Apartment Association of the Panhandle member Arra Coleman received the Texas Apartment Association Lone Star Go Getter of the Year Award for associations with 201-500 members.
Arra recruited 18 new members in 2012 to earn this award, which was announced April 25 at the recent TAA 50th anniversary Education Conference & Lone Star Expo in Houston.
Leslie Massey, Arra Coleman and Chris Childers
Chris Childers and Arra Coleman
We asked Arra to share some of her winning strategies for recruiting new members:
Who do you work for?
Gaut & Whittenburg Commercial Real Estate
Which local apartment association(s) are you involved in?
Apartment Association of the Panhandle
What do you enjoy most about working in the rental housing industry?
This industry is always changing. Every day is different, with new challenges. I assist clients with purchasing or selling investment property. I love apartments. If you’re persistent and fair you will always be successful is this industry.
What first attracted you to this industry? Why have you remained in the industry?
I started in the industry when I was 18 years old as a leasing agent for a 200-unit apartment community. I loved it. Within two years I was managing my own community and within two more years I was a senior property manager over 400+ units. I received my Real Estate License in 2004. I’ve stuck with it since.
Tell us a little about your involvement with your local association.
AAP has always been welcoming to new members. This is an organization I’ve always enjoyed being involved in. I’ve joined others but AAP has always been a special one. Chris Childers asked me to Chair the Membership Committee last year. Everyone knows I take these things very seriously. I decided our goal should be 40 new members. That’s about an 11percent increase. Crazy…I know. On the last day we had 39 signed up and a guest invited who joined that day making it 40! Talk about excited! We haven’t seen that in a while. But that just goes to show the power of our luncheons.
Bottom line…about how many members have you recruited for your association in the last year? In all your years of involvement?
Probably about 20 or so? I’ve lost count.
What’s the key to your recruiting success?
Just inviting guests to the meetings. Once they get to meet a few members they are hooked! It’s a great group.
What do you find to be the most effective selling points when recruiting prospective members?
I try to let them know about all of our events and how much fun they are. You meet so many interesting people. Of course, the newsletter is nice and the vendor list. You have so many marketing opportunities.
What does it take to be a successful membership recruiter?
Persistence. Just because someone can’t make it the first time doesn’t mean they can’t make it the next. I keep a list and every month I email or call them again. Use the buddy system also. Going into a large group alone is overwhelming. Introduce your guest to other members. Stay with them the first few meetings.
What advice do you have for new members, to help them get the most from their membership investment?
Join a committee. That is a great way to easily meet members one to one. Also, make general meetings. And mostly, don’t be afraid to say hi to someone. They won’t bite!
What advice do you have for members who would like to try their hand at recruiting other members?
I know I sound repetitive, but invite them to a luncheon. Their first lunch is free, they get to hear a great speaker, what do they have to lose?