A move to belonging to the Association

By Ryan Castle
CEO of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®

A majority of you joined the Association in one way: your broker told you to go to the Association and become a REALTOR®. We never sold you on membership, we never toldyou about the benefits, and you didn’t make a conscious choice to be a part ofthe Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®, but rather you justjoined. As such, we’ve fostered a culture where you join the Association rather than belong to it.

We are now embarking on a path to change that. The aim is to provide tools and resources that matter to you and to get to a place where many of you will look towards the Association as a resource and support network that helps you grow your business, connect with your colleagues, foster better relationships with your clients, and in the end, effects a positive impact in the real estate industry on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.

If you click here, you’ll see an overview of the Association’s new Strategic Plan. The plan is focused on the Association, and you will notice that it doesn’t mention or represent the MLS. That is because the Association and the MLS are separate organizations. Because they have different goals, missions, and resources, it is important to keep an independent focus on each, so that plans can be carried out for both separately, in regards to strategy and goal setting and achievement.

In the world REALTOR® associations, the main discussion focuses the articulation of the value proposition on being a member of a REALTOR® association. I’m not a fan of that discussion. I think this focus misses a key point — executing and delivering the value proposition to members. Associations must improve, and when they do so, their members will see the benefits and choose to belong.

Through a collaborative process, with input from focus groups, email surveys, and a strategic planning work group, we’ve defined our value proposition: To provide the tools and resources necessary to make you a better REALTOR® and help you serve your clients in an ethical manner, to provide information about the buying and selling process to the public, to be the source of real estate statistical information, and to promote the value of homeownership, as well as the benefits of using a REALTOR®. We want REALTORS® to become community leaders, and we will assist in these efforts by refreshing the core skills needed to complete real estate transaction and by engaging our brokers and managers in a more uniform and informative process. Now that the plan has been defined, CCIAOR will focus on action, execution, and delivery.

I hope, through following this achievable plan with measurable objectives, over the next three to five years, we can move the needle and create a membership base that belongs because you see value, not just join because someone told you to.