Hundreds of REALTOR Party leaders gathered in Nashville last week for the REALTOR Party Training Conference to recap 2021’s successes and prepare for a busy 2022.
As President Leslie Rouda Smith said when opening the conference, the work of the REALTOR Party over the past couple years has been nothing short of a lifeline for our industry and our communities.
These advocacy efforts have helped protect the health and economic well-being of our members and consumers as we worked on:
- COVID relief bills, making sure independent contractors, sole proprietors, the self-employed, and small businesses were eligible for benefits.
- Securing historic investment in affordable housing and protecting real estate from the most feared taxes in the House-passed Build Back Better plan.
- Addressing the inventory shortage.
- Protecting independent contractor status.
- Securing nearly $50 billion in rental assistance to help struggling tenants and property owners.
- Ensuring lawmakers understand and agree that housing is infrastructure.
- And securing a $65 billion investment in broadband in the infrastructure bill that is now law.
Of course, the REALTOR Party is the engine behind these efforts.
More than 475 thousand REALTOR members invested in RPAC during the 2020 election cycle – a record – and raised more than $78.5 million.
The state and local independent expenditure program enabled state and local associations to participate in 203 campaigns this year, a record for a post-presidential off-year election. Of those campaigns, 113 were decided on Election Day with a 65 percent win rate.
The REALTOR Party has also shown incredible legislative influence.
Thanks to the issues mobilization program, states like Colorado, Maryland, and Utah have passed significant legislation to address the housing affordability crisis.
And REALTOR Party programs continue to change communities for the better.
Community outreach programs provided support to more than 260 state and local associations this year for everything from hosting a fair housing summit to developing an ADA-compliant trail.
Consumer advocacy grants provided 20 associations with $400,000 to support campaigns ranging from affordable housing to property tax to wildfire safety.
And through consumer calls for action, associations mobilized more than 220,000 consumers across the country in support of real estate issues.
Strong leadership by the REALTOR Party leaders will be just as vital in 2022 to keep up this momentum, especially in a consequential election year.
In Nashville, leaders learned more about the REALTOR Party programs they can use to boost their 2022 advocacy efforts with their associations and in their communities. They also received extensive training on how to help elect more REALTOR champions at all levels of government.
To close out the conference, attendees from each state gathered to draft plans for how they will use one or more REALTOR Party resources next year. And, of course, speakers and attendees alike shared success stories and ideas to help make 2022 the REALTOR Party’s best year yet.