Thousands of REALTORS® gathered in Anaheim last week to Own the Moment at NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience. Attendees packed the room at Monday’s Advocacy Scoop to hear the latest on the association’s priorities and successes at the local, state, and national levels.
“We have spent the last several years modernizing the advocacy operation, prioritizing the cultivation of relationships within our organization and with policymakers, industry partners, and state and local associations,” said NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn. “The mantra we follow is what will advocacy look like in ten years, and how are we the first ones to get to it?”
McGahn and Jon Waclawski, NAR’s vice president of political advocacy, highlighted the vital role of REALTOR® Party programs in moving our advocacy priorities forward:
- Issues Mobilization Program: Grant approvals in 2023 have shattered the previous record by 20%. In ballot measures affecting the REALTOR® industry, the pro-REALTOR® position prevailed 75% of the time. “Rent control continues to be a major issue that our state and local associations are dealing with,” said Waclawski. “We already know we’re going to have two statewide ballot measures that involve rent control in California and Massachusetts. These are going to be very well-funded ballot measures, and so we’re going to deploy a large amount of our resources to help move the needle.”
- Consumer Advocacy Outreach Program: 15 Consumer Advocacy grants have been awarded to state and local associations totaling more than $330,000. The Consumer Advocacy Outreach Program has seen a 29% increase in consumer Calls for Action sent by associations in 2023, jumping from 300k emails sent to consumers last year to 1.24 million emails sent so far this year.
- Advocacy Everywhere Program: State and local associations have used the program to issue 68 Calls For Action, with 28 state CFAs and 40 local CFAs.
- Community Outreach Program: 362 state and local REALTOR® association requests for support were approved, totaling over $2 million. This is a remarkable 21.5% increase in funding from last year, and an early application surge led to program reaching maximum capacity on June 1.
- State and Local Independent Expenditure Program: More than $6 million approved to support REALTOR® champions in 2023, leading to 115 wins plus two leading in too close to call races. Just this month, on Election Day, we swept all four races in Seattle, all five in Ohio, and all four in New Jersey, and help secure the re-election of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
- RPAC: We have a 35% participation number; that’s phenomenal,” Waclawski said. “There is no other organization that comes close to that number.”
McGahn also spoke with Bryan Greene, NAR’s vice president of policy advocacy, and Joe Harris, NAR’s vice president of government advocacy, about what the association is doing at the federal level to support homeownership.
“We recently engaged the Federal Reserve, working with the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Homebuilders,” Greene said. “We sent a letter essentially saying that the market needs clarity; we need to hear that there will be no more rate increases.”
Harris highlighted bipartisan legislative efforts on inventory and affordability. “The More Homes on the Market Act is an example of something that has gotten tremendous support and response from legislators because the issue is becoming more and more real as time goes on,” said Harris. “The More Homes on the Market Act, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, tax credits and incentives for private investment, and converting underutilized office spaces – what we’re doing with legislation like this is keeping the economy going.”