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Redefining the Industry Gold Standard 


The Challenge:

The Council of Residential Specialists is an international association with almost 40,000 members and an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors®. They needed to find out how the association was perceived by members and other stakeholders so that they could more clearly define the organization’s position in the marketplace to all its constituents. CRS wanted to increase perceived membership value to help maintain member engagement and to protect their revenue stream from declines in membership dues and certification tuition.

The Solution:CRS Keys and House

NorthStar Strategies conducted research that indicated CRS is the widely recognized industry gold standard. Members are a cohesive, committed, dedicated group of professionals who are in the top 3% of their profession. The association provides top-notch education and training, as well as networking and referral opportunities. Members are more successful financially than non-members and are recognized and respected as experts in their field.

The strategic implications of this branding initiative included a new, carefully honed national advertising campaign, a new series of customizable marketing materials for members, and a self-branding online training course for members to instruct them about maximizing their own branding and local marketing efforts. In addition, several innovative membership offerings were identified and developed to provide incremental value to members.

The Results:

This strategic process led to the Council of Residential Specialists tagline, “The Proven Path to Success” which has become the cornerstone that guides the organization. The rebranding initiative was launched at their annual meeting and in their national magazine, The Residential Specialist. NorthStar Strategies was cited throughout.

The “Proven Path to Success” brand promise has helped focus membership activities and program development. The organization has been driven to deliver on this promise, to be more member-directed, providing state-of-the-art educational options designed to lead their members to even greater “success.” CRS has solidified its position as market leader and industry gold standard now and into the future.

Smart Words

"Marketing isn't magic.  There is a science to it."

Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist, Hubspot