It was 8:45am on July 17th, 2017 right before we were about to conduct a full day session with the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors when I pulled aside Kent Cravens, CEO of GAAR and I said “You have an incredible facility.  I love the openness, the private rooms, and the technology capabilities in the classroom.  Can I show you something?”

Albuquerque Association of Realtors

We walked over to his private rooms set aside for members to conduct business and explained that these could easily be converted into huddle rooms used for broker outreach, private trainings, and non-dues revenue opportunities and that I would be explaining how these work in our session today.  Curious, intrigued, and determined to know more Kent sat in the session (which most CEOs say they are too busy).

Soon later, equipment was purchased, Zoom licenses were bought, and it set off a chain of events that are making the Greater Albuquerque Association the leader in the state for education, a strong alliance partner for the New Mexico Real Estate commission among other local boards who don’t have the operations to pull off a membership experience that is rare in association management today.

Professional Development Director Nathan Brooks is spear-heading the initiative along with  to live-stream membership forums, committee meetings, and other educational opportunities.  Watch this video as an example that has 546 views + the number of seated participants who received value.

Benefits to be realized:

  • Increase in engagement from membership who don’t know what GAAR does behind closed doors.
  • Increase in non dues revenues by live-streaming classes in a controlled environment.
  • Increase in younger, more tech-savvy members who want to learn more about how they can apply similar concepts in their business.
  • Increase in attendance for meetings by those who are restricted by tight schedules, travel, and geographic constraints.
  • Increase in non-dues revenue by renting the huddle room out to members who want to create a memorable experience for their clients.
  • Stronger partnership with the New Mexico Real Estate Commission and local boards who can rely on GAAR’s operations to execute.
  • More brokers for average office size of 10 receive more personalized attention for how they can maximize their participation and ROI from membership.
  • The quality of education is improved because there are more ways to transfer knowledge, increase accountability, and engage real-time with participants compared to traditional practice.

My first conversation with Kent lasted 5 minutes because there was a class to teach.  It’s mind-boggling how many times I’ve shared simple concepts for associations to innovate, dramatically create impact for their membership and excuses stack up fast on why they can’t.  It’s sad.  Frustrating.  And at times I want to give up on Realtor Associations because their decision-making process keeps them stuck in the weeds.  But then you run across a Kent and a Nate who take massive action, it makes it all worth the while.


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