Delivering Value Through Core Competency Solutions: Introducing the ‘Shop Realtor®’ Journey

Shop Realtor 8 Core Competencies

WITH DIFFERING CAREER PATHS, business models, brands, clientele and marketing strategies, Realtor® members are unique. In developing the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, NVAR volunteer leaders and staff made a conscious decision to create a system that aligns membership benefits with specific member needs.

We're committed to curating a unique member experience for each of our members - delivering the products, services and opportunities that they need in order to develop and serve their client base and to run a successful business." -NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad
One of NVAR’s strategic goals is to move towards an individualized member experience, providing the resources that matter most to each member. After a four-year-long project, “Shop Realtor®” is forging an ambitious path to rethink access and delivery of member value and benefits from all three levels of the Realtor® association in a more thoughtful and deliberate way.

In 2017, NVAR launched the new, designed to create a distinct user experience for three primary audiences: Northern Virginia Realtors®, Northern Virginia real estate service providers, and Northern Virginia homebuyers and sellers. Working with members, staff and the public, NVAR developed a site that highlights the most relevant content and areas of interest for each user group.

Narrowing a set of 12 distinct user personas to three audiences was only the first hurdle. The development team recognized that Northern Virginia Realtors®, the largest of the three target audiences and the primary focus of NVAR’s strategic mission, encompasses a widely diverse group of individuals.

“We’re committed to curating a unique member experience for each of our members – delivering the products, services and opportunities that they need in order to develop and serve their client base and to run a successful business,” says NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad.

To understand which products and services offer a strong value proposition for the work that Realtors® engage in each day, NVAR created a member-led Products and Services Advisory Group (PSAG). Its mission: to help NVAR better understand, through the member perspective, how to organize the aggregated products and services from the local, state and national associations in a way that will elevate the business success of the Realtor® agent and broker members.

Using a list of 230 possible actions that a Realtor® may provide in a typical, successful real estate transaction as a launch point, the PSAG was tasked with refining it into a logical set of categories, or competencies, that a member should develop to achieve success as a Realtor®. The group identified eight core competencies – four related to the Realtor’s® clients, and four related to the Realtor’s® business:

Client-centered Competencies:

  • Pre-appointment (preparing for a client meeting)
  • Client presentation (securing an agency agreement)
  • On the market (marketing and showing activities)
  • Offer-to-closing (managing a contract to settlement)

Business-centered Competencies:

  • Business management (organizing your business)
  • Business marketing (growing your contacts base)
  • Personal success (realizing your potential)
  • Realtor® professionalism (advancing your profession)

PSAG then reframed the association’s products and services to create ease of access in a way that better aligns with the way members do business.

The next step is undertaking the necessary work to reposition all member offerings within the eight-category framework. Each product, service, benefit, event, article, research study, service provider and strategic partner are being coded and tagged in the website content management system, based on which core competency it supports. Not only will the end result create an Amazon-like e-commerce experience, but this also provides an online “journey” of offerings to support the member’s client-centered and business-centered work lifecycle. Visit to see how this new online experience continues to take shape.

The table of contents on page 5 of this issue features a visual key to each of the eight competencies. Content throughout the magazine includes icons identifying the competency associated with each item.

Visitors to the NVAR Fairfax headquarters will notice a redesign of the first floor that reflects the newest ways to experience retail, member service and digital engagement processes. New staff have been hired to support this “experience and engagement” hub. Check out the photos on page 6.

NVAR is committed to offering the latest tools and innovations to help members succeed. As the industry evolves, the association’s role, at local, state and national levels, is to help members maintain a competitive edge.

Shop Realtor® was conceived as part of an association-wide goal to deliver on that promise through the lens of each member’s workflow.

 Ann Gutkin is the NVAR vice president, communications.
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