Whether you are an aspiring real estate agent or a young real estate agent trying to get a foothold in the industry, you are probably wondering where to start and how to go about achieving your dreams. This is when you should consider joining a real estate association.
Real estate associations can connect you with industry professionals, help you gain knowledge, and serve as a guide for growth in the field. However, with a plethora of associations in the United States, you might be in a dilemma on which ones to choose. First, to make this choice, figure out how you want your career path to pan out in the coming years. If you are a beginner, look for an organization that can provide training and valuable certifications to you. As you move forward in your career, aim at establishing industry connections and look for organizations that align with your ethics and causes you believe in.
There are local, state, national and international level real estate associations in the United States. While local associations are present in almost every prominent city in the country, state-level associations deal with the real estate issues of all 50 states in the country. These state associations are members of the national associations that govern most trade associations in the US. International associations provide a platform for real estate agents to network and voice their opinions globally. To help you make wise choices, we have rounded up 14 prominent real estate associations you can join in the United States in 2021.
Here are a few examples of local real estate associations in the United States.
Greater Boston Real Estate Board is one of the local boards of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the National Apartment Association, and BOMA International. Founded in 1889, GBREB’s members exceed 12,000 professionals occupied in various areas of the real estate industry. This board, with a diverse membership base, has 5 divisions. Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), coming under GBREB, provides networking opportunities to owners and managers of commercial real estate in Boston. Their Commercial Brokers Association educates members; the Real Estate Finance Association brings together the best people in real estate finance. The Massachusetts Apartments Association manages multi-family properties in Massachusetts. The Greater Boston Association of Realtors is the Boston wing of NAR and provides support to the local members of NAR.
The Orange County REALTORS®, situated in Orange County, California, is a local body of the National Association of REALTORS®. They provide services to licensed real estate brokers, salespersons, appraisers and aims to upkeep the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, providing education, resources, advocacy, and services to members. OC REALTORS®’ strong relationship with political officers ensures the protection of REALTORS®’ interests and property rights.
Here are a couple of examples of state-level real estate associations in the country.
Connecticut REALTORS®, Connecticut’s most prominent professional trade association, promotes and advocates real estate in Connecticut. Consisting of over 17,000 board members and 16 local associations/ boards, CTR® aims at making Connecticut a better place to live, play and work. A large part of CTR’s services includes political and grassroots advocacy. They strive to ensure realtors’ voices are heard at federal and state levels to solve issues affecting the real estate industry. They stand by the statement, “If real estate is your profession, then politics is your business!”
UAR, the state-level membership organization for REALTORS® in Utah, was founded by 50 real estate dealers in 1920 in Salt Lake City. 100 years later, UAR stands tall as the largest trade association in Utah with 18,000 members. The organization focuses on bringing professionalism in real estate, protecting small businesses, and instilling the right to own, transfer and use real estate in Utah. Their headquarters are in Sandy, Utah.
Mississippi Realtors, the Mississippi state wing of the National Association of Realtors, strives to bring together real estate professionals, community champions, and industry advocates. They are committed to protecting the rights of all citizens using real property. MAR’s strategic initiatives include collaborating with government members and state public officials, delivering high-quality professional development opportunities, and protecting the credibility and integrity of the association.
These are the national associations to follow:
National Association of Realtors, being the USA’s largest real estate association, has 1.4 million members, consisting of commercial and residential brokers, property managers, counselors, salespeople, and others involved in the real estate industry. The association has been protecting and advocating the rights of American property buyers and sellers for 112 years. All association members are identified by the tag REALTOR®. In their own words, NAR’s mission is to “empower REALTORS® as they preserve, protect and advance the right to real property for all.”
A council dedicated to advancing the trillion-dollar apartment industry, NMHC brings together leaders in multifamily housing to ensure equality, diversity, and inclusion and build communities that thrive. Composed of developers, managers, and owners, they provide advocacy, insights, and homes to over 40 million Americans. As a member of NMHC, you will be mingling with an elite council of professionals, gaining access to its member-only meetings and exclusive business directories.
The Real Estate Roundtable gets together the nation’s cream crowd of realtors, lenders, developers, and managers, along with the top real estate associations, to solve significant issues in the field of national policy and economics. The Roundtable aims to create a cohesive industry heard by government officials and the global real estate community. Collectively holding $3 trillion, its members represent over 3 million professionals controlling over 12 billion square feet of land.
Founded in 1989, Commercial Real Estate Women aims to transform the real estate industry by empowering women worldwide. It brings together women to exchange information, network, and advance professionally. This 12000 member CREW conducts business summits, publishes research papers on gender and diversity in real estate. Immersed in over 75 markets, they also provide global leadership building opportunities and career assistance to women in need. To view their upcoming events, follow this link.
Institute of Real Estate Management is an institute for asset and property managers providing the knowledge, training, and certifications needed to overcome the day-to-day challenges faced in real estate. For over 85 years, IREM has instilled leadership skills and integrity in its members through its training programs. Their property management certification is internationally recognized and will come in handy to anyone looking to advance in the field, transition careers, and look for higher opportunities. IREM’s directory will benefit those looking for a certified asset management professional. To learn more about earning the IREM certification, click here.
ICSC is a trade association for the shopping center industry, promoting spaces of entertainment where people shop, play, dine and have fun. They provide their 70,000 members spanning 100 countries with valuable resources, industry insights, and advocates to build public policy. They also strategize marketing and public relations and create progressive content to benefit communities and economies.
Founded in 1907, BOMA is a commercial real estate association representing building owners, service providers, managers, and other industry professionals dealing with commercial buildings such as corporate, office, industrial, medical, and mix-use. BOMA’s leadership consists of 5 elected officers, an elected executive committee, and a board of governors comprised of 119 members. They conduct regular workshops and seminars to keep members informed about industry updates and developments. BOMA 360 Performance Program aims to set standards for the best practices in the commercial real estate industry. To check if your building has what it takes to qualify for a BOMA 360 designation, click here to apply.
U.S. Green Building Council is committed to maintaining sustainability in the real estate industry. They strive to design, build and encourage eco-friendly and healthy establishments that put nature first. USGBC’s LEED certification ensures buildings are conserving energy and water, minimizing waste, improving air quality, and reducing the overall environmental burden. Established in 1993, USGBC has redefined ‘green buildings’ and chalked out a roadmap for builders worldwide to create holistic designs. To become a certified LEED professional, follow this link.
Being a global real estate association of appraisers, Appraisal Institute aims to ensure professionalism, international standards, ethics, and practices in property economics. The institute comprises 17,000 members spread across 50 countries who have undergone rigorous scrutiny in education, experience, and qualifications. They provide valuation-related services to mortgage lenders, finance professionals, institutions, government agencies, and homeowners. To find an appraiser, click here.
PREA is an international non-profit trade association founded in 1979 for the real estate investment industry. Its members are 700 corporate firms in pension funds, foundations, investment firms, insurance companies, developers, real estate companies, and REITs spread over United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia. They aim to educate members about real estate investment through interactive forums. PREA prioritizes diversity, inclusivity, professionalism, and high standards of industry practice.
Remember, the associations you choose will influence your career path and growth in the coming years. Hence, choose wisely. Real estate associations require time, effort, and money but will make your journey fulfilling. Take up leadership roles in these organizations to gain exposure and establish lifelong connections. Who knows, maybe you will find your tribe in one of these organizations!