Loyalty … It’s what we work for!

by Chris Studebaker

Is brand loyalty really a thing for local REALTOR® associations? REALTORS® work every day to promote themselves and their brokerages to clients, prospective clients and the communities in which they live, work and play. Once you have built up your brand, you continue to reinforce your brand proposition that, in turn, manifests into brand loyalty. You work hard at building and maintaining it. Then you find out a client you worked with as a listing agent once and a buyer’s agent twice, just listed their house with another agent because they are moving to another state and the agent they used in Texas recommended someone in Chicago. You were a great agent for them. You received great reviews for the service you provided. Through no fault of your own, they were gone. But what about the brand loyalty that you built and cultivated with them over the years? This happens to your local REALTOR® Associations all the time. There are many reasons agents change brokerage affiliation, but often, agents don’t inquire if their new brokerage is a member of their current association. You know the association I am talking about, the association they put their blood, sweat, tears and countless hours volunteering for over many years.

Member loyalty begins with association loyalty. As a member of an association, you should know that if you honor the Code of Ethics, pay your dues and advocate for your profession (RPAC, professional development, networking) with a reasonable amount of competence and effort, your association will support you. The REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley (RAFV), and many local associations, are member-driven associations. Associations run on member input and direction. A key component for RAFV is a member loyalty survey conducted every three to four years. The survey results give great insights to improve service and offerings, as well as drive sustainable change. Our survey results are critical components to the members of the strategic planning committee in setting the strategic direction for the association.

RAFV and many other local associations continuously strive to provide education and opportunities for our members to grow and thrive in this profession. We promote our brand, and the REALTOR® brand, which in turn promotes you as a professional. We provide leadership training to help you develop those skills and give you the tools to run for elected office, help in your community or hold a leadership position at your local, state or national associations.

When leaders throughout an organization take an active and genuine interest in the members and volunteers they serve, when they invest real time to understand members at a fundamental level, they create a climate for greater morale, loyalty and growth. When you live the mission and vision of your local association, you deserve the opportunity to participate in it to the greatest extent possible. At RAFV, our vision is to keep REALTORS® at the heart of real estate. RAFV’s mission is serving our members, elevating professionalism, strengthening communities and advocating for private property rights.

Continuing your participation in the association of your choice is an extremely important choice. To help maintain your local association membership even with the transitioning to a new brokerage, speak with your managing broker about becoming a secondary member of your preferred local association. In the case of RAFV, there are a variety of benefits to this solution:

• Access to the professional network you developed with RAFV.

• Free continuing education – 12 free hours of CE to stay up to date and further expand your knowledge.

• Additional tools, such as ForeWarn and Safe Showings, to complement your sales initiatives.

• Free use of lockboxes.

Similar to brand loyalty, member loyalty is a critical component to the ongoing success of all REALTOR® associations. Your input is vital to keep the association apprised of changes and opportunities in the community and allows the association to proactively advocate for you and all members. Retaining your membership allows you to leverage the tools and relationships necessary for sustainable professional growth and maintain your influence with the staff and leadership of the association.

Chris Studebaker is the CEO of the the REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley.

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