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30 collaboration ideas for better member service and association efficiency

Administrative Service Partnerships

1. Collaborate with other associations to provide a National Realtors® Database System data entry or point of entry (POE) person.

2. Create a single membership system that services multiple associations and is accessed via the Internet.

3. Outsource administrative functions to a private management company or another association.

4. Work with a bank to simplify lockbox dues collection. Members send dues money directly to a bank lockbox; the bank transfers funds daily to the association’s account and provides detailed statements of transactions.

5. Obtain greater purchasing power for employee benefits and investments by pooling employee benefit plans with those of other associations or local groups.

6. Share one experienced, full-time AE between two small associations to provide part-time services for each.

7. Provide executive temp services for other associations, such as an AE who answers phones, e-mail, etc. (via electronic access to voice mail and Web mail accounts) for another AE who is on vacation or other type of leave.

8. Share professional consultants, such as attorneys and CPAs, with other associations.

9. Coordinate meetings so consultants representing different associations can meet collectively on a regular basis to share expertise and information.

10.Share association IT staff or work with IT staff from large local firms.

11. Collaborate on communication practices. Have local associations share a publication; state associations produce the local publications; local or state associations provide inserts for NAR’s Realtor® magazine; or have an outside company publish the publication at no cost in return for retaining all advertising revenue.

12. Partner with allied community organizations such as the local contractor’s association for reciprocal memberships, or exchange membership for services.

13. Share Web sites with other associations, MLSs, or newspapers.

14. Share the association’s facility space with a real estate school or rent space for local corporate training.
Convention Services Collaboration

15. Co-host meetings and multi-state conventions with other associations.

Education Partnerships

16. Co-host education seminars, online courses, continuing education training, designation courses, professional standards training, and leadership training where the speaker costs and revenues are shared.

17.Liaison with real estate commissions and licensing bodies to approve continuing education.

18. Ask affiliate members or local corporations to sponsor member education courses in return for exposure via “infomercials” during the course, promotion on the association’s Web site, logos on course materials, or networking time with members.

19. Participate in profit-sharing arrangements between local and state associations to sponsor education courses such as GRI.

Governance Sharing

20. Instead of merging, have a larger association handle the administrative and management services of one or more smaller associations, allowing them to maintain their own slate of officers who have representation on the umbrella association’s governing bodies. While these “council” associations are no longer chartered, they maintain their identity and provide opportunities for leadership recognition.
Government Affairs

21.Offer state association GAD services to local associations who share the expenses. The state also coordinates and facilitates the lobbying function.

22. Arrange to have the state association pay for the local association GAD (representing large metropolitan associations) to handle state and local issues.

23. Contract with a lobbyist who also represents other allied organizations such as Home Builders or the local chamber of commerce.

24.Hire a state association-sponsored RPAC fundraiser to assist with all local association fundraising efforts.

25.Supply issues mobilization funds at the national association level to provide support for state and local issues.

Leadership Training

26. Partner with local Society of Association Executives chapters for leadership training.

27.Arrange for state associations to offer regionalized volunteer leadership training.

28. With other associations, join-tly develop a leadership training program that can be licensed to other associations across the country.
Professional Standards

29. Arrange for state associations to administer professional standards services (comprehensive and menu-driven) for local associations.

30. Use hearing panels provided by state associations.

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