How do you communicate bad news when your industry cools down?
For almost a generation, the U.S. housing market clipped along at a brisk pace; real estate pros thrived and membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surged to more than 1.3 million.
The association’s member magazine, REALTOR, reflected these good times with feature stories about successful real estate professionals, advice for capitalizing on the hot market, tips for standing out among the throng of new agents.
Then, in 2006, foreclosure rates jumped in certain parts of the U.S. and, like an aggressive cancer, they spread nationwide. By 2007 the nation faced a crisis. Home prices plummeted and continue to decline. NAR membership fell to 1.2 million.
This sharp downturn has affected the content in REALTOR magazine and the tone of NAR’s messages. That effect reveals a common challenge among associations: How do you communicate bad news when your industry cools down?