ULI’s Member-Facing Technology Improves Global Connectivity

ULI continues to upgrade member-facing technology to improve knowledge sharing and connectivity throughout the organization. This includes the Member Directory, which connects members to each other; Navigator, which connects members to opportunities to lead and volunteer throughout the organization; and Knowledge Finder, which connects members to the Institute’s latest research and best practices. Member use of the tools increased steadily throughout fiscal year 2019, with about one-third of the total membership using Knowledge Finder, the newest of the services. All three have proved to be invaluable resources for members seeking to give back to their community, gain industry knowledge and experience, and connect with the wider world of real estate.

Member Directory connects members around the world. In fiscal year 2019, Member Directory was improved by adding two new features:

– Document collaboration: Primarily used by product councils, this feature allows for members to collaborate on agenda creation, give notes and feedback, and provide a more customized Product Council Day; and
– Discussion feature: Also being piloted by product council members, this feature provides members with a protected place to share ideas.

“I am having really good success with Member Directory,” said Susan Morris, principal at NewHeight Group in Portland, Maine. “I am able to find the content I need and then narrow my search to find the specific people and companies within the public sector that will be able to truly help me.”

  • “I am having really good success with Member Directory. I am able to find the content I need and the people and companies that will be able to truly help me.”

    – ULI Member Susan Morris
  • “The idea of having Navigator designed to capture interest in various programs was appealing, and I immediately expressed my interest in both the Advisory Services program and Urban Land magazine.”

    – ULI Member Kimberly Player
  • “Knowledge Finder is powerful. It’s worth the price of my membership.”

    – ULI Full Member Michaela Mickey Marraffino

Navigator provides members the ability to find opportunities to lead and volunteer, such as serving on an Advisory Services panel, applying for membership on a product council, or becoming a mentor to a colleague. The number of volunteer opportunities available through Navigator rose significantly in fiscal year 2019 to nearly 500 categories representing more than 15,000 individual opportunities across the organization. Nearly 100 opportunities specific to the Europe and Asia Pacific regions were added, giving members the ability to find additional ways to engage in those regions. Custom forms were added to Navigator for more seamless application processes, along with multilingual opportunities for programs delivered in Japanese or Mandarin.

“The idea of having Navigator designed to capture interest in various programs was appealing, and I immediately expressed my interest in both the Advisory Services program and Urban Land magazine,” said Kimberly Player, director of research at Equilibrium in Portland, Oregon. “Finding these volunteer opportunities through Navigator resulted in Player writing an article for Urban Land and serving as a panelist for the Advisory Services program.

Knowledge Finder allows members to explore the latest research and best practices that ULI has to offer. In fiscal year 2019, improvements included the addition of new content types, including all Emerging Trends in Real Estate® reports; ULI Case Studies; research reports; major event presentations and agendas including those from previous Fall and Spring Meetings, the Europe Conference, and the Asia Pacific Summit; and Advisory Services panel reports spanning all regions since the program’s beginning in 1947. Additional integrations to other ULI systems were also added, making information searches more effective.

“Knowledge Finder is powerful. It’s worth the price of my membership,” said Michaela Mickey Marraffino, owner of MickeyM Marketing in Redondo Beach, California, who is using Knowledge Finder to find content.

Throughout the year, ULI focused on major improvements to Knowledge Finder, completing foundational work including discovery, envisioning, design, and development of an all-new system subsequently launched in fiscal year 2020. The new knowledge sharing platform offers new content and functionality that will help deliver an exceptional technology-enabled member experience.

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