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August 31, 2018

Developing Excellence in MLS and Association Communications

When you think about the best practices for MLSs and Associations to communicate to the members, the goals line up pretty clearly
  • Onboard new members more efficiently
  • Engage members in an education pipeline
  • Drive adoption of member benefits
  • Improve event registration numbers and efficiencies
  • Drastically reduce the effort required to collect dues and gather them sooner
  • Maximize member PAC contributions
  • Streamline and automate customer service processes and procedures

Accomplishing these goals will allow your staff to concentrate on delivering the best possible service to your members in the most efficient manner. Achievement of these goals requires utilizing state of the art concepts and systems, specially designed for your Association.

It is interesting to note that Associations have long educated their agents to encourage them to use CRMs in their business, but few Associations have adopted CRMs for the Association. Does your Association have a CRM?

This article is the first in a series explaining how to develop a foundation and technology plan to accomplish the above-stated efficiencies. Our solution is specially built to be scalable for MLS and Association organizations of all sizes and vastly differing resources. We have collected the best practices and systems from leading MLS and Associations of REALTORS®.

Our experience integrates popular Association Management solutions and MLS databases to make them work with other 3rd party platforms which you may currently be running.

Accomplishing this requires three major components:
  • Understanding the fundamentals of a marketing and communications funnel.
  • Building a Technology Foundation
  • Powering Your CRM With Member Profile Properties
  • Developing the Marketing & Communications Funnel

Once you have integrated your customer records into a living database, that becomes the foundation that will be the lynchpin of developing a center of excellence in communications.

Controlling the top of the funnel is of the utmost importance and often comes naturally to our industry. There is one certainty, and that is the fact everyone HAS TO get to the MLS. 

At the top of the funnel is what we call Point of Entry to the MLS, of which there are three options that I will discuss in depth in a future article of this series:
  • Association/MLS Customer Portal
  • Member Mobile Application
  • Direct Bookmarked URL to a Gateway (e.g., Clareity Dashboard)

The middle of the funnel varies by location depending on your member’s user experience, each bringing different levels of effectiveness:
  • Members can only log in directly to the front end of the MLS with single sign-on.
  • Single Sign-On Dashboard to access other valued premium and included technology services
  • Member Management Portal to allow agents and brokers to access and manage their accounts and get access to services.

Finally, the bottom of the funnel. The front end of the MLS and all of the significant providers include some level of messaging.

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