Association Metrics Reveal REALTORS® “do” Read (and Engage)

A study by Microsoft Corp. reveals that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, during the advent of mobile, to now eight seconds. That may not seem significant until you consider the 9-second attention span of a goldfish.

If you’re a communications pro at an MLS or Association, those numbers present real challenges when it comes to member communications. Right now, REALTORS® are desperately seeking homes for buyers, digging up new listings, and negotiating relentless bidding wars. Who has time to read?

The solution could be what’s called micro-moments—a treasured break in between life’s daily tasks to learn something, do something, or buy something. They are intent-rich 30, 60 or 90-second interactions where a lot of decision-making takes place.

One Midwest Association, for example, is reaching new heights in capturing and retaining the attention of its members—doing so with a small mix of micro-moments in mind. And, despite common perceptions that REALTORS® don’t read the dozens of emails delivered daily to their inboxes, this team has managed to break through the clutter. “How” they’ve achieved that level of success is surprising.

“I like to cut to the chase. Our member-based communications advisory group reports on what members want to hear, how much, and how little. We take that seriously, and then we adapt.”

Bob Jones, Director of Communications, Dayton REALTORS®

Based on that feedback, Jones took a daring leap by increasing the number of newsletters the Association sends out, from one to two per week. Rather than deliver a newsletter that contains eight to ten stories, now members receive emails with just three or four short topics, making it quickly digestible. “The stories we publish tend to have more resonance, because they’re not competing with a dozen other headlines,” says Jones.

The frequency of today’s distribution is more than most would consider, yet the Association's metrics continue to move upward. “Our open and click-through rates are above the national average,” he adds.

Here, Jones and Dayton REALTORS® CEO Carlton Jackson offer two reasons why the Association’s members continue to engage digitally:

  1. Communications have been redesigned to include short, relevant Association/MLS and industry news; learning opportunities, and tech tools that members absorb quickly during a break in tasks. When appropriate, excerpts end with “read more,” which lets readers know the essentials are up front, but delving further is worthwhile later on.
  2. Unique content creation is optimal. Capturing pre-made content from RPR® is priceless… and not because it’s free.

“We put RPR front and center,” says Jackson, a former Iowa City Association CEO and NAR staffer. “We strive to keep our members briefed on all the latest enhancements to services we provide, and RPR does all the work for us.”

Jackson and Jones are referring to RPR’s Shareable Tips & Tools newsletter. Delivered monthly, Tips & Tools helps marketing communications, education, and social professionals to repurpose short, ready-to-share content in their own publications. It’s a simple copy/paste that instantly connects members to data, tools, and analytics they want and need to succeed.

Topics range from geo-farming and listing presentations to new tools and features. The Tips & Tools June edition highlighted how to use RPR’s free mailing labels in a direct mail campaign. July’s newsletter includes three ways new REALTORS® can get to know their member benefit and fully leverage all the platform has to offer.

Overall, the newsletter is a win-win for Associations and MLSs that want to consistently deliver high quality, engaging information that adds value for members/subscribers.
“I’m always on the lookout for good content and RPR’s stuff is right there for the taking, without me having to chase it down,” says Jones. “You make my job easier.”

“RPR is used more often than some of our other services because they make it easy for us to share stories,” he continues. “We have other MLS services, but they don’t offer the communications support we get through RPR. By that nature, they don’t get used as much.”

The symbiotic relationship between Dayton REALTORS® and RPR has produced real-time positive results. In recent years, the number of Dayton’s members using RPR has doubled. And the Association has one of the highest RPR usage rates in the country.

“I haven’t gone a single month without including Tips & Tools content in our newsletter,” adds Jones. “The tips are short, which suits our members, and topical. And for longer subjects, I rely on the ‘read more’ option.”

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See past issues of Tips & Tools
Contact RPR’s Industry Relations team

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