AEC Chair Report: An Exciting Year Ahead

By Mark Allen, AEC Chair

This will be a great year for real estate. Most of us are fortunate to work in real estate markets that are experiencing some growth. And our members are happy about that. Soon we will log more transaction units and volume per REALTOR® than we have seen for a long time.

With a growing market serving to support us, now is the time to tackle the challenges we all face in providing the services and tools that help our members meet the ever-changing needs of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers. It’s all about establishing and maintaining relevancy with those we serve.

Change is both our challenge and our opportunity. This is certainly reflected in the activities represented by entities such as the NAR REthink program and the Pinnacle Group.

The 2013 AEC will continue to focus our efforts to address the changing world we live in.

Before highlighting plans for 2013, I first want to thank Ginger Downs for the great role model she was to me as the 2012 AEC chair. At all times, Ginger led with grace, dignity, and smarts as we determined our priorities for the year, met with NAR leadership, and tackled the projects brought before us.

The 2012 initiatives accomplished by the AEC’s four workgroups—Structural Audit, Organizational Structures, Chief Staff Executive Review, and AE Mentor—were excellent. I encourage you to check them out at! My association has already made good use of the products of two of those workgroups.

I’m energized by serving on an AEC that is passionate about what we can achieve. I’m honored to be working with an association executive community that possesses so much talent and wisdom. Following are the AEC priorities we will focus on for 2013.

Strategic Planning Resource—This workgroup will develop strategic planning best practices that include resources, a facilitator directory, and strategies and methodologies to help associations navigate through the process.

Consumer Engagement—This workgroup will identify strategies and best practices that local associations can implement for greater consumer engagement and outreach, and provide a how-to resource guide that utilizes NAR consumer engagement tools and resources, all focused on benefiting REALTORS® in their business lives.

Online Membership Orientation—This workgroup will develop an online version of a local association membership orientation program.

AE Peer Review—This workgroup will research and identify the viability of an association peer-to-peer review process that provides an opportunity for associations to request a review of their operations and governance by the staff of other associations.

Pending the outcome, the workgroup will establish guidelines for such a program.

AE YPN Group—The YPN group will be tasked with providing idea-sharing and networking opportunities for younger AEs through the AE YPN Meet-ups at the AE Institute, Midyear Meetings, and Annual Conference; and identifying best practices that can help local and state associations establish or enhance YPN chapters.

Cheers to a rewarding 2013, where we overcome all our challenges and seize the day with all our opportunity!

Mark Allen, RCE, CIPS, CRS is CEO of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®. Contact him at 952-988-3134 or

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