Realtor Association Gives Members a New Place to Meet

A new “internet café” at the office of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors gives members a spot to meet privately with clients or simply unwind when they’re in the neighborhood.

In an effort to serve members who are always on the go and spend a lot of time meeting with clients, the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors (GLAR) cut the ropes on a new meeting space at the association’s headquarters this week.

“We recognize, with real estate professionals, a lot of the time they’re meeting at Starbucks or Panera with clients,” said Lisa Stephenson, executive vice president at GLAR. “Meanwhile, we’re pretty centrally located and have this nice facility, so we wanted to find a way to make it more user-friendly and make it a benefit for our members.”

To do that, the group converted some existing space occupied by GLAR’s retail store into what Stephenson called an “internet café” with 1,800 square feet of meeting space.

“We structured the space so member members can access it from 8am to 9pm without accessing the remainder of the building,” she said. “They can come in, meet with their clients, or if they’re just in the neighborhood and need a space to work, they can come in there and help themselves and make themselves comfortable.”

The retail store didn’t go away, however: “We’re keeping a lot of our inventory in a storage area, so we might have two or three of a particular product on display as opposed to the six or seven we had on display before,” Stephenson said.

While real estate agents likely have a “home base” office of their own, said Stephenson, GLAR’s facility will provide another option if the member agent is out and about traveling, or if a client needs a more convenient meeting place. “There’s a small conference room that seats six, so if they need a space more private than a coffee shop, where they can shut the door and meet, they can do that,” she added.

The space includes wireless printers, café tables, and a barstool area with plenty of outlets for visitors to use. GLAR installed a few PCs for members who don’t travel with their own.

The decision to convert the space came down to what was best for members. But it provides an advantage for GLAR, too.

“We’re a member organization,” Stephenson said. “It’s just an additional way to extend service to them. And when they’re coming in to use the space it’s just another opportunity for us to say, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ and build those relationships. That’s always great.”

Images of the space (including the one used above) can be seen on Flickr.

(photo by Jeremiah Butts)

Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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