Benefits of Membership
Friday, April 1, 2016
Orlando REALTOR® | MarchApril 2016
By John Lazenby
Usually we make a special effort to go over all the benefits of belonging to ORRA in the fall, before the annual REALTOR® fees are due (always on October 31, like clockwork). Even though it’s early in the year, it’s always a good time to make sure you’re aware of the great services that ORRA provides for its members.
Advocacy: ORRA stands up for you! Whether through screening local political candidates or contributing expert testimony before city council meetings, ORRA looks out for the best interests of its REALTOR® membership, the Orlando real estate industry, and the private property rights of area homeowners.
Communications: Did you know that in addition to the popular Market Pulse e-newsletter, ORRA also provides housing stats on 93 area zip codes? This information is free for members, who are welcome to use it in their marketing. ORRA’s communications efforts ensure that REALTORS® are seen in a positive light through its advertising and public relations activities.
Advocating on your behalf is one way the REALTOR® organization truly shines, putting dollars in your pocket and in those of your clients. Here’s a few examples:
*ORRA’s lobbying efforts resulted in looser regulations for off-site directional signs in unincorporated Orange County. REALTORS® can now place more temporary signs (and place them further away) to promote open houses.
Florida REALTORS® saved property managers $36 million by lobbying for lower eviction filing fees.
*The National Association of REALTORS® generated $5,280 per REALTOR® annually through support for creation of the *Homebuyer Tax Credit.
Both homeowners and real estate professionals are fortunate to have such active, well connected, and respected organizations looking out for their interests – and their money.
Community Relations: We REALTORS® can be proud of the Florida Real Estate Foundation (ORRA’s charitable arm) and its initiative to provide mortgage-free homes to local military veterans. ORRA also coordinates opportunities for community participation that are open to all REALTORS®. Don’t forget the annual ORRA Good Neighbor Awards, which spotlights members’ own community service efforts.
Education: There are more than 100 free continuing education credit classes on the 2016 ORRA Education Calendar, including its own “Excellence in Professionalism – Gold Key Certification” program.
Leadership: Are you interested in bettering your Association and your profession? Consider volunteer service with ORRA, where leadership opportunities range from committee projects to sitting on the Board of Directors. Volunteer leadership is an excellent avenue for improving your own business by developing relationships with potential colleagues.
Networking and Events: ORRA offers six specialty groups that host educational events and networking opportunities for those with similar interests, such as international real estate and property management. ORRA’s signature events (expo, holiday open house, inaugural, etc.) attract hundreds of attendees and regularly sell out.
Deals and Discounts: ORRA is always on the lookout for tangible member benefits. Its latest offering is a free subscription to Inman Select, which keeps REALTORS® up-to-date with the latest industry news. Other discounts include Parking Spot and area attractions.
This brief list only scratches the surface of what ORRA does for its members. Florida REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® also serve you in the same ways.
Remember that you are always welcome to contact me or any other member of the ORRA leadership team; the benefits that ORRA makes available to its members are our favorite topics for discussion!
ORRA President John Lazenby, Colony Realty Group, Inc., is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.