Grow the Value of Your Volunteer Participation

N.Y. State Association CEO on getting and giving value to peers through the AEC.

Taking the helm of NAR’s AE committee in 2019 is just another way Duncan MacKenzie, RCE, is working to bring value back to his association through the ideas, viewpoints, and inspiration he gains from his fellow AEs, he says.

“Peer-to-peer interaction will make you a better AE, and participation at NAR is a large part of the value every AE should bring to her or his association,” says MacKenzie. “If you are not currently involved at NAR, get buy-in from your board and then take the leap.”

MacKenzie, a 2016 Bud Smith AE Leadership Society inductee, has served on the AEC’s REALTOR® Party Resources Work Group, the Chief Staff Review Work Group, the Large Broker Relationships Work Group, and many others over his 17 years in the REALTOR® family.

“It’s very humbling to be in a room with my fellow AEs. Not only is this a talented group, but egos are checked at the door and everyone is happy to share new programs and ideas. There’s great value in having a network of folks with common experiences who can get you through the tough times and help you celebrate the victories.”

Of course, MacKenzie’s main goal at the AEC is to serve and deliver new programs and resources to make all AEs better AEs.

An ongoing priority for the AE Committee is to develop programs and resources to enhance professional development opportunities for association staff and their volunteer leaders. New this year is an AEC Volunteer Leadership Advisory Board, comprised of both AEs and REALTOR® members, that will develop and maintain a comprehensive curriculum of professional development programming to groom, orient, train, and prepare volunteers for their REALTOR® association leadership roles. We know that our associations work best with a strong staff and volunteer leadership team at the helm.

MacKenzie says he’d like to focus his year leading the AEC on fostering greater collaboration between all levels of the organization, providing support for MLS consolidations, and making sure the 2019 restructuring of the AEC—splitting it into a committee and a separate AE forum to facilitate more AE participation—runs smoothly.

State Association Value Promise

Before becoming an association CEO, MacKenzie was a GAD and a professional lobbyist, so politics runs through his veins.

“Advocacy is certainly our bread and butter at NYSAR. Being situated as the middle partner, we are involved in national, state, and local efforts,” he says. “Ironically, states can be challenged to have members appreciate the value of our exceptional advocacy programs because we are victims of our own success. We spend our political resources stopping the bad ideas out there, so it is often difficult to have members truly appreciate what didn’t happen to them.”

“If you are not currently involved at NAR, get buy-in from your board and then take the leap.”

—Duncan MacKenzie, 2018 AE committee Chair

Even though many NYSAR’s political efforts may go unappreciated, its RPAC investment efforts are very successful.

“We are blessed with an active RPAC fundraising network that includes great partnerships with our local boards. RPAC investments through dues billing continue to be effective, and we have learned that fundraising starts with ‘fun.’ Events that incorporate a fun activity are far more successful than email or other passive solicitations.” NYSAR’s karaoke night and auction raised $50,000 for RPAC in one night.

State associations offer more value than just advocacy. “Our legal services are also highly valued, according to our surveys. New York, like many states, has an ever-changing regulatory landscape. Updating our members on the latest ‘dos and don’ts’ helps keep them out of jeopardy and saves them money.”

Join MacKenzie at the AE Committee meeting and forum at the REALTORS® ­Conference & Expo in Boston, Nov. 2, 9 a.m.–11 a.m., to learn more about bringing value back to your association.

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