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8 Steps To Improve The Health Of Your Reia Group
After months of declining sales from national gurus at their general meetings, low attendance at weekend boot camps, and waning interest in real estate investing compared to a few years ago, it may be time for REIA board members to re-evaluate their business models. After all, one of their primary responsibilities as board members is to make sure their REIA stays solvent and can weather economic downturns without going bankrupt. (How would you short sell a REIA Group?)
Some disturbing trends affecting the real estate market are apparent:
1. Bad news and loan losses in the billions of dollars will continue to be banner headlines as even foreign banks are "bad news" stories directly impacted by US loans gone bad.
2. Foreclosures are increasing by leaps and bounds, especially in states that had huge run ups in appreciation over the last few years.
3. More and more stories are available across every news channel about the "R" word...Recession. Lack of job growth, international competition, inflation pressures, health care costs, and immigration concerns are all starting to peak out behind the political landscape of a presidential election.
4. And locally, fewer people are interested in joining the "get rich in real estate" craze of just a few years ago.
So what's a REIA board member to do? Here are 8 Steps to ensure the health of your REIA.
1. Re-evaluate your mission statement. Typically two things happen over time. Groups will drift away from actions that implement their mission statement or the mission statement isn't supported with manageable and measurable goals. The old adage, "You can't manage what you can't measure" is still true today.
2. Enlist new members to invigorate the board. New blood can bring new life to an organization. Many times the ruts people get into prohibit their "seeing the forest for the trees" and they get bogged down in the details of running a REIA versus leading a REIA.
3. Determine measurable goals, strategies and tactics. Determine what will work in today's environment of high tech gadgets, unprecedented reach through communication options, and software solutions to meet the needs of your membership. After all, that is why most REIA groups exist....to serve their membership in one or more ways.
4. Be positive. Provide a positive outlook around the membership. Is the glass half full or half empty? Attitude matters and it always will. Provide leadership with a positive outlook in public and in private.
5. Be active. Board members that are not active investors miss out on the struggles, opportunities and pitfalls of investing in today's market. Opportunities abound in chaos and the Good Lord knows we have some chaos in the real estate markets now. Take advantage of it.
6. Be supportive. Show up to some of the small group meetings, answer questions, and provide encouragement, especially to new members. They are the life blood to any group.
7. Ask for help and then accept it. No man or woman can do it all. Micromanagement can be the bane of a REIA group. Who wants to get involved and then be told every little step to take and how to take it? Trust your people, provide them boundaries and direction, supply them resources to be successful and encourage their participation toward an outcome.
8. Promote the benefits of the REIA. Sell people on what you have to offer. Examine the value of being a member of your group and then communicate these benefits to your existing members, which will improve the turnover rate. Also make sure to communicate these benefits to prospective and brand new members, who will replace the non-renewing members and grow the REIA. Long term stagnation of the membership is not a good sign. Be proactive and make sure the value of membership is there and that the members understand it.
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