I just finished a delightful/grueling couple of days in Lexington facilitating the Strategic Planning process for one of the smallest local associations of REALTORS® in Virginia (one with quite possibly the longest name….take a deep breath): the Lexington /Buena Vista /Rockbridge Association of REALTORS®. It’s an association of about 120 – an association that’s never had a strategic plan – and it was quite possibly one of the most personally rewarding (to me, I mean) sessions I’ve ever been a part of. In Lexington, and found a committee of 16 energetic, well informed REALTORS® of every demographic stripe who were passionate in their desire to chart a new course for their association. In two days, they managed to challenge my assumptions about what makes an association great (it’s NOT its size; bigger isn’t always better), about the nature of association cultures (insularity is always a risk, but there’s something to be said about the warmth and familiarity of a close-knit community), and about the power of new ideas to energize organization leaders (wait ’til you see their plan!). The proof will be in the implementation, of course, but I suspect Lexington REALTOR® leaders can serve as role models for other local associations of REALTORS® who want to improve the value proposition they offer members…and who are willing to commit themselves to a plan for doing so.

The LBVRAR membership will get a first peek at the proposed plan in a series of upcoming Town Hall meetings and can offer input; the final proposed plan will be voted on in April. For now, here’s a sneak peek at sme parts of the plan…the mission, envisioned future and broad goals their Strat Planning Committee will propose (wish I could take credit for it, but I can’t):

MISSION (Why we exist):
The LBVR promotes its members’ success by providing quality services and support that enable its members to serve our community with professionalism and integrity.

ENVISIONED FUTURE (What the future will look like with the implementation of this plan):
• Members are actively involved in and proud of their local association
• Members trust and support LBVR leadership.
• The public values and respects the services LBVR members provide.

GOALS & OBJECTIVES (Our plan of work):

1. COMMUNITY PRESENCE AND INFLUENCE / LBVR actively participates in the community in ways that benefit its members and their customers and clients.

2. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT / LBVR will provide educational and professional development opportunities for its members in order for them to demonstrate competence and integrity to their customers and clients.

3. BUSINESS TOOLS / LBVR will provide business tools and resources to optimize its members’ business effectiveness.

4. EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION / LBVR maintains a viable organizational structure and systems that benefit its members and encourages member engagement.

Stay tuned. This is an association that’s going places….