the cost to the roughly 300+ commercial REALTORS® who attend is often quite minimal.
Is it sustainable: Yes. Again, the program is a significant profit center and is growing larger due to its popularity with members and the overall business community.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes. Though, the program may be best-suited for a metropolitan area that has access to a large, influential newspaper or business journal. Winners of the “Heavy Hitters Award” are profiled in the Denver Business Journal with detailed articles and photographs. This broad-based and valuable exposure is critical to the overall success of the program.

ph 303-753-6227

Glendale Association of REALTORS®, CA

What: Owner Broker Meeting – teaches brokers how to use the commercial listing input system.
Is it successful: Yes.
Is it affordable: It is inclusive in the system fee.
Is it sustainable: Yes, because it’s inclusive in the system fee there is steady participation.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes, they hold the training at a local hotel.

ph 818-241-2184

Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS®, LA (commercial structure)

What: Trends in Baton Rouge Real Estate – combination of market conditions and forecasts for commercial market segments (also includes residential).
Is it successful: Yes. Although not strictly commercial. Still a good concept to bring together the REALTOR®/appraisal groups. Provides market outlook which is key component in its continued success and sponsor support.
Is it affordable: Yes. Advanced registration $55.
Is it sustainable: Yes. Started in 1988 and has 48 different sponsors; provides continuing education for appraisers and real estate professionals.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes.

Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®, OK (commercial structure)

What: Greater Tulsa Commercial Market Update – annual event recaps the previous year’s commercial activity and forecasts the upcoming year’s.
Is it successful: It is hands-down their most successful commercial event.
Is it affordable: Managed to break even every year and even make a profit some years. Having sponsors is important to make it affordable for the association and attendees. The more sponsors there are, the lower the event price.
Is it sustainable: Yes. It has been done for 15 years (in one form or another); its format has evolved over time.
Is it replicable in other associations: It’s replicable in other markets. If you have commercial brokers who can give an overview of the various commercial markets, and if you have commercial development projects happening or being planned in your area, you’re good to go.

Lakeland Association of REALTORS®, FL (commercial structure)

What: Monthly luncheon and pitch session – includes speakers; allows commercial members to discuss their listing needs/wants.
Is it successful: Yes, Members show up consistently every month, especially if there is a strong topic and presenter.
Is it affordable: This is a very affordable program with the help of sponsors who support it.
Is it sustainable:  It helps to survey members and ask them what topics they would like to learn about in the coming year. Members will show up if they find value in the topic.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes, especially if you focus on economic development and allow time for members to pitch their properties and needs.

ph 863-687-6111

Lancaster County Association of REALTORS®, PA (commercial structure)

What: Monthly membership meetings – monthly breakfast meetings allow for networking, information sharing and education.
Is it successful: Yes. Excellent content that is relevant to the industry; great resource for members.
Is it affordable: $5 member.
Is it sustainable: Different topics and locations each month.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes.

Little Rock REALTORS® Association, AR (commercial structure)

What: CRE Quarterly Luncheons – include relevant speakers ; nonmembers invited to boost recruitment.
Is it successful: Yes. The luncheons were started in 2012 and provide a place for commercial members and licensees to network and share information. As a result, several deals have been consummated directly from interaction at these events. From an association standpoint, it is a valuable tool to attract new REALTOR® members.
Is it affordable: Yes. Luncheon is $5 member; $15 nonmember.
Is it sustainable: Yes. Due to a creative partnership with a member firm, the association can provide a cafeteria-style venue with food subsidized by various affiliate sponsors. Ultimately, the association provides members a quality, affordable lunch in a nice facility, at little or no cost to the association.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes. Though suggest starting this program as a budgeted item with at least a two-year plan to achieve the desired goals or results.

ph 501-225-1987

New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®, LA (commercial structure)

What: Economic and real estate forecast.
Is it successful: Yes, very.
Is it affordable: Yes. Staggered early-bird pricing at $35, $45, and $55 at the door.
Is it sustainable: Yes, was third event.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes, the model can be easily replicated.

ph 504-885-3200

North Oakland County Association of REALTORS®, MI

What: State bar association real estate division – encourages commercial practitioners and attorneys to take an active role in the association.
Is it successful: Yes. Works to bring two like-associations together for the betterment both groups. This combination between commercial real estate practitioners and bar associations is becoming more popular.
Is it affordable: Yes. Minimal cost for cross promotion.
Is it sustainable: Yes, as long as the state bar association keeps promoting the REALTOR® association to practitioners and attorneys.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes, with cultured relationships.

ph 248-674-4080

REALTORS® Association of Lincoln, NE (commercial structure)

What: Monthly marketing sessions – informal lunch networking meetings where commercial members share listings/needs.
Is it successful: Very much so! These meetings began 20+ years ago and are well attended with 25-40 members participating per event (out of a total of 50 commercial REALTORS®). The key is providing quality speakers with an emphasis on governmental affairs and political advocacy. The members feel intimately engaged and appreciate the networking opportunity. The association is also recognized by NAR with the Commercial Services Accreditation.
Is it affordable: Yes. Nearly all costs associated with the meetings are borne by a sponsoring commercial member, including the venue and costs for lunch.
Is it sustainable: Yes. Again, costs to both the participating member and the association are minimal.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes.

ph 402-441-3620

Sacramento Association of REALTORS®, CA (commercial structure)

What: Real Estate Connect – regional economic review and outlook.
Is it successful: Yes, the association has made a profit from attendance and sponsorships.
Is it affordable: Yes, we raise a substantial amount of sponsorship dollars and keep the early- bird tickets affordable.
Is it sustainable: Yes, you need to plan eight weeks out or longer and have the large brokerage houses behind the event by asking them to sponsor and/or buy tables and invite their clients.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes, go to WWW.SACRECONNECT.COM to find out the details. There are other organizations and areas of the country that offer similar events. If there is a similar event in your town make sure you work to attract the commercial alphabet soup of organization support to get it off the ground.

Salem Association of REALTORS®, OR (commercial structure)

What: Monthly education meetings – connecting with commercial members and bringing them value.
Is it successful: Yes. Provides consistency for members with regularly scheduled meetings. Some meetings allow nonmembers which helps with recruitment.
Is it affordable: $15 members; $30 nonmember.
Is it sustainable: Topic and speaker determined by association; location remains the same to keep costs down; continuing education credits are emailed after the session.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes.

ph 503-540-0081

Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®, AZ (commercial structure)

What: Commercial Summit – half-day annual event highlights the commercial component of what’s happening in Scottsdale.
Is it successful: Going into its third year and appears to be successful.
Is it affordable: Yes. $99/per person
Is it sustainable: Yes.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes.

St. Charles County Association of REALTORS®, MO (commercial structure)

What: Commercial Networking Luncheon -- Monthly luncheons where members and nonmembers can network and promote their properties and buyers’ wants/needs; grows relationships and nurtures deals.
Is it successful: Yes. Generally have between 50-80 attendees each month with great networking.
Is it affordable: Yes. Association incurs no cost; one of our commercial brokers provides the venue (one of their listings) and an affiliate covers the food/drink.
Is it sustainable: Yes. We’ve done this for several years now.
Is it replicable in other associations: Definitely!



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