It seems like there are hundreds of Real Estate Associations out there these days... AREAA, NAHREP, NAREB, WCR, WINDS, NRBA, REOMAC, NAMB etc... and the list goes on. How do you determine which one to join? Is it worth the cost? What is the value proposition?
From a lender's perspective, I fine them highly valuable for the chance to network and to learn more about what my clients do everyday. The education classes and conferences that are put on help me relate and keep updated with latest trends so I am able to keep up with my clients, and talk shop. I often tell my loan officers, where else are you going to go to get in a room with 50-150 agents at one time, and not have to get past the dreaded gate keeper at an office (aka, the receptionist)? The classes and the networking help lenders become more comfortable when soliciting for business and creating a new relationship. I highly suggest the associations for loan officers that move from different markets and are trying to get started with new business, it is the easiest route to go.
One of the value propositions I offer the agents I work with is I take the tools I learn about form the educationals/conferences and teach it to the Realtors who are newer to the industry, or didn't attend the events. It gives the lender a chance to stand out and educate an agent how to get more business, and makes the lender look like the industry expert. Surprisingly, and especially in my market, many agents don't get this type of training to originate new business.
From a cost perspective most of them range in the $100 a year membership range... thus it is not a major investment in your business, and I guarantee if you attend a majority of the events, and don't stand in the corner by yourself, you will earn business that will more than pay for your initial dues and time.
Lender's - what is your experience with joining real estate associations?
Shameless plug - I am the 2012 Conference Chairman for AREAA ... Save the date 9/23-9/25 in Las Vegas... it will be the best value conference of the year, and who doesn't love going to Las Vegas? www.areaa.org/convention