Focus Groups for Associations

So, you want to hold a focus group for your REALTOR® members?

(Here’s where you think to yourself, “YES!”)

Great idea! I’m thrilled to hear it, so I have compiled a list of resources — both those I have created and those I’ve found (because, really, why re-invent the wheel?) that should be a huge help to you!

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Holding a focus group or series of focus groups would pair really well with your Strategic Planning — if you have an upcoming Strategic Planning Retreat, consider planning a focus group in advance (well enough ahead to compile the data for your Strategic Planning Committee to consider) to bring in the thoughts and opinions of your less-involved members.
  • If you are not nearing a Strategic Planning year, focus groups are still very useful — consider holding a focus group or series of focus groups on any topics from which you want to hear from your members, especially those who are less engaged: professional development/education, RPAC and advocacy, benefits of the Association, events, and networking, and the list could go on and on.
  • Don’t go into the focus group process to desire a specific outcome. The reason for putting time and energy into conducting a focus group is to hear the voices of your members — especially some of whom you don’t often hear, the voices of the less-involved or less-engaged members.
  • Do seriously consider who your focus group attendees will be — you don’t want it to be the “usual suspects,” meaning your leadership and those super-engaged members whose input you already have. While leadership may like to feel included, the point is to hear from the membership, whose voices may not always be heard or considered.

Here are my steps for facilitating a successful focus group for your Association. Here are sample questions/formats for hosting a Professional Development/Education Focus Group. I also think this article is an extremely useful one on Tips for Facilitating Focus Groups.

Finally, as promised, here are the slides from my presentation today:


And, of course, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or if I can assist you in any way! Happy Focusing!