The REALTOR® Party
Since the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) hired its first lobbyist in 1973, America’s largest trade association has been working together to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment. In 2010-2011, NAR ramped up its efforts at the state and local levels by launching the REALTOR® Party Initiative. This included grants and tools to help state and local REALTOR® Associations run candidate and issue campaigns, and implement smart growth, housing opportunity and diversity programs, and much more.
As the only advocacy group in America that fights exclusively for homeownership, real estate investment, strong communities and the free enterprise system, the REALTOR® Party is not focused on the right, left or even the middle of the aisle; it is focused on the issues that matter to existing and future homeowners and the real estate industry.
Supporting candidates and campaigns and engaging in community outreach, the REALTOR® Party leverages the association’s best asset—its grassroots network of 1.2 million REALTORS® across the U.S. and its territories—to work hard on behalf of America’s 75 million homeowners and those who aspire to one day own property of their own.
In recent years, our local level activities have increased; REALTORS® have gained political clout through legislative victories in every corner of the country; and state and local REALTOR® Associations have expanded their community and political presence…all because of the actions of the REALTOR® Party.
REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) & Political Fundraising
The REALTOR® Party works hand-in-hand with the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC); however, RPAC is a voluntary program and provides the “hard” dollars the association uses to make direct contributions to national, state and local candidates. This partnership is what makes us a force to be reckoned with at the local, state and national levels.
Launched in 1969 as the Real Estate Political Education Committee (REPEC), RPAC supports candidates of any party who understand and champion real estate issues. It is the most bipartisan major PAC in the country. Political expenditures are divided nearly evenly among Republicans and Democrats based on their support of real estate issues. In 1974, NAR changed REPEC’s name to RPAC.
With the game-changing Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission in 2010, NAR created an independent expenditure-only committee, the National Association of REALTORS® Congressional Fund, which helps supplement RPAC funding of federal and state independent expenditures. The Congressional Fund allows the tax-efficient use of NAR member dues to complement the association’s RPAC-funded political efforts, which are used for direct contributions to candidates.
In 2015, NAR created the Corporate Ally Program to provide our extended real estate family—namely Multiple Listing Services and their business partners and advisors, real estate brokerages, NAR business affiliates and vendors and Institutes, Societies and Councils—with the flexibility of investing their corporate dollars to support the REALTOR® Party issues and/or candidate programs.