Association Community for Educators (A.C.E) News | May 2024

Les McGehee
President, Rialto Academy
512.743.4330 |

Association Education: Member Recruitment and Retention Strategies

2024 is asking more questions than a child. How will our agents react to decoupled commissions? Will our broker members have complaints? Will some buyer agents drop their licenses? What do we expect from NAR? Will membership decrease? Will my staff get reduced? Are interest rates going to encourage sales? Are we there yet?

Questions questions, yet two answers will be relatively the same as they always are: 1) We’ll offer training that our members need, and 2) We’ll increase the value of our education to bring more members into our great organization while keeping our current members in our great organization, where we will help them. I can hear my Mama’s voice singing, “Make new friends, but keep the old ones. One is silver and the other gold.”

Education departments can forget how crucial they are to the value of membership, and how much power they have to support membership count. We can take action that encourages people to come in and discourages people from leaving.

Here are 5 ways you drive membership and retention as education professionals.

  1. Providing rapid, timely education. Agents need to adapt to the opportunities of decoupled commissions and other challenges, and not just be a casualty of change. You are the resource that brings timely things into focus.
  2. There are underserved portions of our real estate professional communities that we barely had time to reach yet really need us. And we need THEM in order to be truly inclusive and serve our entire markets, thereby supporting our membership numbers. Ask them and they’ll probably tell you what would help them the most.
  3. We need to market our classes energetically. Members can’t take advantage of services they don’t know about, and you can make some class marketing sizzle, which greatly increases engagement. Be creative and energetic at recruiting to your valuable topics.
  4. Look at language. Do you know how many of your members and people in your market speak other languages at home and serve a minority community? Yet minorities often trust and prefer agents that speak their language. Do you know how easy it is to include other-language materials or classes for these agents?
  5. Rockstar teachers from within and rockstar teachers from elsewhere. Choose the best of the best. Challenge them and help them to get better. Be the resource that has the BEST instructors.


Events Recap: 2024 RAPDD and RAMCON

You can’t be everywhere at once! All good, Rialto attended some events and some of our great peers attended some events. Let’s all share! Join us for an open panel discussion on May 22nd. Here are some high points from RAPDD and RAMCON 2024. Rialto sponsored some of these events and enjoyed attending them along with a few hundred of you fellow professional education peers. We also gave away some items that got a big reaction from those groups, and we’d be happy to make those items available to you as well. And, of course, there was NAR Leadership which had LOTS of energy this year. There were also some smaller events across the nation, and we will take a look at the upcoming REEA. At the ACE Forum 45-minute Association Education Panel virtual discussion on May 22nd we’ll touch briefly on all these events, and we can all share.

Here is a preview. In April, we had the pleasure of sponsoring and attending two events: RAPDD and RAMCON.

 RAPDD: As expected, some of the presentations at RAPDD were very good and things were run well. Some of the best conversations at RAPDD were had after hours and on breaks. Here’s what we were all talking about:

  1. NAR. What to expect for the next year. Some concerns, support for NAR, optimism.
  2. Decoupling commissions. Is our content clean? Do instructors know what they can/can’t and should/shouldn’t say/do?
  3. What time is karaoke? (There’s an internal group at every event that parties like it's 1999. You know who you are. And fun was had.

RAPPD was well-run and a great chance to talk with our education director and instructor friends. As you might expect, AI was a popular topic. We also noticed a little bit of a marketing theme—education directors were looking more at how to advertise and message their offerings.

Instructors showed up well as always, and it was fun to see the connections grow between association professionals and the talented speakers. There was some nostalgia as well - it was fun to see Ann Enos win a career achievement award for all she’s done for RAPPD and for the community.

We want to help keep that education director/instructor collaboration going—we’re looking at featuring more instructors going forward to ensure strong connections!

RAMCON: Rialto works with many AMSs, yet we almost always attend RAMCON to stay informed on what RAMCO is up to. It’s great to work with those folks and visit NAR HQ, and often other AMSs follow what RAMCO does.

And while some of the convos were the same at RAMCON, they also included:

  1. New APIs
  2. Some AI in Ramco
  3. What time is the happy hour?

RAMCON was enjoyable as well. If you aren’t familiar, it’s the official conference hosted by the AMS RAMCO at NAR headquarters in Chicago. 

Besides learning about some of the new integrations and features, we got to meet some current and future partners, including a fun night of pool, bowling, and ping-pong. 

Our CEO Jonathan Moerbe presented a session on the “Education and Training Assessment” - a survey and audit we’ve created to help our partners assess the strengths and opportunities that their education departments should focus on. You'll find the Education and Training Assessment here so you can look for yourself. We’re interested in your feedback and hope you use it!


Serving the Largest Underserved Segments of Our Membership

Multilingual training, and 3 Key local market courses every AOR should offer in Spanish

In Spanish? 26M People Say ¡Si!

There are courses available, yet they can be somewhat challenging to use as they are spread among NAR Español, NAHREP, SIRALIA, etc., and a couple of the Association of Realtors (AOR) that have high Hispanic populations. Of course, no one can speak directly to your market as well as you can. Here are a few things to know about courses in other languages.

Languages? Sure, many U.S. markets have large populations speaking another language. The U.S. Census site tells us that more than 68M people in the U.S. speak another language at home. That’s nearly 1 in 5 people in the U.S. Many sources report that minorities continue to gain momentum as first-time homebuyers, leading the way in some markets. So whether your market has a large population of people who prefer to speak Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Arabic, or another commonly used language in the U.S., there are options available for you to serve them, and they generally come in three sizes.

  1. Subtitle virtual and on-demand classes, and translate the handouts. This is not the most sophisticated or expert manner of serving speakers of a different language, yet it can’t be beaten for ease and cost.
  2. Use apps or AI to dub your virtual or on-demand training into another language. Again, this is not the most sophisticated manner of serving speakers of a different language, AND it could have complications with tech or the instructor’s rights, yet it is doable, and more expensive than option #1 and less expensive than option #3. 
  3. Make or purchase custom courses specifically tailored to your market, in their language, including idioms, colloquialisms, specific references to your association and other local information and services, etc. Generally make the best and most relevant course in their cultural manner, referring directly to things relevant to your market. This is more expensive and much higher quality than options #1 and #2, yet if you have a population of size speaking another language in your market and you’d like to serve them really well, it’s the way to go. 

Content providers like Rialto offer every type of course in any language, yet you probably don’t need every type of course! Here are three key local market courses that every AOR should consider offering in Spanish:

1.First-Time Homebuyer Seminars
Purpose: These seminars are designed to educate first-time homebuyers on the process of purchasing a home. They cover topics such as budgeting, mortgage pre-approval, understanding credit scores, navigating the real estate market, and the role of a real estate agent.
Benefits: Many Spanish-speaking individuals may be first-time homebuyers who are unfamiliar with the complexities of purchasing a home. Offering this course in Spanish helps them gain confidence and understanding in their native language.

2. Legal Aspects of Homeownership
Purpose: This course delves into the legal aspects of homeownership, including contracts, disclosures, rights, and responsibilities. It helps buyers understand their legal protections and obligations when purchasing a home.
Benefits: Many legal terms and concepts can be complex, especially for those not fluent in English. Offering this course in Spanish ensures that Spanish-speaking buyers fully grasp their legal rights and responsibilities.

3. Real Estate Investment Strategies 
Purpose: This course is tailored for individuals interested in real estate investment opportunities. It covers strategies such as rental properties, flipping houses, and long-term wealth building through real estate.
Benefits: Real estate investment can be an excellent path to financial growth, but it requires knowledge and strategy. Offering this course in Spanish opens up investment opportunities to a broader audience.

About Rialto Academy: Rialto Academy Campuses serve more than 350,000 Association of Realtor members through their local and regional boards. We produce and support over 2500 classes, broadcasts, and events annually. Our campuses are built specifically for boards and brokers, integrating LMSs, AMSs, timely content, and automation.


New Courses and Assets!

Here are some new Education assets for you, most of them free. Take a look!

Education Director and Professional Development Director Survey and Training!
Have you taken the survey yet? Rialto has learned that many of you wish you could build your skills for your role, or have training for new hires on your education team. Rialto is listening, and we’re going to help. Based on your private surveys we’ll create some training for your role. FREE, this is a service we’ll provide to our community since we have the designers and the systems to do it.

ACE Forum - virtual open panel discussion with your peers, May 22nd. Click to save the date.  In this 45-minute discussion, we’ll discuss:

  • Education Power: Member Recruitment and Retention Strategies
  • RAPDD, RAMCON, and NAR Leadership events that just happened, and a preview of a couple of other upcoming real estate educator events.
  • Spanish and other languages for training.
  • The new Education professional training opportunities.

New Courses!  The all-new Rialto Value Proposition course is launching soon, featuring FIVE of your favorite national rockstar instructors. Available through Rialto. Fees may apply.

We have Rialto customized course bundles available for on-demand. Wish you could have an on-demand library, but can’t do it all at once? Rialto has been at work figuring out a solution for you. Consider a subscription bundle of classes - you can pick the topics. Fees may apply.



 Association Community for Educators (A.C.E.)

  Association Community for Educators. A safe, powerful, private place for REALTOR association education professionals to share   and learn best practices together. This is a FREE, member-only, "no sales" environment purely to support our national education   mission, hosted and supported by Rialto Academy.

  Click HERE to join the private A.C.E. Facebook group.