I'm tired. Of everything. What to do??? Part One.
Does this look like you? Are you done with COVID? Zoom meetings? Everything???
We all know there is little you can do to control what our collective reality is right now. But, you can turn this fatigue into energy by focusing on your association and your members' needs. Over the next few months, we'll be sharing five strategies to help you place your focus on things you can do to kickstart your association for 2021.
Here is the first: ASK
Find out who your members are and what they think. What a concept, huh? When was the last time you did a comprehensive member survey? Or have you ever done one? Such a survey helps you to learn who your members are: gender, age, ethnicity, license status, volunteer experience, much more. Why is this important? Your members are not monolithic. Each member segment may have different needs that you can't really address unless you identify those segments and match them to the programs and services you offer. Then, you can more effectively build or revise programs to more closely match that segment's needs and you can target your communications to match, too.
To gain some real insight, ask an open-ended question, WHY they joined your association (other than access to MLS). You may find the answers illuminating and they may even cause you to re-focus.
After you ask those questions, provide a thorough list of everything your association offers: services, programs, events, and more. Think hard about this so you don't forget a thing.
Now you can ask the member whether they use each one, are aware of each but doesn't use or attend, and how that program, service, or event is valuable provides value to them (or not). You can ask these questions in multiple ways and you can evaluate them differently, as well. You could get either qualitative or quantitative responses depending on the program.
Once you have all this data, you can begin to cross tab the member segments. For example, do brokers and salespeople like the same things equally? Do younger members value some program more that those who've been around for a while? What about volunteers? Do they value everything more because their awareness is probably higher?
Once you make these comparisons, you can do lots of things. Maybe cease offering some things that members don't value. Marketing certain services to those who really like them. You can make key revisions to programs or events based on the feedback you receive.
Another option is to dig a little deeper into some of what you have learned. Form a focus group or two. Ask a specific question in office visits or in your regular interaction with members.
Final step. Provide this important information to your strategic planning group to help them plan your future more accurately and with solid data.
And bonus tips: provide incentives to members for completing the survey. And make sure you share a summary of the results to all members!
Strategies coming up (and not necessarily in this order):
Evaluating your governance effectiveness.
Preparing for your planning session.
Implementing your plan.
Increasing your member engagement