What’s Your Tech Investment?

The first NAR survey of association use of technology tracks programs, products, hurdles, and success stories.

[Access the Survey Results Here]

From offering members transaction management services to establishing a T1 internet connection, Realtor® associations of all sizes advanced their use of technology in 2004. According to the the National Association of Realtors®’ first technology survey of associations conducted in March, associations are also sending out more e-newsletters and providing more online education then ever before, while struggling with battling spam and finding ways to secure members’ listing data online.

More than 275 Realtor® associations took part in the survey and shared their technology successes and challenges in 2004 and their plans for 2005.

The charts that follow detail what technologies associations are using and what their technology priorities are, but the most revealing data from the survey came from the stories of progress and frustration that association executives shared. Here are just a few.

* We replaced our existing server, backup system and firewall and upgraded to Microsoft’s 2003 Small Business Server. Currently, we are strengthening the network to handle the installation of a new Cisco IP phone system in the next couple of months. --Reggie McCrary, Atlanta Board of Realtors®

* We finally un­veiled our new Web site. We hope to continue to en­hance it to improve communication with our members as well as enable our members to communicate better among themselves. --Karan Ford, Fort Wayne Area Association of Realtors®, Ind.

* [We] generated 423,000 leads to HAR members at no additional cost with our enhanced member Web site subscription program . --Bob Hale, Houston Association of Realtors®

* [We] established a private member side of our Web site for future payments, education, calendars, e-voting, and communication. Added a T-1 line for productivity and efficiency. --Frank Bemis, Northern Solano County Association of Realtors®, Calif.

* [We] educated members on the importance of keeping up with the changes in technology, such as virus protection and spyware. --Patricia Nieboer, West Central
Association of Realtors®, Mich.

* We established a political call-to-action ­portal where members can send letters or e-mails called Action Alerts! to political representatives. --Cynthia Hooker, Vermont
Association of Realtors®

* We totally revamped our Web site, employing asset management software to administer the Web site along with exporting agent/office info from our MLS database. --Paula Gilbert, Wichita Falls Association of Realtors®, Kan.

* We’re updating our 24-station computer training lab to a wireless environment using a Citrix Thin Client system. --Kathy Roberts, Realtor® Association of Greater Miami & the Beaches

* We offered Electronic Transaction Manage­ment System to all Realtors® in the state for $7.50 per transaction. --Jacqueline Parkinson, Kona Board of Realtors®, Hawaii

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