Rhonny Barragan

Catch up with Rhonny Barragan, VP of Strategic Alliances at NAR, and learn about how NAR REALTOR Benefits® puts more dollars into member pockets. Designed with member feedback, NAR REALTOR Benefits® seeks out and aligns with leading business partners to bring unique offers on products and services just for REALTORS®. Keep reading to learn what’s on the horizon for this year, and all the ways you can save by leveraging these new strategic partnerships. 

Rhonny, there has been a lot of buzz about the partnerships that NAR REALTOR® Benefits is bringing into the real estate marketplace. For some time now, it seems like NAR is leading the industry in providing custom-made solutions from leading business partners. Can you give us a sneak peek into what new deals our members can take advantage of in 2024?

Absolutely. Our driving force is seeing REALTORS® save money, make money, stay relevant, and deliver even better customer service. We’re a one-stop shop for all the essential resources that our members need. We're not concerned with what they think they need, or with what others are telling us our members need. We’re not going to tote some flashy new thing that may or may not be essential, or follow what others are doing simply because “everyone’s doing it”. We are committed to delivering our members the exact tools they need today and the resources they’ll need in the future.

We have some incredible new companies on the roster this year, offering our members discounts on everything from insurance to marketing tools, and more. RESAAS is an award-winning agent-to-agent networking platform for the real estate industry that is offering NAR members 50% off their first 3 months of membership. We also are partnering with IRAR Trust Company (IRAR) to offer NAR members, state/local association staff, and family members special rates for self-directed retirement plans. SnoopDrive is a top-rated auto warranty company that offers protection and products on perhaps our members’ most valuable business asset at an average of 50% off dealer pricing. And then Chirpyest is an up-and-coming social commerce platform where members can earn up to 30% cashback by monetizing their staged listings and curated finds. Lastly, we’re providing members in select states with a free 30-day trial to Blockrails™, a fraud-protection app that allows agents and buyers to safely interact and perform a secure earnest money deposit.

The best part about our program is that we add new partners on a near-monthly basis – rapidly expanding our members’ savings and delivering off-the-chart results.

What do you look for when forming new business partnerships?

We have incredibly high standards for all our partners. We only want to work with companies that provide top value for our members, essential tools and services that boost our members’ businesses, and that are known for their quality and customer service. If you see that someone is an NAR REALTOR Benefits® Partner, you can trust that they’ve been carefully vetted, align their goals with ours, and are truly the best at what they do.

One advantage of operating on an on-demand, first-to-market basis is that we can pivot as needed when addressing member needs. We address market issues as they come up and deploy solutions quickly. While others are scrambling to figure it out, we’ve already done the work and have the best system in place to build new partnerships. Our members expect it from us – it’s why they trust us.

How do pass-through deals benefit our members and their clients?

REALTORS® are so committed to elevated customer experience that we’ve found they often prefer solutions they can pass along to their clients, a sentiment they have been unapologetic about sharing with us.

Based on this feedback, we have worked with many of our partners “Passthrough Deals” that can be distributed among clients. 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, for instance, offers $50 off junk removal that members can share with clients as a closing gift, or a marketing promotion, or in some other creative way. Other partners are jumping on board with similar offerings as well.

There’s nothing better than being able to share something with your community and build good faith among your network.

How does your team collaborate with partners to develop exclusive promotions for NAR members?

We lean heavily on the data provided to us by our Customer Experience team to determine what our members are looking for in each new partnership. New agents, for instance, may have very different needs than an experienced agent or office manager. We work closely with all our partners to ensure they offer something that can work for everyone. We then tailor our communications to make sure our members understand how this deal benefits them, specifically.

We monitor the member value and routinely edit programs when necessary. What’s amazing today may not be tomorrow. We have a team in place that ensures our programs remain competitive and relevant.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your team? What do day-to-day business transactions look like in the NAR REALTOR Benefits® group, and why is your work essential to member success?

We’re small but mighty – I’m proud of the strong, purpose-driven men and women that I work with who love this industry. We may have differing opinions on the essential value of golf, pickleball, or long-distance running, the whole team is deeply passionate about real estate, home ownership, and the hard-working REALTORS® that we so proudly serve.

My team is comprised of two different groups that work closely together: The Partner Integration and Association Advocacy (PIAA) team and the Customer Experience (CX) team. The PIAA team manages all our partner relationships. They’re the ones who interface with companies like GE Appliances and Liberty Mutual to ensure our custom offerings are the best in the industry.

The Customer Experience team provides partners with valuable data on our members that is used to curate offerings and communications, so that each member is served the right deals for them at the most opportune time. CX is definitely our “secret sauce”.

Can you dive a little more into that? What makes CX so special?

We pride ourselves on knowing our members better than anyone else in the world. With CX, we concentrate on understanding member needs, and using that information to secure the right partners and products to propel member success. We utilize cutting-edge tech like AI and predictive analytics, as well as comprehensive feedback from surveys and focus groups, to view each member as an individual. At NAR, a member isn’t just one in 1.5 million. That member is a person that we want to reach and have a dialog with. If they don’t understand what tools are available to them and learn how to utilize them, how can they be sure they’re making the most of their NAR membership?