To encourage Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA) members to “interlock” with the association, we employed many innovative and effective tactics in 2019. These included easy ways for members to use their voice for advocacy efforts, roadshows to bring information directly to associates on the front lines of our industry, a member orientation program, and a new Leadership Lyceum program aimed at building up future leaders of our industry. With weekly videos highlighting our members and the work they do, an increased presence on social media, monthly free networking events, new and renewed volunteer committee options, and opportunities to give back to charity partners, we aspired to provide something for everyone.
The goal of these engagement tactics was to activate the members we already had and to educate onsite members of the benefits available to them through the association. One way to reach onsite members was our “Engagement Roadshow.” Meeting our members where they were at and on their time, rather than asking them to always come to us, was very effective. Our new member orientation was based on a similar premise. Instead of having an in-person reception, we brought the orientation to members’ computer screens and conducted a video chat format.
We launched a Leadership Lyceum program to engage future leaders of the industry in their professional and personal development. Education sessions focused on association history and operations, civic awareness and advocacy, and social responsibility. Young and bright, these future leaders learned the importance of belonging to their association and shared that they are excited to spread this information among their colleagues.
WMFHA Wednesdays was one of our most creative endeavors for member engagement. We published a video every week highlighting our members. For International Women’s Day we shared the story of a leading woman in maintenance. We shared success stories of members who earned their NAAEI credentials, heard from our local winner of Maintenance Mania, watched snippets from members’ experience at our big events, and aligned other content with whatever was relevant at the time. Whether it be summer pool maintenance ideas, taking your property photos to the next level, or Halloween safety tips for your community, WMFHA Wednesdays videos have it all. Not only do the videos give a voice to our members, but as one member states:
“Another resource that I use to improve my industry knowledge is by following WMFHA on my social media as well as watching WMFHA Wednesdays videos each week.”
To improve a sense of belonging among our members, we let our volunteer committees own their scope of work and decide what they should be doing. Our Membership Committee came up with the Engagement Roadshow idea and new member orientation. A committee member attends each roadshow and shares their experience of being engaged with the association. We also added a Marketing Committee in 2019 and have seen a big increase in the level of engagement on our committees overall.