Why … Do REALTOR Associations Need a Strategic Planning Process?
Six Qualities that Mark Successful Non-profit Associations … <ul><li>A clear mission statement </li></ul><ul><li>An honest and competent CEO </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Leadership and Board of Directors </li></ul><ul><li>The Ability to provide the services members need in order to conduct business </li></ul><ul><li>The Ability to position members as serving and safeguarding the public </li></ul><ul><li>The Ability to become the spokesperson for the industry </li></ul>
Strategic planning helps your association develop these qualities.
Fourteen Ways the Strategic Planning Process will Accomplish This
1. Through the Creation of Goals and Strategies a Strategic Plan Produces a Road Map for the Association to Follow.
2. A Strategic Plan Documents AE and Leadership Responsibility.
3. A Strategic Plan Serves as a Reminder to the Board of Directors of Why the Board Exists.
4. A Strategic Plan Tells Members What to Expect.
5. A Strategic Plan Creates a Basis for Evaluation
6. A Strategic Plan Prioritizes Multiple Issues
7. The Process Followed in Developing a Strategic Plan Leads to the Creation of a Shared Vision for the Association.
8. Employing a Strategic Planning Process Encourages Associations to Look Ahead.
9. When Employed in Conjunction with Focus Groups and Surveys a Strategic Plan Documents Member Needs
10. Creating a Strategic Plan Helps Associations Create Programs Members Value.
11. The Planning Process Provides Leadership with the Opportunity to Air and Resolve Conflict within the Association.
12. The Strategic Planning Process will Show You How to Eliminate Sacred Cows
13. Knowing Who You Are and Where You are Going Makes it Easier to Form Alliances with Other Groups.
14. Planning Replaces Reactivity with Proactivity.
Before undertaking the task of developing a strategic plan it is critically important to find a facilitator who has a thorough understanding of past, present and future real estate industry issues and trends affecting the day-to-day business of both the members and the association.
Top 10 Industry Issues Discussion: <ul><li>10. Consumer Controlled Process </li></ul><ul><li>9. Declining Commissions </li></ul><ul><li>8. Banks in Real Estate </li></ul><ul><li>7. Declining New Home Sales by REALTORS </li></ul><ul><li>6. New Business Models </li></ul><ul><li>5. Consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>4. Ability to Qualify for Mortgage </li></ul><ul><li>3. Transaction Platforms </li></ul><ul><li>2. Future of MLS </li></ul><ul><li>1. Retirement of 82 Million Baby Boomers </li></ul>
Comments from the People Who Facilitate Strategic Plans … … Represent the Many Styles Facilitators Offer.
“ The future is a mystery. It can be frightening as well as exciting. In order to be successful in the future you must develop an effective plan today.” <ul><li>Jerry Matthews </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
"Business plans and strategic plans are real world road maps providing tangible objectives for committee activities. Without a 2-3 year business plan and a strategic direction, your association's future is at the mercy of the whim and fancy of each member that happens to volunteer" <ul><li>Adorna Carroll </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Directions, Inc </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
“The strategic planning process is more important than the planning document your Strategic Planning Committee creates.” <ul><li>Saul Klein </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Crusade </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
“ To take charge of the future you need to embrace CHANGE and this is best accomplished by the involvement of leadership and staff in an effective strategic planning process”. <ul><li>Jim Peters </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
“ The most valuable programs I do for NAR are the strategic planning sessions. I come away from every meeting knowing the heart and soul of the association.” <ul><li>Anonymous </li></ul>
Limitations of Strategic Plans And How to Handle Them …
1. Some Planners Try to Micromanage <ul><li>Hire an experienced facilitator capable of managing the planners you appoint to the committee. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your facilitator to prepare the group to discuss the “bigger picture” issues and keep the group focused on these. </li></ul><ul><li>Meet far away from the reminders an office setting brings. </li></ul>
2. It May be Difficult for the Planners to See Far Enough Ahead <ul><li>Begin the session with a segment on where the real estate industry is headed. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your facilitator to explain concepts such as paradigm shifts and use concrete real estate industry examples to drive this point home. </li></ul>
3. The Strategic Planning Process Will Expose Association Weaknesses <ul><li>Get weaknesses on the table early in the process. </li></ul><ul><li>Without identifying association weaknesses one cannot hope to strengthen the association. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, the weaknesses are what needs to be addressed in the goals. </li></ul>
4. Expectations May be Created that Exceed Association Resources <ul><li>Make certain the Treasurer is appointed to the planning group. </li></ul><ul><li>But, don’t get too hung-up on what programs will cost early on in the process. </li></ul><ul><li>The prioritization of goals will dictate the allocation of resources. </li></ul><ul><li>The strategic plan, if used properly, will become the foundation upon which the budget is built. </li></ul>
5. Some Plans May be Done in a Vacuum and Not Reflect True Member Needs. <ul><li>Make certain the planning group is both representative of and in touch with the general membership. </li></ul><ul><li>Where possible begin the planning process with either a member survey or a series of focus groups conducted by the planners. </li></ul>
6. Some Plans After they are Written are Never Integrated with the Budget Process or End up Sitting on the Shelf. <ul><li>It is helpful to go into the planning process with a general agreement as to the process to be followed once the plan has been written. Your facilitator should be able to help you with this. </li></ul>
Selection of the Strategic Planning Committee … <ul><li>Appointed by the President (sometimes with the approval of the Board of Directors) and should include: </li></ul><ul><li>The Leadership Team (including the AE) </li></ul><ul><li>A few respected members of the Board </li></ul><ul><li>Members wanting to be part of the future rather than the past </li></ul><ul><li>Innovators and members who think outside the box </li></ul><ul><li>The Treasurer and at least one other member of the Finance Committee </li></ul><ul><li>A representative of any force which could impede implementation of the plan </li></ul><ul><li>At least one highly regarded Past President. </li></ul>
Make sure all planers are informed of the service commitment required and agree to devote the time needed to fully participate in the process. This may be easier to accomplish than you think.
There Are as Many Formats as There are Facilitators. <ul><li>Depending upon the time available the facilitator may wish to assign homework to be turned in prior to the planning retreat. </li></ul><ul><li>Planners should be informed of the total commitment involved. </li></ul><ul><li>As part of their agreement to serve planners should pledge to participate fully in all aspects of the process. </li></ul>
Prepare the Planners for the Task at Hand <ul><li>Planning requires advanced thought. </li></ul><ul><li>Mission Statements can be submitted prior to the meeting to jump-start the session. </li></ul><ul><li>Contributions made to the lists of association strengths and weaknesses must remain confidential. </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys conducted in advance strengthen the planners’ resolve and help them focus on member needs. </li></ul>
Select an Outside Facilitator with Knowledge of the Real Estate Industry and its Future. <ul><li>Cannot be part of local politics. </li></ul><ul><li>Must understand and be able to discuss where the industry is headed. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs the ability to control the group you select, to encourage participation from every member and to exhibit fairness to all. </li></ul><ul><li>Must be organized. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to understand the difference between planning future goals and micromanaging the office. </li></ul>
Meet in a Retreat Environment <ul><li>Do not attempt to accomplish strategic planning at the Board office or at the office of one of the members. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn off all cell phones except when on break. </li></ul><ul><li>Serve a quality (but light) luncheon with snacks in the morning and afternoon. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage conversation to occur throughout the day. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to challenge the skills of the facilitator by placing his/her back to the most beautiful view on God’s earth. Planners need to be inspired, your facilitator should come with that. </li></ul>
Mission Statement: the association’s “reason for existing” <ul><li>Must be clearly stated. </li></ul><ul><li>Must be a statement of common values. </li></ul><ul><li>Must define the boundaries of the association’s activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Should be considered by non-profit associations as a statement that establishes the legal framework of the association. </li></ul>
What the Plan Should Look Like <ul><li>A series of specific, achievable, measurable, results-oriented and time targeted GOALS. </li></ul><ul><li>Most goals will include strategies for accomplishing them. </li></ul><ul><li>Goals should be placed in prioritized order by weighted vote as the last order of business at the retreat. </li></ul><ul><li>The President should decide whether the draft plan submitted by the facilitator should be reviewed by the planners prior to being sent to the Board of Directors. </li></ul><ul><li>The final plan should be adopted by the Board and distributed to the members. </li></ul>
Plan Implementation <ul><li>Plans must become an essential part of the association’s budget process. </li></ul><ul><li>A vote by the Board to adopt the plan must include a commitment to provide the resources needed to support the association’s top priority goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of the plan becomes the responsibility of staff but requires the full support of leadership. The President and the AE must not fall into the trap of doing day-to-day work and not moving forward on the plan’s prioritized goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule monitoring reports at Board meetings and report regularly to the membership. </li></ul>
Example of a Goal with Vision <ul><li>1. As KAR’s membership continues to expand, the predominance of “Generation X” and “Millennium Generation” members will also increase. The value of the REALTOR membership experience, so clear to “Civic” and “Boomer” generation members, is becoming a matter of discussion and speculation among these new membership segments. The Association must take steps to improve both the KAR membership experience and its ability to demonstrate the continuing value of REALTOR membership. </li></ul>
Strategy 1A: <ul><li>The cornerstone of the membership experience is customer satisfaction. KAR will design and develop an Internet based customer satisfaction system that will allow members to comment on their experience with specific KAR staff, programs, products and services. The system will collect performance data and will provide reports to the CEO and leadership on levels of customer satisfaction and improvements in customer service. </li></ul>
Strategy 1B: <ul><li>Another key element that contributes to member value is a higher awareness of association achievements and successes. In 2005, the KAR communications program will increase its effectiveness at sharing with membership, specific program accomplishments. </li></ul>
Strategy 1C: <ul><li>The association will use the information gained pursuant to objective #9 (generation friendly programs) to power a generation specific communications and marketing plan. The purpose of this effort will be to enhance membership value by providing programming that meets the needs of specific membership segments rather than applying the one-size-fits-all approach. </li></ul>