I loved the storytelling theme that wove its way through our recent NAR Leadership Summit in Chicago. It really speaks to our theme this quarter of how our associations need to communicate value and relevance to our members. Our leaders and staff need to be able to tell our story in order to build a membership that wants to belong, as opposed to one that thinks it has to belong.
We heard many powerful stories on stage during the Summit and I’m sure I am not the only one who started looking internally. I thought about my own story and that of my organization. How can we as AEs make sure that our organization’s story is powerful, and our existence is substantiated? What should we consider as we deploy our storytellers?
For years, the Scottsdale Association of REALTORS® has been teaching members how to answer the question: Why use a REALTOR®? We’ve taught how to deliver a strong value message and how to be prepared to articulate their importance as a trusted adviser, especially when new and innovative business models enter the marketplace and bolster the competition. I believe that those agents who can not only show their value but tell the story of what made them want to be a REALTOR®, how they have been shaped and formed as a person, and why they are passionate about serving their clients will survive and thrive. Associations also must have this ability.
Yet it is important to recognize that not all leaders and staff members are comfortable with storytelling, so we must tap those who know how to tell our story with passion and excitement—those who can take a simple experience (such as attending an association event) and tell it so that you feel their enthusiasm and relive it with them.
Telling our story with social media, email, and video is sometimes necessary, but I think most of us agree that storytelling is best done face to face. Send your storytellers out among the masses with details about new services or exciting training opportunities and let them tell our story. Through office visits and community and association events, take every opportunity to imbue your value messaging with storytelling.
I hope you enjoy this issue of REALTOR® AE magazine and the sharing from our peers. I look forward to our meetings in Boston and building upon our stories as association executives.