Starting a YPN
2. The Association Needs to Form the YPN. Contact NCYPN at the NC Association of REALTORS® and tell them about your desire for the creation of a YPN.
- Each network must be created by the REALTOR® Association for the area it is covering.
- Network names must be directly related to the sponsoring association (e.g., Young Professionals Network of the ______ Association of REALTORS®).
- Similarly, any name of a Regional Network covering multiple Associations must describe the area served (e.g., Region 8 YPN)
3. Gauge Interest with a Kick-off Event. Plan a networking event and publicize it to your target audience. Your association's news e-mails and member magazines are great promotion vehicles. Use your creativity and knowledge of your target audience to reach young members. Use nametags and fun, icebreakers to get attendees warmed up. A free event will maximize attendance.
4. Talk to Attendees. Ask what people want from a YPN and if they're interested in getting involved in planning future events. Get a core group of young professionals excited about the idea so you can count on them to plan and spread the word about future events.
5. Form a Contact List (Preferably in Microsoft Excel). Collect business cards at your event; Make sure you have contact information of all your attendees so you can follow up and start building a bigger Network. Collect Local Board Information, Company Name, Phone Numbers, E-Mail Address, and NRDS number (if they know it) from attendees for the association's database.
7. Boost the Group's Recognition with a Logo. YPN has a special logo that all networks can freely use, upon approval from NAR they will send you your customized logo with the name of your Association or Region displayed.
8. Form an Advisory Board/Committee/Council. YPN is a member driven initiative, and the Advisory Board is critical in promoting and planning YPN events, raising your profile in the community, and keeping your group active and thriving.
You might give advisory board members/committee members designated roles:
- Chair - Responsible for overseeing YPN meetings and serve as main spokesperson for your group (Must be available for 2 years)
- Vice Chair - Works in conjunction with the Chair (must be available for 3 years)
- Membership Director - In charge of recruitment and maintaining member database
- Events & Sponsorship Director - Planning and coordinating YPN activities and reaching out to potential sponsors
- Social Media & Communications Director - Promoting YPN activities via Facebook, Twitter, Website and E News Letters and responding to YPN inquiries.
Eventually your group may get to the size to break out into committees focused on different areas, such as planning events, sponsor outreach, and community service. Depending on your group's needs and main activities, the roles designated for advisory board members may vary.
*** NAR recommends committee status for local networks to clarify where YPN falls within the organization, although a major concern for young professionals is falling under the traditional structure. Trying to enforce traditional and formal practices on this group may result in a loss of interest, participation, and dissolution of the network. Please keep this group's mentality in mind when it comes to governance.
10. Plot Out Your Goals, Plan Future Events. Decide how often you want to hold events; This will be determined both by how much time the YPN leadership team can devote to planning, as well as how often members will want to meet. Set dates far in advance so you have ample time to find sponsors, recruit speakers, and plan for an event that will invigorate young members.
11. Designate an Association Staff Member for Your Network. The most successful networks have a designated association staff person to help them operate. The following is a job description for the designated association staffer and written by a designated association staffer:
YPN Staff Liaison JOB SUMMARY: This association staff position is responsible for providing a framework for members to organize and maintain a Young Professionals Network.
1. Work closely with the YPN Chairperson and YPN Advisory Board to establish and coordinate networking meetings and events around the network's mission and objectives.
2. Together with YPN Advisory Board create and manage a YPN association budget.
3. Prepare agendas, monitor and take notes for YPN task force meetings and events.
4. Attend local, state, and national YPN meetings as assigned.
5. Prepare a YPN summary report as needed by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors