Engage us, please.What’s an organization to do to maintain relevance to its paying members and the general public? What if the current presidential campaigns ignored Web 2.0 (whatever that means)? The same thing that’s happening to the National Association of Realtors – they’d lose the public’s confidence.
Take this comment from a Virginia Realtor last week in an excellent conversation about Realtor PAC money:
I think this discussion illustrates the chasm that is developing between the generations in America. It is my opinion that the main issue does come down to communication. Some people, myself included, will not accept the current explanation of what RPAC does, or whom it supports. The value proposition of past accomplishments and supporting all Realtors is no longer enough. The newer generations look at raffles for vacations or quotas or your name in a program as a deceptive way to generate contributions. If it is such a good cause and it does so much good for all realtors, why do we have to be tricked into giving.
The younger generations have no problem giving to causes but they need to know everything about the cause, all the players involved, the consequences if the cause is defeated and they must be able to have open discussions about these things before any contributions are made. If you want the younger generations to contribute and get involved, you need to be more transparent, more open, and more engaging.
There are links to websites but the websites are old and static. Take some of the money that has been contributed and build something reflects how important the RPAC really is. Bring it out from the back rooms.
It’s not that we don’t trust the National Association of Realtors (ok, many don’t with justification). It is that they don’t engage us on our own turf. What if Obama or Hillary or John or Mike did nothing to market themselves and their respective messages other than run elaborate and expensive print ads? What if they ignored those voting for them who spoke the truth? What if they ignored the netroots?
Here’s food for thought –
– I don’t have a landline.
– The only reason I have a phonebook is because it was delivered, unsolicited, to my house by a non-phone-company company and I haven’t recycled it yet.
– I canceled my subscription to the Wall Street Journal but still pay for online access.
– I don’t read Realtor Magazine unless somebody brings an article to my attention (typically via a blog). NAR could save us all money by not sending it to those who don’t want it.
– I don’t watch television news unless it’s a clip on YouTube or some other site.
– I block web ads. I am far more likely to trust something or someone because of what they say, not because they figured out how to do a banner ad.
And I consider myself old at 32! However – I represent the next generation of leaders within NAR, assuming NAR doesn’t irreparably alienate Gen X and Gen Y. Don’t miss Pat’s relevant post about today’s consumer titled Culture 2.0: the end of Arrogance; it should be required reading for anybody seeking to be successful in today’s world. We are in the midst of a cultural shift; NAR is baby-stepping its way along, but Realtors and consumers need more.
As Realtors, we are constantly defending the value proposition we bring to the clients’ equation; NAR needs to do the same for its membership. Take note that print media generally doesn’t fall into that equation, and it’s declining rapidly. Communication is a two-way street.
The fact that two comments by Dale Stinton, CEO of NAR, warranted a story on Inman’s blog speaks volumes to how out of touch the NAR is perceived to be.
Try to earn our trust. Engage us. Don’t ignore us. One day, we just might be in charge.