A standing-room-only crowd was on hand as members of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Strategic Planning Committee revealed a report Tuesday afternoon that summarized the results of a year’s worth of REThink sessions.
Released at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., the report was compiled from 16 workshops across the country in an effort to answer the question over the future of NAR in uncertain times.
“I’m glad to see that we had a small enough room for this crowd,” joked NAR 2013 President Gary Thomas. He said he was thankful for the enthusiasm, adding that broad engagement is what makes the REThink report special. “It’s coming from the members rather than a small, insular group.”
The event was so widely attended that the committee added a second session Wednesday, May 15, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern at the Omni Shoreham hotel.
The report distilled responses from 4,500 individuals who used these workshops to come up with actions that individual real estate professionals, industry players, and NAR can undertake to stay relevant in the changing world of real estate. But this was not just an exercise of pulling the curtain back on data.
“We’re here to ask your feedback,” said Strategic Planning Committee Chair Shannon W. King. “We want you to agree that these are the right issues.”
Some of the many items discussed at Tuesday’s event were “big data” issues, industry collaboration, the opening up of association leadership positions, and more. Two suggestions that garnered widespread applause among attendees were increasing professional standards for members and “taking back realtor.com,” as one facilitator quoted from the report. Continue reading »
Many of NAR’s initiatives to help keep REALTORS® at the center of the real estate transaction despite the flood of change that’s surrounded the industry over the years have come from NAR’s strategic planning efforts. NAR’s Second Century Ventures is a great example of the kind of forward-looking thinking that comes out of strategic planning . Second Century Ventures is a venture capital fund whose mission is to harness cutting-edge technology like the lockbox technology from SentriLock and the commercial data technology of Xceligent for the long-term benefit of REALTORS®.
Today, NAR is innovating in the strategic planning process itself. With the goal of tapping the insight of REALTORS® across the country, in small markets and large, NAR earlier this year launched an effort to “crowdsource” the development of its next strategic plan through REThink the Future of Real Estate. With this initiative, NAR’s Strategic Planning Committee will be writing the association’s next long-term plan with the help of as many as 20,000 association members. At workshops across the country, members can share their ideas of where they expect to see their industry in the near- and long-term future and what kinds of tools they think they’ll need to stay successful, even if the landscape looks very different than what it does today.
The first of these workshops have already been held, and more will be held at the 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando next month. More will be held through the balance of 2012 and into 2013. The workshops are scheduled to wrap up in May. At that point, the Strategic Planning Committee will take everyone’s input from the workshops and use that as raw material for writing its plan.
The result will be for the first time a roadmap for the future that reflects the direct input from a significant share of REALTORS®.
Getting perhaps as many as 20,000 NAR members to participate over the next six months or so will be a challenge. But based on the experience of NAR members who’ve participated in the workshops so far, participation is time well spent. Participants say the workshops are stimulating and thought-provoking and have changed the way they think about and plan for the future in their own business. That in itself has been worth the couple of hours they invested in the process, they say.
If you’re interested in participating , you can see if there’s a workshop planned in your area by looking under the “Events” tab at the initiative’s website, www.REThinkFuture.com. If you don’t see one in or near your area, you can check with your local association to see if its planning to host one. If it’s not, you might suggest it consider doing so. Shortly, you’ll be able to participate entirely online, separate from the local workshops. Look for that option at www.REThinkFuture.com shortly after the 2012 REALTORS® Conference in November.
You can get a look at how the REThink initiative works, and see the different ways the future is discussed at the workshops, in the 5-minute video above.
After going through the major political, economic and technological shifts of the past decade, many real estate professionals are probably asking themselves, “When is business going to get back to normal?” And the answer is never — if “normal” is defined as a market that operates similar to the one that existed before 2001.
If the discussions at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Leadership Summit yesterday afternoon in Chicago were any indication, the changes over the next few years could come faster — and hit the industry harder — than the ones experienced during the boom and bust of the previous decade.
About 1,600 association executives, real estate practitioners, and brokers shared their ideas on what’s next for real estate as part of a REThink session, NAR’s new “open source” strategic planning initiative. REThink aims to involve tens of thousands of REALTORS® across the country in high-level conversations about how to adapt to many different futures for the industry. To accomplish this, NAR is presenting various plausible scenarios that have been generated through consumer research, as well as fostering discussions among large groups of members and real estate experts about those hypotheticals.
These scenarios include:
Ostrich: The leaders of associations count on what they already know, while consumers migrate over to so-called “Big Data” providers of real estate information on the Web. Members see their associations as out of touch, and leave in droves.
Beauty and the Beast: Many new real estate brands come into being, and old ones reinvent themselves. The housing market comes roaring back in some places, while others remain depressed, contributing to a growing wealth divide. Continue reading »