GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Richard Haggerty | June 18, 2019

I’m not sure how long that saying has been around, but it does resonate with me, because in order to make informed decisions, you need to know what you don’t know. For example, what services do our members value? What are they most concerned about? What keeps them up at night? What is their work/life balance? Would they recommend HGAR membership to their colleagues?

Several years ago, HGAR initiated the process that created our current strategic planning, engaging four real estate industry gurus, including Brian Larson and Amy Cherow, to help guide the organization through the rocky shoals of organized real estate, and that plan has been a strong foundation for our growth over the last several years. Now the organization is confronting new opportunities, headwinds, and challenges, and President Ron Garafalo recognized that the time was ripe for a new strategic plan.

Prior to starting the planning process, we recognized that, first and foremost, we needed to survey our members about their views concerning HGAR—what we were doing right and what we might need to improve upon or what issues might require a stronger focus. We retained a company by the name of “Industry Insights” to conduct the survey and they did an amazing job accumulating valuable data and applying measurable analytics. Here are some highlights of the survey results.

The survey was sent to 11,000 members and we received more than 800 completed surveys in return, a response rate of approximately 7.3%. The overall satisfaction level of the value of membership trended positive, though the number was weaker with younger members and members with fewer years of experience. Areas where HGAR could improve were communication, more education, and more classes. The areas of HGAR valued most by the respondents were advocacy, Code of Ethics enforcement, and professional development. Interestingly, the respondents also cited communication, advocacy and professional development as HGAR strengths.

When drilling down on communications, 85% of the survey respondents indicated that HGAR’s e-mail distribution amounts were on target, and 29% indicated that they accessed on a daily basis and 18% on a weekly basis.

Concerning Real Estate In-Depth, 41% of the respondents indicated that they always read the publication, and 29% indicated they sometimes do. Of the respondents who read In-Depth, 64% read the printed hard copy, 22% read both the hard copy and the online version, and 14% read just the online version. Kudos to Real Estate In-Depth Editor John Jordan!

When asked if they would recommend HGAR membership to a colleague, 75% of the respondents said yes, 20% were neutral.

I was very pleased with the overall results of the survey, but I also believe that it provides a roadmap to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth. I know that the results provided a wealth of information for the Strategic Planning Group to help shape a new strategic plan to enable HGAR to help our members succeed and thrive in an increasingly challenging environment.

Richard Haggerty