President’s Roundtable


Attending the Local President/President-Elect Rountables gave me insight into other boards internal workings across the country. The session provides the 500 attendees an opportunity to gain knowledge into what has been their associations challenges and their success stories.

As our current board president, this was my second year attending this meeting. Most attend as their association’s president-elect and then during their current presidential year. I have been looking forward to this session since last year, as it provided me with so many good ideas for this years term as local president. I cannot express my thanks enough to the facilitators and organizers of the Rountables. By gaining direct knowledge of boards of similar size like our own association it made all of us realize our own weaknesses and strengths.

Here are some stories that I heard from all over the country today:

Affiliates are critical to helping the association prosper.

They provide needed support by being involved personally and monetarily. An association in Virginia had such a huge success with their affiliate recruitment and retention goal, that for every there two REALTORS® they have one affiliate member. Because of this, their sponsorships for all their events are highly coveted and often secured a year out and it has become really competitive. This is not a bad problem to have.

Creating non-dues revenue is fundamental to all associations.

The successful boards have certain specific programs/events that raise large sums of money. The key is to keep it fresh and current. One recreated their typical fashion show into an “Unfashion” show with REALTORS® showing off their trendiest retro and vintage fashions. They helped them buy accessories to enhance what they already owned from thrift and second hand stores and combined it with a REALTORS® talent show. They raised over $10,000.

Having a strategic plan is so important for a measurement tool.

Unfortunately, most presidents I spoke to were a bit concerned with the fact that they don’t have a current or working strategic plan. At the Spokane Association of REALTORS® we are fortunate to have a working plan. However, my president-elect and I both agree that this coming year we do need to reevaluate ours as we should to make sure we are still relevant. Those few associations who have a good plan spoke about how vital it was to their continuing success.

The overwhelming thought this year that kept coming forth was how crucial it was that all associations need to work to strengthen and reinforce how important being a REALTOR® actually is.

The presidents were concerned with how many agents don’t realize the value of joining such a positively powerful force as the National Association of REALTORS®. The good news is that there are new plans to help with further distinguishing this importance and very soon we will have the ability to secure .REALTOR as a domain name and this will help distinguish ourselves. This is just one step in the right direction.

At Washington REALTORS®, we took this idea back to our consumers who needed some educating on why it was important to use a REALTOR®. We created a video that helps explains the difference to the public. It’s a cute and funny way to shed light on a very essential issue.

After we wrapped up the session, I realized how lucky we REALTORS® are to have the support of an organization that cares enough to facilitate such meetings like this and so many others this week.


Marianne Guenther Bornhoft is currently the 2013 President of The Spokane Association of REALTORS®. Marianne works for Windermere Manito.

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