Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, IL (commercial structure)
What: Commercial information exchange -- the Commercial Real Estate Network (CREN) is a CIE designed by commercial practitioners for commercial practitioners. Includes a complete library of forms needed for commercial real estate, and a robust transaction management platform with a one-click transaction starter and digital signatures. Public records for five counties are also available. This CIE maintains a public portal at www.seebuildings.com and feeds listings to www.commercialsearch.com and RPR. Additionally, the CIE has an arrangement with the local EDC to frame its property search on their website. Complementing the CIE is a list serv that is exclusive to CREN members as well.
Is it successful: The program is extremely successful having been up and running for over 12 years and currently maintaining an average membership of about 40 members (or 7 percent of all association members). These members are individuals who have chosen to pay a separate application fee to belong and a monthly subscriber fee. Its success is due to its seamless integration into the MLS and its flexible membership structure.
Is it affordable:
Is it sustainable: Having been in operation for over 12 years it has already demonstrated that it is sustainable. This member service also provides a modest non-dues source of revenue.
Is it replicable in other associations: This model is probably best suited for a medium-size association that operates its own MLS, however, it could also probably be adapted to a larger association.
Commercial Association of REALTORS® New Mexico (commercial overlay board)
What: CARNM is a statewide commercial overlay board with 450 members. In 2011 it entered into a partnership with the state to develop a listing service that would cater to CARNM members and economic development councils (EDCs). The state essentially underwrote the development costs of this product which included several data overlays (e.g., railroads) that go beyond a typical system. The product is free for CARNM members and available for purchase by local EDCs. It has a pay-as-you-go IDX-like feature that allows CARNM members to display all listings on their websites as well as direct leads back to the broker.
Is it successful: The program launched in 2012 with eight EDCs onboard and at the most renewal had six onboard. Additionally, some have gone from load and display to only display. While the program is free to CARNM there is a fee to the EDC. During the first two years CARNM has provided rebates of $500-$1,000 to each EDC that participates.
Is it affordable:
Is it sustainable: It is evaluated every year. They see it as a win-win and expect it continue.
Is it replicable in other associations: This could be replicated in other associations, however, this model is best suited for statewide associations. Additionally, there are politics to overcome and you need buy-in from key players.
Miami REALTORS®, FL (commercial structure)
What: Member-to-Member Email – The RCA Miami with 1,650 members developed a member-to-member email service that allows members to share haves/needs with other commercial members. It allows a member to embed images or flyers within the body of the email as well as html and links. Basic rules of operation limit the frequency with which this can be used and indicate it is to be used only for commercial properties. The program also schedules email to go out at a specific time.
Is it successful: The program is considered to be very popular among members. Approximately 20 emails per day are sent through this program. This system generates leads.
Is it affordable:
Is it sustainable: This service is sustainable. However, finding a service provider can be tricky. The company providing this service will no longer support it. RCA Miami received an NAR grant to develop a new program and is working with a local provider to take this over and enhance it. The next step is to segment by property type. They are also looking to establish a more detailed and searchable profile for the commercial practitioner.
Is it replicable in other associations: It is very easy to replicate. As long as you have a database that you can import into this. These new services are expected to be up and running by the end of the year and the plans are to make them available to other associations.
Minnesota Commercial Association of REALTORS® (commercial overlay board)
What: MNCAR Exchange – provides the most accurately researched commercial listing information and supplies this information to the Minnesota Department of Economic Development and economic development corporations and associations across Minnesota.
Is it successful: Yes. Thanks to a partnership with Excellegent has been extremely successful. Provides the most accurate researched commercial listing information in the market. Members find value in the group-negotiated pricing.
Is it affordable: Yes, compared to alternatives in the marketplace. And it has been profitable for the association.
Is it sustainable: Yes, because the commercial members find value in the product and the relationships which have developed.
Is it replicable in other associations: Yes, if you love a competent, trusted partner who can provide a CIE product with a research component, then it would be of value to your commercial members, especially if you can negotiate a group rate.
Rogue Valley Association of REALTORS®, OR
What: MLS Redesign – overhauled the MLS to give commercial practitioners commercial information that applies to their daily business practices. The association’s 900 members are primarily residential; very few are exclusively commercial. In 2012 they polled everyone who had a commercial transaction in the past three years for input on what they would like to see in a new listing profile page. A work group of exclusively commercial practitioners took the information gathered and developed a comprehensive property profile page.
Is it successful: After launching the redesigned page and working out the bugs it has been very successful. The association has received positive feedback and other MLSs have asked to share the page.
Is it affordable:
Is it sustainable: This is sustainable but, of course, relies on the MLS infrastructure so is dependent upon its continued existence.
Is it replicable in other associations: This can be replicated as long as you have the underlying MLS or CIE structure to support.