Shared services: It’s all about value

By Diana Dietz | June 19, 2013 | 4 min. read

Kevin McQueen, President of Focus Forward Consulting
Kevin McQueen, President of Focus Forward Consulting

Predicting the future is easy but predicting it accurately is really hard, according to Kevin McQueen, president of Focus Forward Consulting.

“While I can’t predict the future of your association, it’s important for you to prepare for what’s to come,” said McQueen. This was part of a presentation he gave to attendees of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® (PAR) business meetings in Harrisburg earlier this month.

McQueen – who specializes in consulting services for associations, MLSs, real estate brokerages and vendors – has worked with over 144 associations in the past two years. “I’m pretty clear about where organized real estate is heading and I’m happy to share everything I know with you,” he said.

“I’m here to tell you that I want to be your matchmaker, by facilitating a series of next steps that results in a much better outcome for you and your association. Imagine what it would be like if your members appreciated what you do for them. That is my intention for you today,” he added.

McQueen shared his thoughts on what’s happening in today’s industry. “Consumers see the innovation taking place around us. That’s the challenge. I question whether or not we are keeping up. The one thing we know for certain is that your survival is all about the value you deliver to your members,” he said.

He shared his ideas on preparing for the future:

  • Look for opportunities to partner up: “You can work together with others who share your values, priorities and concerns. I call this collaboration and feel that for many, collaboration is your best solution for preparing for your future,” he said.
  • Merge your associations: “A good merger occurs when everyone comes out a winner, a lot like a good closing. A good merger is when you get most of what you want. However, with 1400 local associations in the US, I know there will be a lot of associations and MLSs that won’t end up with a win. That’s because they put off getting prepared,” he noted.
  • Do nothing: The last option is simply to continue what you are doing now. Some of my colleagues believe that a majority of Realtor® associations will pick this one. Let’s prove them wrong,” he concluded.

McQueen shared examples of some ideas being used by other associations. “I’m currently working with 31 associations to create bigger and better MLS solutions for their members in four different states,” he said. “You should see how this makes it much easier for associations to balance their budgets. Boards paying $12 or $15 dollars for just average systems are thrilled to see $6-$7 system costs instead.”

“For Realtors®, this makes it easier for members to conduct business. While there are incredible opportunities to reduce associate expenses, the overarching purpose was to make it easier for members to conduct business and make money,” he added.

McQueen recommends seeking help in facilitating the next step. “PAR shared services is a collaborative opportunity to me. The key question is – what’s stopping you? What are some reasons for not working together with other associations or boards? I would like to help you through these changes,” he said.

According to McQueen, shared services can be as simple as education, speaker costs and professional standards. “I know you’re doing these things. What I’m thinking about is what does the Realtor® want? What does your member want,” he asked.

“It all starts with your ideas. It starts with someone saying, ‘I need my association to provide this.’ There are leaders who know how to do some of these things. This is about our future. We have the power. You all have the power,” he concluded.

To learn more about Kevin McQueen, visit his website, or contact him at 720-449-1045.

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