How Small Real Estate Boards Can Provide Value


Heather Wiedrich

Audience members participate in the Small Board Forum discussion during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo on May 14, 2019.
REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo

During the Small Board Forum at the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, discussion focused on how some smaller associations fear dealing with mergers and consolidations, resulting in losing their MLS or their association completely. Many are partnering with larger neighboring associations and data-sharing to keep their local identity. Some vendors do not have an interest in selling services to smaller associations.

Associations need to focus on “what we do.” We must have a great value proposition for our members. We cannot keep our value set on data being the driving force of service. Keeping our autonomy is important but not at the risk of reducing benefits to our members.

During the meeting, I learned that one association has a budget line item for continuing education and offers free live classes. Their participation has increased, with up to 80 percent of their members now attending the live classes. Ideas were also shared about new member orientation and how other associations offer Code of Ethics training.

Another hot topic/question is, “How do you get the new members involved?” The best advice from the meeting is just ask them— and get them involved right early on. Ask them where their passions are to see where they would be a good fit. Some associations are starting a mentoring program to help.

Building revenue and affiliate recruitment rounded out the forum with association executives sharing what the do for their affiliates. Affiliate speed-dating, affiliate appreciation nights, and expos were some of the great ideas shared.

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