Volunteer Leadership Toolkit

Explore important resources, tools, and educational options to support your leadership journey.

State and local volunteer leaders work hand in hand with their association’s chief staff executive to provide the best possible services for their members.

These resources will not only familiarize new leaders with present and upcoming roles and responsibilities, but also explain the tools available from the National Association of REALTORS® to create effective, efficient and enjoyable service.

Explore important resources, tools, and educational options to support your leadership journey.


Organizational Knowledge

Understand NAR’s structure and its relationship to the state and local REALTOR® associations, as well as other important, foundational knowledge.  

History of NAR
Learn more about NAR's founding, principles, and goals.

AE and Volunteer Leadership Relationships
This resource assists association executives to navigate the critical AE and Volunteer Leader relationship.

Board of Directors Resources:

Board of Directors Orientation Toolkit
With this toolkit, you can customize an orientation program that’s right for your board of directors and your association’s governance model.

Board Annual Self-Evaluation Login required
A supplement to the Board of Directors Orientation Toolkit, view a sample Board Annual Self Evaluation.

Introduction to Core Standards:

Core Standards 101 Course
This course provides an overview of the NAR Core Standards, which all associations must comply with as a condition of membership.

Core Standards Requirements
Local and state associations are responsible for communicating and describing the programs, products, & services of national & state associations.

Association Structure:

Association Models
Information about the three kinds of associations: administrative, management, and leadership.

NAR Constitution & Bylaws
Read or download the current Constitution and Bylaws of the National Association of REALTORS®.

President/AE Checklist
To get the volunteer/staff year off to a good start, both the AE and president need to define who will do what during the term.

Committee Liaisons
NAR's Liaisons and REALTOR® Party Directors help committees operate effectively and identify future committee leaders.

Leadership Team
The Leadership Team guides NAR's strategic direction and policymaking in such areas as legislation, professional standards, and business services.

Committee reports, appointments, structure, selection process, and more.

Executive Outreach Program
The Executive Outreach Program strengthens relationships between NAR, local/state associations, & MLSs through points of contact & partnerships.

NAR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Strategic Priorities:

NAR Strategic Plan
NAR's Strategic Framework and 2023-2025 Strategic Plan.

Creating a Value Proposition
One benefit of the strategic planning process is that it will help you create a value proposition statement for your association.

NAR's Mission, Vision, and Diversity & Inclusion statements, and what makes 1.5 million+ REALTORS® more than just real estate agents.

General Resources:

RARE Database - Resource for Associations
The REALTOR® Association Resource Exchange (RARE) Database is a hub for staff at local and state REALTOR® Associations to share information and resources relating directly to their work as REALTOR® association staff, including sample job descriptions, strategic plans, mission statements, policies, brochures, shared services, special initiatives, and much more.

Competition & Antitrust Information
REALTORS® provide a vibrant, healthy, and vigorously competitive real estate market with more information today than has ever been available.

NAR Library
NAR's Library & Archives offers a variety of research services and thousands of print and digital resources for use by NAR members.

NAR Partners:

REALTORS® Relief Foundation
This charitable foundation is dedicated to providing housing-related assistance to victims of disasters.

Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States.

The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment.

Second Century Ventures
Backed by the National Association of REALTORS®, we fuel success for our companies through unparalleled access to the global marketplace and a thriving community of industry executives, entrepreneurs and practitioners.

Accelerating the top technology companies into real estate and adjacent verticals.

Interpersonal Skills & Collaboration

Strengthen your leadership skills to maximize your effectiveness as a volunteer leader.

Leadership Skills: 

Sample Leadership Job Profiles
Familiarize yourself with the roles and responsibilities of elected leaders of state and local REALTOR® associations. 

R.E.A.L. (REALTORS® Excelling in Association Leadership) Course (online)
Learn the basics of volunteer leadership with this no-cost, self-guided online course.

REALTOR® L.E.A.D. (Learn Elevate Accelerate Deliver) Courses (live and online)
Four exciting new courses equip participants with the concepts, knowledge, and practices needed for effective association leadership.

Certifications and Designations: 

Real Estate Designations and Certifications
NAR offers designations and certifications for real estate professionals. Completing ongoing real estate education is a sign of experience and expertise. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

At Home with Diversity Course
The AHWD certification will teach you how to apply fair housing laws in your business and work in the increasingly multicultural real estate market.

Be an advocate for fair housing! Check out fairhaven.realtor — an online simulation training about discrimination in the homebuying process.

Implicit Bias Training
REALTORS® are committed to abiding by fair housing laws and the Code of Ethics. But sometimes, our brains take shortcuts that can lead us astray.

Overcoming Barriers Video
Watch an online workshop that helps real estate professionals confront and overcome unconscious biases that can prevent equal professional service.

Volunteer/Staff Relationships:

AE/Volunteer Relationship Toolkit
This resource assists association executives to navigate the critical AE and Volunteer Leader relationship.

Strengthening Staff Volunteer Relationships
Hear from Association Executives on techniques, tools and tips for aligning with your volunteer leaders, for a successful relationship and year!

Principles of Association Volunteer and Staff Leadership
These principles provide a shared set of positive aspirational principles of association leadership that include key characteristics and behaviors that define exceptional association leadership.

Working with Members:

Harmony Between Brokers and Associations
Direct input from AEs and large brokerages on furthering relationships.

Delivering Results

Make a difference at your association by creating measurable strategy and tapping into important resources.

Promoting the Association:

Social Media
NAR’s Social Media Ambassadors Program provides key REALTOR® advocates with content, developments, and success stories to share on social media.

Marketing Campaigns with Photofy
See a demo of Photofy and a walk-through of the process to deliver your association's branded, local assets to your members using the app.

Strategic Planning: 

Strategic Planning Resources Toolkit
This toolkit will assist your association in the strategic planning process.

Recruiting Volunteer Leaders:

Toolkit for Associations to Build Volunteer Leadership
A toolkit for Associations to build their volunteer leadership.

Utilizing Current Resources:

Awards and Grants
RPAC, Legal Action Program, Smart Growth Grants, Commercial Innovation Grants, and the REALTORS® Relief Foundation provide needed funding.

Placemaking Grants fund state and local REALTOR® association projects that create new, outdoor public spaces and destinations in a community on unused or underused sites.

Check with your state for additional localized grant opportunities.

Riding with the Brand
A nationwide, multi-stop member activation tour. Join us in your community for Riding with the Brand to drive home the REALTOR® difference!

Join the 2023 C2EX Broker Challenge and sharpen your team’s competitive edge.

Strategic Visioning

Prepare your association for the future by setting a long term strategic plan and collaborating with other volunteer leaders at important NAR events.

Strategic Planning & Business Planning:

Strategic Planning Resources Toolkit
Part of the Board of Directors Orientation Toolkit, regarding the passage of the Core Standards, and associations.

Strategic Plan Templates 
Templates of strategic plans and goals for small, medium, and large REALTOR® associations.

Core Standards Strategic Planning Facilitators

NAR’s Strategic Framework
Foundational pillars of NAR's Strategic Framework, Strategic Plan, and DEI Strategic Plan.

SWOT Analysis
The SWOT analysis is a structured planning method that evaluates the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a project.

Strategic Planning for AEs and PEs
Recorded as part of Leadership Summit, jump start your strategic planning & ensure you're prepared for the upcoming year.


Lawrence Yun’s Economic Reports
The National Association of REALTORS® provides the latest real estate research and statistics that affect the industry.

M1 Member Demographics/National Demographics

NAR HR Solutions
NAR's HR Solutions program provides the convenience of one-stop shopping for professional quality services and resources.

Research Reports
Use the data in these reports to improve your business through knowledge of the latest trends and statistics.