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Associations Now

Rewards Program Drives Member Engagement

ASSOCIATIONS NOW, February 2013 Membership

By: Joe Rominiecki

Summary: The National Association of Realtors is encouraging its members to participate in small engagement opportunities in exchange for useful resources and prizes.

"Every association has a treasure chest of things that they want their members to use and to engage with them on," says Ken Burlington, vice president of strategic alliances, business development, and product management at the National Association of Realtors. NAR's newest engagement program is a model for getting members to take action.

  1. Offer rewards for actions. Every two weeks, NAR's Member Value Plus (MVP) program offers a new reward for participation in a short engagement opportunity. Since launch in April 2012, rewards have included electronic products, such as brochures and research reports, Burlington says. "We want to give them some tools that will be of value to them, but we want them to also engage with NAR and do things that are to their benefit but also that will benefit NAR," he says.
  2. Keep the engagement actions simple. The most successful MVP actions have been customizing a weekly e-newsletter and the website homepage and completing online ethics training. "Those tend to be quite popular because it's easy for people to do," Burlington says.
  3. Mix it up. MVP is a chance to call attention to underutilized engagement opportunities. "Our teams reached out across the divisions of NAR to find out what are some things we want members to do, to take action on, to be aware of," says Matt Lombardi, VP of marketing, marketing research, and digital marketing.

In eight months, NAR had given about $400,000 worth of rewards and generated 24,000 member-engagement actions. You can view the MVP program details at

Joe Rominiecki is a senior editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email:

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