Here are some suggested activities on how to use NAR’s Rural Outreach grant to address issues in your community.  The grant focuses on these issues: Broadband; Well/Septic/Sewer; Farmland/Open Space Preservation; Protection Overlay Districts; Rural Zoning;  Natural Disasters; Transportation and Land Use.

In a survey we conducted, the top 3 issues identified were broadband, affordable housing and wastewater/septic/well followed by vacant properties, distressed downtowns, transportation and zoning.

We offer some general ideas on addressing these issues but also some specific ideas, and consultants to consider, on a few of these targeted issues.

Also see Strategies to Address Challenges using NAR’s Programs on how to use all of the Community Outreach grants to address issues, such as affordable housing and downtown revitalization,  in your community.

Level 1

Expert Speaker: Host a local or national speaker to discuss a challenge impacting your community.

Hold a Class/Training: Provide education opportunities for members to learn an issue impacting your community.

Level 2

General Ideas

Conduct a Poll/Survey:  Conduct a survey to gauge residents’ opinions on growth/development and priority issues.

Coordinate a Rural Issues Forum/Symposium: Bring together REALTORS®, consumers, elected officials and community stakeholders to discuss one, or more, issue impacting rural communities.

Organize a Speaker Series: Organize a series of educational sessions with each session focusing on a different issue impacting rural communities.

Develop a Training Course: Use a consultant to develop a training session for Realtors® on a particular issue.

Develop an Ordinance/Policy: Use a consultant to draft a plan, local ordinance or policy on an issue impacting your community.

Create Educational Materials: Develop materials to educate your members, or for your members to distribute to their clients and potential homebuyers.

Ideas on Specific Issues


  • Poll/Survey: Conduct a survey to gauge resident’s opinions on the need for broadband and how the lack of broadband is impacting them.
  • Expert Speaker: Bring in a speaker to discuss how other rural communities brought broadband to their communities

Speaker/Consultant:  Community Broadband Networks and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)


  • Bring in a speaker to discuss best practices & regulations for well/septic.
  • Develop Curriculum: Use a consultant to develop a training session for Realtors on well/septic regulations.
  • Develop educational materials to for members to distribute to homeowners and homebuyers on well/septic regulations.

Speaker/ConsultantRural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)


  • Bring in a speaker to discuss how zoning, especially related to density, is impacting affordable housing.
  • Bring in a speaker for a workshop on growth and development or to moderate a discuss on how and where the community wants to grow.
  • Offer NAR’s Smart Growth Class (via the Smart Growth Grant)
  • Bring in speaker to discuss zoning and regulations in rural communities.
  • Use a consultant to draft zoning regulations/policies/codes related to addressing affordable housing challenges.

Speaker/Consultant: Community Builders

Natural Disaster Recovery & Prevention

  • Develop disaster prevention (i.e., wildfire safety/prevention) educational materials for Realtors® to distribute to residents and homebuyers.
  • Conduct a public forum/town hall to discuss disaster prevention information.
  • Organize a forum to discuss natural disasters recovery, what’s next, and whether or not to rebuild.