One of the most difficult things we as an association have to deal with is engagement. No, not getting a ring on your finger but rather keeping our members engaged in what we’re doing…and for our members to keep their clients engaged in what they are doing.
We obviously have this monthly print magazine that you are reading now, as well as an online version, which you may be reading. We also have the weekly e-newsletter called the Five Minute REALTOR® and a weekly PowerPoint presentation called The Edge that goes to all sales managers to help them with relevant content for their sales meetings each week.
One of our newest ways of communicating with both our members and consumers is using social media. HAR is fairly active and currently has more Facebook fans than any other local REALTOR® association in the country. (We didn’t search all of them, but we searched for all of the largest local associations to make sure of our claim.) If you aren’t already a fan of HAR, you may fan us at www.facebook.com/HARFans. You may also search on Facebook for “Houston Association of REALTORS®” and click on the -“For Members” group and join this members-only group to receive association-specific information.
We also have a Twitter account “HARMembers” that will have tweets about the goings-on at HAR and in the industry. Even our own CEO Bob Hale “B0bhale” (the o in his name is a zero) has a Twitter account…so you may follow him as well. If you attend an event and see a PowerPoint presentation by Margie or Bob, you may go to www.slideshare.net/HARCommunications to see all of them in one convenient location.
Some of our individual HAR departments have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but most of those will be merged into the master HAR accounts to be able to reach the broadest possible audience with the information.
Also, please note that as social media gains even more in popularity, there will be people who try to utilize the various sites for negative purposes. Just treat it like you would anything else and be cautious. Don’t share too much personal information with people you don’t know well and don’t ever click on a link in an e-mail, Facebook message or Tweet if the sender is not known to you.
While new things are scary to most people, social media is not a fad and will not be going away anytime soon. Plus, you might reconnect with an old friend or two from high school…and if there is someone you don’t want to reconnect with, there is always the “Ignore” button. Use it wisely.