PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Enhancing the Member Experience
Marcene Hedayati | April 2016
As I continue with my quest to use this forum as a means to highlight the initiatives of each of HGAR’s councils and committees, I think it is only fitting to examine the efforts of the Member Experience Committee. Two years ago, the Association decided to retain the services of August Partners, a firm that specializes in communication and branding initiatives. We asked August Partners to analyze and re-establish our mission and vision statements, and to ensure that mission and vision was reflected in everything we do. We then created the Branding Committee and have worked hard at creating a new brand and launching a new website.
It became clear this year that this committee was no longer simply a “branding” venture but had to morph into playing a much broader role. It became the natural course of events to merge the Branding Committee and the Member Outreach Committee into one, and we decided to name the new committee the Member Experience Committee. This new committee’s purpose is to oversee the experience of our members at every level not just their interaction with hgar.com. This includes any on-line programs including, but not limited to, social media campaigns and outreach programs, all of which would be designed to enhance any interaction our members have with their association.
I hope that you have noticed a dramatic enrichment of our website on all levels as a result of this commitment to improving the association’s interaction with its members. The most noticeable of these changes is the stand-alone Real Estate In Depth site. It is an online version of our print publication in real time so that it is constantly updated to provide the most recent information and news regarding our industry and our association. From this portal, you are able to see and read about current events that impact your business, people in the industry, new technology to improve your services, a list of affiliates, member perks, current market statistics and a calendar of events. Apart from these articles enabling our members to become more informed, they can be shared and/or posted so that we can provide better service to our clients and customers. The online Real Estate In-Depth news page is intended to compliment our popular print edition to keep members informed about the latest real estate news and trends in the Hudson Valley. For featured content and breaking news, make sure to follow the latest postings on the HGAR Facebook page.
In regards to our face-to-face endeavors, the Member Outreach Committee has also taken steps to enrich our Orientation Program so that our new members are more aware of the resources available to them and to ensure that the value of the association is no longer ambiguous and ineffective. We have also made great strides in ramping up our visits to individual offices to personally share association information so that those of us who are not as technologically inclined will not overlook the benefits available to them.
Finally, the Member Experience Committee is exploring the idea of an Ambassador Program that would take our outreach pursuits to another level. This program is in the design stage and, if successful, will prove to be one of the most ambitious and challenging tasks of all given the fact that we are close to 10,000 members strong.
As I mentioned in my first In Depth column and in the speech I gave at the Installation Gala, 2016 will be an exercise in cultivating all forms of communication so that we may touch our members on multiple levels by speaking a range of languages. We will work hard to cross over various medias, so that every member has the opportunity to understand, engage and employ the tools our association has worked so hard to develop. I urge all of you to explore and expand your interaction with our association, as the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors is truly a remarkable organization dedicated to growing your business.