Membership organizations abound in the real estate industry, representing every type of professional. Most associations offer a diverse menu of member benefits, including financial programs, market research data, educational opportunities, and more. This section highlights and provides links to some of the industry's top trade associations.
A national organization of more than one million members, NAR was founded in 1908. It represents real estate professionals who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers and others. Only members may use the registered mark, Realtors®. Membership is through 1,200 local real estate boards/associations, which includes automatic membership in state organizations and the national association. In addition to its strong involvement in government advocacy, NAR broadcasts a radio show, and has a media public awareness campaign, with television, print and online media. Member benefits include publications; networking and professional development at seminars and conferences; education courses for career development at the Realtor® University; access to research reports on subjects like the economy, the housing market, and statistics; and discounts on technology tools such as demographic reports software and mobile online forms.
NAIOP is the trade association for the developers, owners and related professionals of industrial, office, and mixed use properties. NAIOP (the initials come from the association's previous name, the National Association of Industrial Office Parks), touts itself as a prime networking outlet for members, which is especially valuable during difficult economic times in the commercial real estate industry. Member benefits include chapter connections throughout the U.S.; government advocacy; innovative educational programs, including webinars and special programs for "developing leaders"; networking with "dealmakers" at national forums and through an online membership directory; the Solution Series, with twice weekly news updates on the condition of the industry; and Developer Magazine.
As the name states, NAEBA was formed in 1995 to represent real estate agents who exclusively represent buyers in real estate transactions. The association requires its members to complete annual education programs and has established a certification program with the designation of Certified Exclusive Buyer Agent. In addition to education programs, members receive marketing assistance and materials, and receive leads from the association's referral service and online database.
IREM is an association for managers of multi-family and commercial real estate property. Members are usually real estate professionals who hold a real estate license, and are members of both a chapter, and IREM's affiliate, the National Association of Realtors. Candidates for membership can take the requisite steps to become a Certified Property Manager. Associate memberships are available for non-certification candidates. In addition to networking through chapters, seminars, conferences, trade shows, and their online social community, IREM FIRST, members also have access to IREMjobs.org, an online job-site for real estate management.
Real Estate Business Institute
The Real Estate Business Institute (REBI) is the organization for real estate brokers, managers and owners. An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, the Council is committed to helping their members with real estate business management through education; certification; knowledge resources, such as best practices for office management; and technology tools to enhance productivity and increase profitability. Members also benefit from networking through their chapters and an online member directory to assist in business referrals.
Real Estate Industry Resources
Today's economy presents many challenges, and real estate professionals know this better than most. Help for stressed company-owners does exist. This section will lead you to reliable information and links to everything from government programs, to market research, to green building resources, and more.
This organization offers resources on green building and energy efficiency and connects real estate professionals to businesses offering green services and products. The company also offers an EcoBroker® certification through its green real estate training and marketing programs.
Reis Inc. provides impartial commercial real estate reports for use by real estate professionals, investors, lenders, insurance companies and others. Registration is required, and most reports are available by subscription. Data is presented at the metro, submarket and property level and
An online marketplace for real estate professionals, as well as homeowners and buyers, Zillow.com has real estate data on more than 100 million homes in the U.S. The site also has real estate market reports and a directory of agents and lenders. Zillow also offers Zillow Mortgage Marketplace and Zillow Mobile.
A membership organization for appraisers, the Institute is a valuable resource for non-members as the world's largest publisher of real estate appraisal literature, much of which is available for sale in its online store. The Institute also houses the Lum Library, providing research assistance, business databases and an Online Catalog for the Institute's publications.