We know from studies conducted at ASAE and other sources that members join an association for two overarching reasons: for their personal benefit and for the good of the profession.
Yesterday, a real life story helped me put my arms around a sometimes-intangible benefit called legislative affairs. Most associations consider governmental or legislative affairs a primary member benefit. How to explain this in a way the newest member can understand?
My husband, Dan Sight, a commercial REALTOR®, flew from Kansas to Washington, DC at the request of the National Association of REALTORS® to speak to the United States Senate subcommittee on banking about the state of the commercial real estate market.
The lobbyists prepped him, got him to the Senate Chamber on time, because they wanted a REALTOR®, not a lobbyist to “testify”.
Before I go any further, remember that we should focus on three important decisions before starting to write:
– Who is your target audience?
– What does the news means to them?
– What is the goal of the message?
Here is what I would say to every commercial member of an association about the value of being a member of the National Association of REALTORS®:
Have you ever wondered about the power of an organization with 1.1 million members to a commercial REALTOR®?
Today, the Senate subcommittee on banking heard from Dan Sight, Chair of the Commercial Committee of NAR, about the state of commercial real estate lending. Dan is not an officer of NAR; he is just a caring, involved volunteer leader who supports his industry and his fellow practitioners.
The meeting provided a direct line of communication from the real estate industry to government officials – efforts that will sustain the viability of the business for all members. In other words, conversations like this can change the future for the better for your profession, your buyers, renters, and sellers. It can change banking laws, lending laws, taxes, and other conditions that affect the commercial real estate market and your ability to be successful.
If you were an 80,000-member commercial association (and not part of NAR), you may not have a seat at the table.
– The target audience – commercial members
– What the news means to them – the association influences important decisions for their business
– The goal of the message – to explain the power of a collective membership in fighting for members.
Whether your industry is real estate or not, this link is just as important in your association. Explain local member benefits and national activities. Link them to what members want and need. This is a clear and direct way that might just get through to busy, distracted, and sometimes indifferent members.