MBA – get a Clue (train)…

cluetrain-7784761To:  The Mortgage Bankers Association
From:  Brandie Young

January 12, 2009

Re: Have you heard the terms “Transparency” or “Web 2.0”.  Really?

Dear MBA,

For over a decade, I’ve attended more MBA events than I can remember.  Your events are top-notch and attract the best and brightest from many walks of the mortgage, mortgage related and real estate industries. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but most of the companies (especially Lenders) are out of business – thus the ~40% drop in event attendance.  These are tough times in our industry.  While I’m all about monetizing, I think the time is ripe for the MBA to step into current times, and help keep the people that can’t afford the very pricey cost of attending.  Why?  To update your brand and keep your leadership position.

You are the best example of a broadcast brand I’ve seen.  And that’s not a compliment.

Your communications are one-way.  We (members of the industry) don’t really have a say in context or content of the events.  And, since you don’t allow ANY video to be taken of presentations, those that can’t afford to attend can’t get the benefit of the sage wisdom dispensed during the sessions. 

If as an industry we are to pull ourselves up, dust off and forge ahead – we require this information like oxygen. 

I suggest urge that you live stream the events.  You will not lose attendance as a result.  People that can attend, will do so for the networking and sales opportunities.  Really.  Instead, you will become a hero to the masses that can’t attend, and perhaps prove value to those that question spending a grand or so to attend and win them as future attendees.

Plus, it will keep the events top-of-mind with those that hope to attend in the future.  (You know, that 40% that aren’t attending events this year.)

Let go of the control
Listen to your members. 
Let the members define the events and participate virtually. 

By letting go, you will get far more down the road.  You will be appreciated.  You may even create evangelists.

Test it out.  Send a survey to see if that’s what the industry wants out of our Association.  And, if you must – charge for it – but a meager $10.   

Sincerely,

Brandie

p.s.  And let us throw a party, even if we aren’t exhibiting or sponsoring.  Sheesh.

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4 responses to “MBA – get a Clue (train)…

  1. Brandie –

    I think you are right on the money with this. You don’t have to look any farther than last weeks Inman Connect in NY.

    Each session was professionally Video’d by Inman for distribution to it’s paid membership (weather they were there or not)

    Yet countless “wild” streams were also sent out via Qik and Ustream. The viewers of those streams got a taste of being there was like.

    It didn’t negate their future involvement, instead it generated buzz around the vent for those that were there and those that were not.

    To put it in a software analogy, open source is a very good thing.
    Look at what Open Source did for Twitter, for WordPress and so on…

  2. I pretty much echo Mike’s sentiments, and why wouldn’t I, since I know that he ‘gets it’.

    When I announced that the first RE BarCamp would be in SF the day before Inman, people kept asking if Inman was pissed. I’m sure there might have been an initial concern internally, but they’ve embraced the movement and created a win-win situation out of it.

    I know that it takes a leap of faith to embrace the marketing/community building models made possible by some of the newer technologies, but the organizations that will do will prosper from it, while those that opt for the old ‘closed door’ system will wither and slowly die out.

    Great post Brandie. Hope the MBA decides to hop on the cluetrain and embrace the open!

  3. Brandie –

    You are now enshrined in my list of RE Marketers I Dig simply because of Cluetrain Manifesto. May there be more of us a year from today.

    -rsh

  4. I could not have said it better Brandie! The Broker Association did not listen and there just about out of business.
    We can learn from the Realtor Association, class act and they get a A+ from their members.
    Take care
    Commercial Broker

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