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Weighing benefits and costs, associations turn page on chapter ties

RRC eliminated patchwork of chapters, while NAR imposed common standards

Sept. 14, 2018
By William Ehart

The subject of chapters that operate independently is a vexing one for many groups: Along with the rewards of having these flag-bearers and resources around the nation or around the world, there are costs and risks.

But some associations are finding solutions that preserve the ear-to-the-ground benefits of chapters while ensuring consistency of operational standards and branding.

The $9 million-revenue Residential Real Estate Council did away with its haphazard patchwork of 105 chapters and replaced them with 41 state and regional volunteer leadership teams, which fulfill functions such as education and networking.

The $238 million-revenue National Association of Realtors established “core standards” for its 1,100 chapters that led to the consolidation of hundreds of the local organizations.

The social and technological changes that are forcing associations to evolve in so many other aspects are also spurring reforms to traditional chapter relationships.