By: Kevin Scanlan – 2019 President
This has been a big year. 2019 has marked a turning point at the Austin Board of REALTORS®, and we’re laying the foundation for a new MLS experience, too. While 2018 was filled with change, a new vision and massive overhaul of our volunteer structure, 2019 has been all making good on those promises and delivering ever-greater value for your membership. Here are my top five ABoR and ACTRIS MLS accomplishments for the year!
Free CE License Renewal
This fall, we announced an epic new benefit: ABoR now covers all 18 hours of your mandatory continuing education for FREE. This is available online now through AceableAgent and in ABoR Academy classrooms beginning in January. At ABoR, we want to be the engine of your success, and that means covering your bases so that you can focus on building a standout business and career.
In October, we launched a huge new subscriber benefit, Remine Pro. Remine is an innovative data mining platform that is going to change the way you do business. It combines ACTRIS MLS and public property information into one modern interface and a powerful lead generation tool. There’s so much data, it’s crazy. I personally encourage every one of you to claim your free account at ABoR.Remine.com.
As you read in last month’s issue, we’re redefining real estate association conferences with ThinkUp, taking place April 7-8, 2020 at the Palmer Events Center. ThinkUp is a truly next-level professional development experience that will bring immediate impact to your business. It features back-to-back education, trainings and keynotes around every corner. We’re talking 16 stages, more than 100 sessions and more than 75 speakers, all focused around industry innovation and change, building your business, exponential leadership growth and advocating for your community. The conference will also have multiple opportunities for networking, holding meetings, and staying connected, so you can stay all day, and work all day. Get your tickets today at ThinkUpAustin.com.
Be a Member
This has been the Year of Engagement at ABoR. In January, we put our money where our mouth is with the launch of our “Be a Member” campaign at Build.ABoR.com. Throughout the year, engaged members received weekly emails with exclusive invitations to events, shareable infographics, free giveaways and more.
Much of this year has involved the word “new.” We doubled-down on our programming with local meetups and happy hours throughout Austin, a signature Speaker Series offering high-caliber professional development and several new Advocacy programs, including the very popular Pizza and Policy Series. Finally, we dramatically expanded ABoR Global programming with the launch of a Global Business Advisory Network, Global Lunch and Learns, and more.
The results have been incredible. Overall, member engagement in ABoR has doubled. We’re seeing many new faces at our events, some who have not been involved in their Association in a long time. Member engagement in government affairs initiatives has increased by 73 percent. And, involvement in ABoR Global has grown by a whopping 300 percent. In fact, ABoR was awarded Platinum status by NAR’s Global Business Council — a first for our Association.
Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: This year, we also set out to solve a problem that has faced our industry for a long time. ABoR has always been a strong community, but that community has not always reflected the diversity of the city we serve. Our organizational goal for 2019 was to establish baselines and benchmarks for increasing diversity at ABoR, particularly among our volunteer leadership.
Here’s what we did to achieve that goal:
We established a Strategic Partners Program to foster collaboration with local real estate organizations and gave each partner a seat on our Diversity Committee. Our 2019 Strategic Partners are:
• Asian Real Estate Association of America
• Austin Association of Real Estate Brokers
• Austin Young Real Estate Professionals
• National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals
• National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals
• National Association of Residential Property Managers
• Residential Real Estate Council
• Women’s Council of REALTORS®
We expanded our Diversity programming with a first-ever candidate training for members interested in running for the Board of Directors, produced a video highlighting the diversity of our membership, and held more Diversity Mixers which have been wildly successful to date.
Finally, we produced our first-ever ABoR Diversity Report. The report outlines the promised benchmarks and strategies for increasing diversity in our Association and among our volunteer leadership in 2020 and beyond. Download the full report at ABoR.com/DiversityReport.
I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together this year. These updates barely scratch the surface, and I hope you take a moment to read through our Annual Report (ABoR.com/AnnualReport) to see them all. Have a wonderful holiday season and we’ll see you in 2020!