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Global Challenges: Communications

At the State and Local Forum on Global Business in November 2013 in San Francisco, leaders on the association staff and member side gathered to discuss best practices, new ideas and challenges involved with starting or growing global programs at REALTOR® organizations. The next issue participants at the Forum discussed pertains to communications strategies that can be employed to raise awareness of global activities:

We are a healthy 10,000-member board with a relatively strong Global Council. We’re doing a lot of things right, including putting on educational programs and establishing contacts overseas. However, we want to take our global efforts to the next level, and that primarily means improving our communications. How can we raise the profile of international real estate within our association and our market area?

Here are some of the ideas attendees brainstormed:

  • Review resources at realtor.org/global.
  • Host open education forums on topics such as immigration and citizenship, finding financing for overseas consumers, etc.
  • Tap three or four people with deep experience with international transactions to talk about doing global business.
  • If a group of members and/or staff goes on a trade mission or any overseas trip with a business purpose, have them communicate with the membership back home about their experience.
  • Set up virtual meetings between members of your global council/association and representatives of a foreign real estate organization to discuss respective markets and possible business opportunities.

And here’s more advice from NAR Global staff:

Fundamentally, this boils down to evaluating communication as an organizational competency. Conduct an inventory of all the communications vehicles your association uses now. Use analytics and surveys to find out which mediums are most effective for delivering messages to the membership, and which communications methods they want you to use that you aren’t already.

Also consider relationships with the local media. Are you providing press releases on local real estate news and trends? Are these getting used to develop stories in newspapers, magazines and popular local blogs? If your association currently does these things well, then it’s just a matter of thoughtfully incorporating announcements and research around global real estate into existing communications vehicles.

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at bsummerfield@realtors.org.

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