New Programs Funded in CCIAOR’s Budget

The CCIAOR & CCIMLS Board of Directors approved the budget for 2019 at their board meeting last week. I wanted to take the opportunity to explain the process, the goals, and the major initiatives that were included in that budget, so that you gain a better understanding of how CCIAOR is implementing our strategic plan. Note at the previous board meeting, the Board of Directors set the 2019 CCIAOR membership dues and CCIMLS access fees upon which the budget is based.

During our strategic planning process at the end of 2017, we heard over and over that “you are what your budget says you are.” This means that if we say our association is about professionalism and advocacy, then our budget better reflect investments in those areas. If our MLS strategic plans says we are about data integrity and creating a customized, simple experience for our MLS participants and subscribers, then our budget better reflect that. Our staff, finance committee, and board has taken that phrase to heart over the past year.

First, it’s prudent to lay out the process for budget approval to you:

  • Staff meets and reviews the strategic plan and business plan to see what new programs and initiatives need to be funded for the next year
  • The Board and Finance Committee provides any input on budget goals for the year for the staff to incorporate
  • Staff develops a proposed budget for the Finance Committee’s review
  • Finance Committee has several meetings and at least one is advertised to the membership for input on the budget;
  • Finance Committee recommends a budget to the Board of Directors, making any necessary amendments to the staff proposed budget
  • The Board of Directors reviews and ultimately approves a budget subject to any amendments made

If you would like to be involved in the process, CCIAOR is currently seeking members of the Finance Committee. Find out the time commitment and apply, HERE.

So, what were our goals going in as the staff created a proposed budget to present to the Finance Committee?

  • Improve Transparency for both board members and the members at large;
  • Implement and fund the items in our strategic plan and business plans that were set for 2019;
  • Create the structure to budget for, project revenue, and allocate expenses for the Martha’s Vineyard Multiple Listing Service;
  • Ensure we are prioritizing our mission and our strategic initiatives.

As I said before, the two things we do are professionalism and advocacy, and looking at our strategic plan and the associated business plan, there are several new programs that needed funding. They are listed below:

Instructor Scholarship Program

The need and want for more qualified local instructors to teach classes for CCIAOR runs throughout our strategic plan. This is echoed in many surveys, including the one being distributed to membership now, where they want 1) More consistency in quality of education programming and, 2) More qualified, local instructors. To accomplish this, we’ve launched the Instructor Scholarship Program and allocated funds to the program. I encourage you to read more about this innovative program, and to encourage anyone that you think may be qualified or interested to apply.

Curriculum Development for new CE courses

Another strategic plan item that has come straight from member feedback over the years is that there needs to be a better variety of continuing education topics and curriculums more relevant to the needs of our members and today’s evolving industry. To that end, we have allocated money to work with licensed instructors to write and submit for approval to the Board of Registration of Brokers and Salespersons at least one brand new CE class next year and possibly more in the future.

Designation Development

The Professionalism Task Force is wrapping up their work and will be recommending the development of a Cape Cod Real Estate Specialist designation at the November Board of Directors meeting. This designation, along with future Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard designations, will be able to be earned by CCIAOR members. This designation will help members further distinguish themselves as local market experts, but more importantly, it will provide a specific, local-oriented training program that is a combination of both online and in-person. The goal is to try to raise the level of professionalism in the industry through education and involvement. The designation will be offered free of charge to any member seeking to obtain it; the new budget allocates the resources to develop it and offer it.


On the advocacy side of things, we added funds in last year’s budget to support advocacy initiatives. In addition, many of our advocacy funds come through grants from the National Association of REALTORS®, bringing the dues dollars you pay to them home to work on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. For example, we have received more than $60,000 in funds from NAR that we have then spent locally just this year. This has resulted in local wins, such as defeating the real estate transfer tax in Chatham and successfully passing a new raze and replace law (Article 16) at the recent Mashpee town meeting.

This is a quick overview of the budget highlights for 2019. If you have any questions about our finances, want to discuss them more in depth, or even sit down and see them, please reach out to either Treasurer Greg Kiely or myself.