One benefit of having three distinct layers of REALTOR® associations is the competition it creates and the innovation that results. If you weren’t already aware, we have a lot of smart and creative colleagues. Working with my AEs from across the nation, I am always learning about new programs and practices that can help increase the value of membership in my state. I’ve never been turned down by a fellow REALTOR® AE when requesting information about a new idea, and I bet you haven’t, either.
In this edition of REALTOR® AE magazine, we look back on some of the great ideas from the past and offer a few new ones for your consideration. Our members expect us to be dynamic, but they never said we had to do it on our own. Thanks to all the AEs who shared the innovations in these pages.
There are several REALTOR® and association partnerships now working on important topics you need to watch. I’ve been fortunate to participate in some of these efforts, and it is reassuring to see the cooperative spirit that exists between our members and NAR state and local associations when focused on a common goal.
One initiative is a discussion on the best way to facilitate our members learning and living the Code of Ethics. The goal of the COE training is to promote more ethical activity in the real estate transaction. The method of successfully accomplishing this, however, is less cut-and-dried. NAR Leadership formed a Code of Ethics Presidential Advisory Group to address this issue. The PAG has not formulated any recommendations yet, but there is a good faith effort to recognize the administrative burdens and practical challenges of the current program and facilitate an open and honest dialogue about possible options going forward.
There are also joint REALTOR® and staff discussions about RAMCO. RAMCO was “created by AEs for AEs” as there was a great need for a robust association management system. The recently approved NAR 2020 budget includes funding for taking RAMCO’s productivity to the next level and providing an improved customer experience with expanded training efforts. I think we all welcome the recognition that RAMCO can and should be the best tool for recording and managing membership data.
The Association Executives Committee currently is overseeing its first advisory board that includes members along with AEs. The Volunteer Leadership Advisory Board has embarked on the task of helping associations with the constant challenge of developing and training the next generation of REALTOR® leaders.
What I see most in my participation in the NAR PAGs and working groups that include members and AEs is a clear display of mutual respect, empathy, cooperation, and innovation. If there were ever barriers that separated us in the past, they are most certainly gone today. For as Benjamin Franklin once said, “If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.”
In closing, I would like to recognize Janet Cane, RCE, CAE, CEO of the MetroTex Association of REALTORS® in Texas, who will serve as the 2020 AEC vice chair. Janet will join Chair John Sebree, RCE, CEO at Missouri REALTORS®, as a great leadership team representing you at NAR.