Are You Thinking Like a Member?

In my first REALTOR® AE magazine column, I introduced four goals that the National Association of REALTORS®’ Association Executives Committee hopes to achieve this year in partnership with the AE community—all with an end game of “Meeting Members Where They ‘R’.” Arguably, the first of those goals, “Enhance Member Engagement & Experience,” lies at the core of our role as AEs. To do this effectively, we must challenge ourselves to walk in our members’ shoes and think like a member.

We can best support our REALTOR® members by understanding the dual nature of the services and resources they need: those that serve members’ client-related interests and those that address how they run their business.

Businesswoman sitting on steps with laptop talking on phone

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Ask yourself: “What is the life cycle of a REALTOR®-client relationship, and do we add value every step of the way? Are our resources accessible and aligned with their prospecting, engagement, showing, and transaction processes?”

Similarly, are members aware of the benefits we offer related to establishing, maintaining, and building their business and raising the bar on professionalism?

We must do the research to understand where our members are in their business life cycle and what’s happening in the industry and marketplace that will impact their success. What new tools and resources are evolving to help take them to the next level? At what stage of their client or business development processes will these be most beneficial?

Armed with this information, we should deliver it—and all association resources—in ways designed to reach members on their terms. Once we accomplish this, then we are truly adding value to our members’ bottom line.

In this issue, we also explore ways to enhance value for affiliate members. By demonstrating how the association can help them meet REALTOR® members where they are, we create a positive outcome for all. By thinking like an affiliate member, we can help these members recognize how their services fit in at each stage of a REALTOR®’s client- and business-driven work and understand how best to engage with the association for optimal reach.

Finally, consider how our advocacy efforts might be more effective if we think like a legislator. Our REALTOR® and affiliate members are legislators’ constituents in communities throughout the country. Whether the Capitol is right in your backyard or 3,000 miles away, we can localize the issues to also create meaning and value for our REALTORS®, affiliates, and buyers and sellers. Putting a local or regional face on national issues can go a long way toward meeting our legislators where they are. Together, we can help to build strong communities.