Realtors Association Hits the Road to Meet Members

The National Association of Realtors’ 50-state “Riding With the Brand” tour is designed to reconnect with members and address advocacy goals.

Through 2023, the National Association of Realtors plans (NAR) on taking the idea of “meeting members where they are” literally, hitting the road to connect with members one-on-one at conferences and advocacy events.

The nationwide tour, called Riding With the Brand, kicked off last November as a way for the association to meet in-person with stakeholders—a habit that was disrupted by COVID-19. NAR has acquired a motor coach and plans to use it at various stops on the tour, which is slated to visit every U.S. state by the end of 2023. 

Thus far, Riding With the Brand has made stops at conferences in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and last week, it was the centerpiece of an event at Phoenix’s Major League Baseball park, Chase Field, where NAR hosted 500 attendees and state legislators to discuss housing issues, which are particularly acute in Arizona. 

But there’ll be plenty to discuss at every stop: According to NAR, the United States currently has a shortfall of 6 million housing units, and one goal of the tour is to spark conversations about affordable ways to close the gap.

NAR 2023 President Kenny Parcell said the association conducted a similar tour about a decade ago, focused on legislative initiatives. Advocacy is an element of this initiative as well, he said, but member outreach is a critical element of this go-around too. “Our goal is to visit with, solicit feedback from, and provide support to the tens of thousands of NAR members with whom we’ll engage throughout this year,” he said.

According to NAR, the United States currently has a shortfall of 6 million housing units.

Within NAR, the tour is managed by the association’s member experience, engagement, and legal department, which combines a variety of member support services. But NAR also wanted its membership to be involved in the process, Parcel said. It asked each state association to apply for a grant to host a Riding With the Brand event that would best satisfy the needs of local members. Most will wrap around state legislative sessions; for instance, events next month in Colorado, North Dakota, Kentucky, and Arkansas are timed and located around state capitol activity.

“Given the scope of the overall initiative, we’re relying on the cooperation and collaboration of NAR volunteer leaders and staff members,” Parcell said. Members of NAR’s marketing, finance, and advocacy staff are also providing support, he added.

Parcel didn’t cite specific legislative goals for the tour, or numbers of members the tour hopes to connect with. But he said that what NAR calls a “member activation tour” is designed to gather plenty of feedback from members on the ground, while promoting the value of connection with NAR. “[We want to] better engage Realtors and emphasize their opportunities to strengthen market conditions for U.S. consumers,” he said. “We will work to ensure this initiative does just that, and we will solicit regular feedback from our staff, members, and partners nationwide to further these goals and objectives.”

(arinahabich/iStock/Getty Images)

Mark Athitakis

By Mark Athitakis

Mark Athitakis, a contributing editor for Associations Now, has written on nonprofits, the arts, and leadership for a variety of publications. He is a coauthor of The Dumbest Moments in Business History and hopes you never qualify for the sequel. MORE

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