doing more with less

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A presentation created for several state associations of Realtors as a part of my presentation to their state seminars for their local association executives.


  • 1. Doing more with less Managing associations in times of economicuncertainty JWL Associates

2. REALTOR Association Management JWL Associates 3. What we know about real estate today

  • Undergoing transformation
  • Members revising job descriptions
  • Members have personal finance anxiety
  • Brokers reinventing brokerage practices

JWL Associates 4. What we know about associations today

  • Members have a different profile, though leaders may not
  • Dues are a declining source of income
  • Traditional Real Estate associations have less relevance to members and consumers

JWL Associates 5. Combine the two: what are ouropportunitiesas real estate association managers

  • Better management techniques
  • Sophisticated tracking tools for programs, services
  • Redesigned association structure
  • More relevant and income producing associationgood and services
  • Less expensive tools to meet our challenges

JWL Associates 6. Better Management Techniques FOCUS! JWL Associates 7. In Association Management? JWL Associates 8. 1. Manage Abundance

  • Businesses like airlines and Broadway theaters profit from controlling the scarcity of their product. But the Internet kills scarcity. Google understands how to benefit from abundance. Get more customers, more members, more data, more product.Dont be limited to your physical location.

JWL Associates 9. Abundance Ideas

  • Affiliate members
    • Suppliers of products, advertising, education
  • Public members
    • Newsletters, information, products
  • Public products
    • Website for consumers
    • Investors Club or Forum
    • Data sales
    • Education (ways to access the home sale info, protest taxes, participate in planning and zoning)
  • Management services (related organizations like affordable housing)
  • Business partner fees (chamber of commerce, homebuilders)
  • On-line education providers

JWL Associates 10. Premium Content:Provide your members with basic industry news on your Web site, but earn extra revenues by creating premium content levels for those members who need the most timely and updated information. Targeted News:By making targeted, handcrafted, relevant newsfeeds a vital part of your member-support system, prospective members have a unique, vital and timely reason to affiliate with your association. You can make a difference for them, and that's exactly the reason to join a professional or industry association.Check out Blanche Evans e-zine. Possible fundraising, regionally tailored news JWL Associates 11. 2. Give up Control

  • Companies need to give up control to outsiders to reap the benefits of their input. Google does this through beta launches and other user feedback. Dell tried a similar tack in 2007, after a flood of criticism over poor customer service. CEO Michael Dell launched a Web site to get customers' ideas, and Dell executives reached out online to bloggers.

JWL Associates 12. Here Comes Everybody

  • Beta Test program for all innovations (people love being beta testers)
  • Never launch a communication without customer input and product review
  • New ideas, 24/7online suggestion box

JWL Associates 13. Discover new products and services

  • New members have new ideas
  • New businesses for associations
  • Discover new income, including new members

JWL Associates 14. Redesign your Governance

  • The board will govern with an emphasis on (1) outward vision rather than internal preoccupation, (2) encouragement of diversity in viewpoints, (3) strategic leadership more than administrative detail, (4) clear distinction of board and CEO (manager) roles, (5) collective rather than individual decisions, (6) future rather than past or present, and (7) proactivity rather than reactivity.--Carver

JWL Associates 15. 3. Get Out of the Way

  • Google doesn't tell people how to use its search engine or what to look for. It lets people take control of its technology. Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, lets people use the classifieds service in any way they can imagine

JWL Associates 16. Get out of the Way Ideas

  • Realtor want ads board on your web site ($)
  • Feature Listing ads on your web site ($)
  • Help wanted and employment ads ($)
  • Idea forums and information exchanges
  • Public questions about real estate
  • Reciprocal linking to association website, member websites, other community websites

JWL Associates 17. 4. Lower Prices

  • Google doesn't charge people to use its search engine. In fact, the fastest-growing Net companiesfrom Google and Skype to Amazon and eBaydon't charge what the market will bear. They charge as little as they can bear. Dont nickel and dime yourself out of customers.
  • Look forrelatedincome opportunitiesclick through ads, enhanced subscriptions levels, sponsorships

JWL Associates 18. Free is better Ideas

  • 1. Do have a clear idea of your core (dues dollar) services
  • 2. Make sure your dues cover the costs of these. Then, market them.
  • 3. Menu price everything else. Then market those items.
  • 4. Identify and market your freebies.Let members know what they are.

JWL Associates 19. Todays Gift Economy

  • Gift economy includes open source, the Internet, scientific knowledge sharing, much foundation and NGO work, blogs, file sharing and a host of other 'price-less' exchanges of value.

JWL Associates 20. Return on Investment Management JWL Associates 21. Eliminate what we dont need

  • Legacy programs and services
  • Programs that dont use technology efficiency
  • Loud Member programs


  • What do you have thats a specialized product that you might provide to new markets?
    • Data and data analysis
    • Trade shows
    • Management expertise (other associations)
    • Education (public and professional)
    • Audience for advertising activities (members)
    • MLS Access
    • Subcontracted brokerage assistance (call centers, etc)
    • Facility rental and function planning

JWL Associates 23. 1. Monetizing your Association Website

  • Affiliate Membership fees and online registrations
  • Shopping Cart approach
  • PayPal
  • Job boards
  • Newsletter sponsorships (not ads)
  • Courses such as e-pro
  • Banner ads, click through ads

JWL Associates 24. 2. Affinity Partners offer members discounted rates on services

  • Local (rather that state or national)
  • Sign a letter of understanding outlining the agreement, any conditions, and an ending date for the partnership.Quality assurance.
  • Ask if theyd like to participate in sponsorships of events, education, scholarships, etc.
  • Memberships(Chamber) buy one, get one half-price
  • Other opportunities (nametags, lockboxes)

JWL Associates 25. Non-dues Revenue Resources

  • Evaluating & Generating Nondues Income by ASAEMember/Non-member Price: $33.50
  • 75 Chamber Fund Raisers That Work!Cost: $79.
  • Economic Strategy for Associations

JWL Associates 26.

  • Bundled sponsorship options: The North Carolina Association of Realtors, Greensboro, has consolidated its sponsorship solicitations so that it no longer seeks funds for an unpredictable mix of events throughout the year. Instead, NCAR asks sponsors for annual support at their choice of four levels, from $1,500 to $10,000. NCAR's Business Development Department handles the sponsorships plus the trade show, advertising, and affinity program. Benefits to sponsors:They much prefer being asked for money once, which makes for less confusion and simpler budgeting. Benefits to the association:Staff finds once-a-year solicitations easier and more efficient. Bottom line: Net annual sponsorship revenue:$75,000 (compared to $15,000 four years ago).Start-up costs:$3,000.Staff time:The business development director spends about half of his time on sponsorships.

JWL Associates 27. Online auction :To help its members learn more about a potential money-making technique while raising funds itself, the National PTA, Chicago, conducted its first online auction in February 2004. The auction included items ranging from school supplies to tropical vacations--all available at lower-tha