Realtors® and Affiliates work in tandem to bolster local real estate market.
Working relationships are most successful when people combine their efforts. They accomplish more together than they can separately. The Realtor® and Affiliate members of the Vail Board of Realtors® (VBR) have this synergy. Both sides of this partnership support the other and benefit, as do home buyers and sellers.
The VBR is known for its approximately 800 Realtor® members that clients and the community can trust for real estate expertise. However, who do Realtors® turn to for advice and expertise?
“The real estate community is not just Realtors,” says Alex Griffin, Vail Board of Realtors® Past Chair. “It is a community of members that rely on each other. We could not be successful without the lenders, title companies, inspectors, among others.”
Known as Affiliate Partners, or simply as Affiliates, they provide real-estate-related services in over 30 categories, ranging from architects to
websites. The VBR provides a directory on its site that is accessible to members and the public.
Affiliates provide support for VBR members in many ways, like sponsoring classes or volunteering for events. In addition to sponsoring, some Affiliates offer education opportunities to Realtors®. Licensed real estate agents in Colorado must take continuing education classes, and Affiliate companies like Title Company of the Rockies provide classes to agents.
“Being available for the brokers is a privilege,” says Tex Asanti of Title Company of the Rockies. “We recognize that brokers are our clients. When they succeed, their clients also succeed, then we all succeed. Anything and everything we can do to support their success is important to us.”
The VBR prides itself on providing resources to help all its members position themselves as professionals, including its Vail Pro Designation. Vail Pro aims to raise professionalism within its membership with industry knowledge, local history, and current events affecting the community. Initially created for Realtor® education, the Vail Pro program was expanded to Affiliates.
Affiliate members also play a significant part in providing Vail Pro courses. Inspectors, lenders, escrow agents, surveyors, and appraisers share their expertise for these classes - from writing outlines to teaching the courses. Sarah Dorman of Land Title Guarantee Company teaches a portion of a title, closing, and survey Vail Pro class.
“This program is just one of the many things that make our board so special, says Dorman. “The classes provide a professional, peer-specific environment where agents can gain knowledge to better serve their customers.”
As part of the synergistic relationship, Affiliates benefit from promotion to Realtor® members. It’s often more than logo placement. It can include speaking opportunities and one-on-one time with fellow members at events like affiliate expos or member mixers.
Another option for Affiliates is sponsoring VBR’s Welcome Home Bag program. Realtors® can pick up a free bag for clients who purchase homes in the valley. Each bag includes items sponsored by different Affiliates and includes sponsor logos. The program reiterates the value of working with a Realtor® when buying or selling real estate. It also promotes all VBR Affiliates – not just the sponsors.
Each bag includes brochures endorsing Affiliates and highlighting VBR’s community efforts and programs, like its REALFire® Program. REALFire® provides free property assessments to educate Eagle County residents on how their homes and landscaping may be susceptible to
wildfire and specific ways to reduce wildfire threat.
New this year is a print Affiliate directory to help those new homeowners find a trusted partner to meet their needs. Also available online, a future goal is to offer the directory in a helpful app.
Each summer, the VBR hosts a Business and Affiliate Expo. While it was originally created for Realtors® and Affiliate members to meet, business professionals who are not VBR members are invited to participate. Asanti describes it as a “fun” event.
“It brings together local businesses in support of our real estate community,” says Asanti. “Brokers are invited to stop by our tables, say hi, and visit with the businesses who support their success. We also network with our fellow affiliates at the event and make connections.”
She stresses the value of affiliate membership for businesses that are interested in reaching the local real estate community.
"Where else can you go to reach over 800 Realtors, who have thousands of clients, who need or want your expertise, services, or products,” adds Asanti. “You will get to know your broker neighbors, fellow businesses, and everyone involved comes together to support each other’s success.”
According to Griffin, continuing those connections between Realtor® and Affiliate members is significant for the VBR. Part of the strategic planning for the VBR Board of Directors is to expand and enhance the affiliate membership program.
“Collaboration is key,” adds Griffin. “Affiliate membership is a great way to connect and foster relationships, and to be a part of the real estate community.”
To find a trusted real-estate professional, please visit VBR.net to search directories of Affiliate Partners and Realtors®