2014 & 2015 STRATEGIC PLAN

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1 2014 & 2015 STRATEGIC PLAN

2 INTRODUCTION This strategic plan is designed to direct the activities and emphases of the Maryland Association of REALTORS (MAR) over the years 2014 and It focuses on the strategic directions MAR will emphasize over that period, and assumes close cooperation of MAR, local associations and members. CORE PURPOSE AND MISSION We are a proactive organization of highly skilled, professional and successful real estate practitioners that enjoy the highest levels of prestige, respect and influence. We create and promote the image of members as the elite professionals in the market and we help them add value to every real estate transaction. MAR exists to support all segments of its members and their specialties. Through collective efforts with local associations and the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), we: Develop and deliver programs, services and related products that maintain and elevate the high standards of the real estate business and the professional conduct of its practitioners; Assist members in serving the public ethically and successfully with the highest degree of professional ability; Promote and preserve the right to own, transfer and use real property; Protect the right of members to conduct business within a framework of fair and reasonable laws and government regulations.

3 ASTRATEGIC DIRECTIONS, GOALS AND STRATEGIES MAR will exercise leadership and unparalleled advocacy in all legislative and regulatory issues of concern to its members, including advancement of the real estate industry, protection of private property rights, promotion of sustainable real property ownership and housing opportunities. GOAL 1 MAR promotes favorable legislation and opposes legislation that is adverse to the real estate industry. a. Strategy: Identify issues that have an impact on homeownership, the practice of real estate, and private property rights (including tax reform or modernization, distressed property issues, insurance, environmental and growth issues); and use MAR s significant financial and lobbying resources to defeat or promote issues. MAR will hold elected officials accountable for their votes on these issues. b. Strategy: Continue development of strong relationships with federal, state, and local political and regulatory officials through the political activism of staff, members and their clients. Better educate legislators on REALTOR issues. c. Strategy: Increase grassroots involvement in politics and aggressively promote response to calls for action. d. Strategy: Expand member, public and media outreach regarding information about and awareness of legislative and regulatory issues affecting housing affordability, private property rights, prevention of overregulation of real estate transactions and services, restoration of equity in real property through the use of press releases, editorial opportunities, earned media and current website and social media updates. e. Strategy: Create and distribute to elected officials an annual social responsibility report stressing the good works of MAR s members in their communities and encouraging their support of MAR s legislative objectives to allow continuation of those community efforts. f. Strategy: Increase awareness of the purpose and goals of the REALTORS Political Action Committee (RPAC) to create a culture of support and contributions. g. Strategy: Maintain and strengthen on-going advocacy relationships with other shelter sector organizations (e.g., title companies, lenders, appraisers, homebuilders) and consumer groups to better ensure the efficacy of MAR s advocacy. h. Strategy: Support and strengthen the Government Affairs Director (GAD) program to include sharing of information on jurisdictional similarities of legislative and regulatory issues. Utilize the GAD program

4 A to increase member and consumer awareness of political issues impacting the businesses of our members and private property rights, and increase the political activism and effectiveness of MAR and local associations at all levels of government. i. Strategy: Actively assist the National Association of REALTORS in its advocacy efforts, including preserving mortgage interest deduction, simplifying the mortgage process and requiring banks to take a more reasoned approach to consumer lending. GOAL 2 MAR is the leading advocate for homeownership opportunities for Maryland residents. a. Strategy: Work with federal, state and local governments and local associations to ensure that housing affordability, including workforce housing, will remain a high priority in Maryland. Strengthen coalitions with groups devoted to promoting homeownership and housing affordability to focus public attention on housing affordability issues. b. Strategy: Continue support of economic development efforts through research, key appointments and legislative activities. c. Strategy: Continue to identify and educate members and the public about existing finance programs for low and moderate income housing, predatory lending practices, and abusive distressed market practices. d. Strategy: Update and broadly promote MAR s consumer websites. Investigate the use of banner ads or other tools on the consumer website to push down information on current issues affecting homeownership, enhancing public understanding of those issues and increasing the public s level of participation in issues critical to homeownership. e. Strategy: Neutralize negativity in the industry and marketplace through dissemination of positive and timely information about good news happening in the industry, particularly those related to the efforts of MAR and its members. GOAL 3 MAR facilitates the real estate licensing authority in serving the public and the real estate industry to its best capacity. a. Strategy: Develop and support legislation or other efforts to expand course topics eligible for continuing education, maintain consistencies in applications of approval policies, provide reciprocity including continuing education reciprocity, need for broker supervision, and better funding mechanisms. b. Strategy: Continue improving the relationship with Real Estate Commission including communicating and resolving continuing areas of concern.

5 B MAR will provide contemporary, high quality and up to the minute communications and superior customer service. GOAL 1 MAR is the comprehensive, reliable and accessible source of information to its members. a. Strategy: Use research tools and available data to understand MAR s members, enabling MAR to make appropriate decisions regarding communications, services and programs of benefit to its members. b. Strategy: Develop and implement electronically delivered communication tools which will maximize the mobile revolution and engage members through their mobile devices (e.g., creating a mobile compatible online newsletter that is attention grabbing, visually engaging and relevant). c. Strategy: Develop and implement a series of relevant topic video communications to be delivered to the members using a mobile, video application (e.g., BombBomb) and linking to d. Strategy: Create a series of innovative and fun incentives and/or competitions to create interest in and increased member access to MAR communications. e. Strategy: Create and disseminate consistently delivered, professionally produced, dependable and reliable content for broker sales meetings utilizing both traditional (e.g., power point presentations) as well as newly available technology (e.g., YouTube videos) as appropriate to the subject matter and per broker preferences. f. Strategy: Produce and disseminate timely information on all aspects of the real estate industry and provide ways for members to segment and customize the information for delivery to their customers and clients. g. Strategy: Create and produce a series of fun and engaging commercials regarding MAR member services and programs that can be played or otherwise disseminated before education sessions, during breaks in meetings and at any other appropriate time. The commercials will also be made available for local association use. h. Strategy: Continue to make available information and speakers to local associations and broker/managers to distribute and/or use for orientations, sales meetings, and/or optional training. i. Strategy: Create talking points for and continue grassroots, face-to-face visits by both MAR leadership and staff to broker owners and managers, local association leadership and staff. j. Strategy: Provide industry and association updates via both traditional and alternative delivery methods (e.g., , online, webinar, video, podcast, online social networking groups and YouTube).

6 B k. Strategy: Use banner ads on MAR s website to push information on current issues and/or increase awareness about critical issues. l. Strategy: Create a program or series of programs to engage members through recognition of their achievements, rewards for their participation and create a welcoming environment for new members. GOAL 2 MAR is a leader in technology services. a. Strategy: Develop internal expertise to advise agents in their development of a mobile strategy. b. Strategy: Research and implement technology training and/or education for MAR s members and push out a series of technology recommendations (e.g., top apps for staying organized). c. Strategy: Research the feasibility of reinstituting a technology hotline or online help desk. d. Strategy: Research and implement technology and website improvements for optimizing MAR s communications to its members. GOAL 3 MAR expands its diversity and international programming, collaborating with members, NAR, and affiliated institutes, societies and councils, and other real estate organizations to increase inclusivity. a. Strategy: Create coalitions with and outreach efforts to established organizations serving a variety of populations and professional subgroups (e.g., National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Asian Association of Real Estate of America). b. Strategy: Create generational/diverse participation in association leadership and activities. c. Strategy: Create networking opportunities at all events that, while inclusive of all members, will be focused on being interesting and inviting to those members whose participation has traditionally been lower than average. d. Strategy: Evaluate feasibility of and if appropriate create an international council and/or seek opportunities which exist through NAR s international programs (e.g., International Business Council, CIPS designation program sponsorship) with a focus on building new relationships that will result in new business opportunities for commercial as well as residential practitioners.

7 B GOAL 4 Members rely on MAR to assist them in increasing their professionalism. a. Strategy: Continue to provide, enhance and promote professional and leadership development opportunities for new and experienced professionals (e.g., Leadership Academy, YPN). b. Strategy: Continue to assist and educate members in understanding the ramifications and complexities of successfully working in new and changing market conditions (e.g., syndication issues, flood zone transactions, financing challenges, ongoing foreclosure and short sale transactions). c. Strategy: Work with the Real Estate Commission to allow more flexibility in mandated classes to better reflect best practices education. C MAR will engage in consumer outreach to provide the public and the media with information about the value REALTORS bring to property owners and communities they serve. GOAL 1 Consumers select MAR members as their trusted resource for all real estate information and services. a. Strategy: Continue to expand public and media outreach through the use of press releases, editorial opportunities, paid media, and current website information. Encourage agents and brokers to link their websites to MAR s website. b. Strategy: Continue to be the most trusted source of information about Maryland property markets by working with identified and trusted economist(s) to create relevant and accurate statistics about Maryland housing and commercial property markets and conduct regular and consistent press conferences and other events to share the information with the media. c. Strategy: Create a task force to develop a series of commercials to illustrate the importance of MAR and its members to the public and communities throughout Maryland (e.g., mayhem commercials type of messaging). d. Strategy: Create and promote a consumer competition as a way of generating compelling messaging and heightening awareness of why consumers should buy real estate in Maryland (e.g., My Piece of Maine competition) and why consumers should trust MAR members to help them accomplish the goal of property ownership.

8 C e. Strategy: Prepare and distribute to members talking points about current issues and encourage them to seek public speaking opportunities (e.g., Rotary Clubs) to spread positive messages and information regarding housing and homeownership and the value of using a REALTOR as their trusted advisor in any real estate transaction. f. Strategy: Investigate creation and monitoring of a public blog and feed the blog with positive information encouraging consumers to work with MAR members. g. Strategy: Investigate creation of a REALTOR trusted advisor program as a methodology for marketing members as trusted advisors. h. Strategy: Promote MAR s homeownership and financial literacy program to consumers, as young as high school age, as a vehicle for promoting the concept of community stability and the important role MAR s members play in their communities. i. Strategy: Promote the workforce housing program and ensure that consumers know of the available funds that can be utilized for down payment assistance for qualified buyers when using a REALTOR.

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