Imagine for a moment getting real estate news that was pertinent to you, to your business, to your market, and to your liking with a social media and geo-location aspect built right into it! Imagine logging into your computer and seeing local market statistics, regional real estate news, and nation policy that might affect your business all in one place and all based on what you want to know. Well, that’s the objective of MyNAR – a revamp of the current REALTOR.org site. This bold move by the National Association of REALTORS® is intended to simplify, improve, and personalize communication between the membership and the organization.
On Thursday, November 10, 2011, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chad Curry and Mark Lesswing from the Center for REALTOR® Technology and with Hilary Marsh from REALTOR.org and take a look at the mock up of the new MyNAR. To say I was impressed with how far they had come in just 3 short months on this project would be, well, an understatement! But they aren’t surprised, as CEO Dale Stinton has made it very clear that this project is a priority for NAR to improve communication with its members.
The history behind this project and the speed with which is has progressed has its roots in a Strategic Planning Committee meeting held this summer at NAR Headquarters in Chicago. In that meeting I raised a concern about truly engaging with the membership. While we create wonderful reports, research and communications for our members, we seem to struggle with getting those items in front of the members. Part of the problem is the massive size and scope of REALTOR.org, its content, and the fact that we are dealing at a national level instead of a member level. Two members of the committee, Heather Ozur and Todd Shipman, shared similar concerns.
To our surprise, immediately following the meeting, Dale Stinton asked the three of us if we could come back to NAR on August 1, 2011 and discuss this in more detail with his team. That meeting included a handful of senior vice presidents and resulted in the framework of MyNAR, a platform designed to give information that is both relevant and timely to the INDIVIDUAL member.
I can remember leaving that August 1st meeting and thinking this would take a year or longer to produce, and yet here at NAR Conference I got to see a working mock up of the product in just 3 short months! And I have to say it is impressive! During the conference, Chad Curry and the Center for REALTOR® Technology team will be conducting user testing with invited groups. Chad will also be speaking about MyNAR at the Communications Committee meeting and again on Sunday, November 13, 2011 in room 206A at the session ‘Creating a Robust Website with the Latest Tools’. MyNAR will go in to beta testing with some members in early 2012.
I cannot express enough gratitude to Dale Stinton and his staff at NAR for seeing an issue at a strategic planning meeting and understanding its importance to the membership and for acting so quickly and effectively to design and implement a solution. I can’t wait to see how this new tool grows and evolves as we engage with members and improve our communications with their individual needs and desires.
Sadly, screen shots do not do this platform justice, but they will have to do for now!