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REALTOR Party News – November 2019

Bob Goldberg

A Clear Direction for Navigating Change in 2020

With an “off-year” election behind us, now is the time to focus on our industry and the communities we serve. We have an exception group of appointed advocacy leaders, led by the 2020 Leadership Team, who are eager to get to work. The issues facing our industry are unprecedented. By forging a new contract between NAR, REALTORS®, and our industry, we believe we can realize unprecedented success for ourselves as business owners, the communities where we work and live, and homeowners alike.

By the Numbers

Percentage of races that state and local associations won on Nov. 5 that used the REALTOR® Party’s independent expenditure program. This program provides funds that associations can use to support candidates for political office who support REALTORS® and the real estate industry. Of the 129 IE races decided on Nov. 5, 25 were in support of REALTOR® candidates.

Number of attendees at the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Were you one? If not, don’t worry. Check out REALTOR® Magazine Live for insights and news. Get a taste of the conference and first-hand REALTOR® accounts on by visiting Conference Live, a virtual window into the event experience.

Estimated loss in real estate transaction due to email phishing scams between 2015 and 2017, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This represents a 1,100% increase. Robert Siciliano, a security trainer at ProtectNowLLC.com, understands how vulnerable real estate transactions are to wire fraud. Check out a few of his tips to prevent this from happening to you and your clients.


As of Oct. 19, the number of major disaster declarations nationwide this year. With the cost of property damage topping $10 billion, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has been developing a new risk rating system, Risk Rating 2.0. This would represent the first time flood risk assessments have been update since the 1970s and adequately reflects the flood risks of individuals and communities.

The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are cataloged in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.


After a Wildfire, Oroville REALTORS® Makes Smart Growth Plans to Rebuild Paradise

In four congressional districts of North Carolina, REALTORS® got rare access to their U.S. Representatives in a series of “Congressional Road Shows” hosted by their Federal Political Coordinators. REALTORS® in attendance got to hear and ask questions about issues important to the industry and their communities.


North Carolina “Congressional Road Shows” Highlight Working Relationships of REALTORS® and Capitol Hill Counterparts

In four congressional districts of North Carolina, REALTORS® got rare access to their U.S. Representatives in a series of “Congressional Road Shows” hosted by their Federal Political Coordinators. REALTORS® in attendance got to hear and ask questions about issues important to the industry and their communities.


Coeur d’Alene REALTORS® Bring a “Storybook Trail” to Growing Community

The Coeur d’Alene REALTOR® association wanted to use one of the REALTOR® Party’s Smart Growth Action Grants to help a local community where its members live and work. Working together with the City of Rathdrum, Idaho, they planned and built a ‘Storybook Trail’ at the base of Rathdrum Mountain.

Resources & Opportunities


Op-Ed: Let’s Get Housing Finance Reform Right This Time

Do you think the federal government has expanded its exposure to risky mortgages? NAR’s recently published an op-ed with the Mortgage Bankers Association, the American Bankers Association, and the National Home Builders Association in the American Banker sets the record straight.


Rural Broadband Deployment: Strategies for Closing the Digital Divide

Many Americans fail to realize that millions of their fellow citizens, primarily those in rural areas, lack access to reliable and affordable internet connections. Explore this issues’ crucial nature as it relates to the real estate industry. Get a brief history of deploying broadband in the U.S., an overview of the current federal framework for encouraging broadband deployment, and summaries of a number of state regulatory strategies that stand out from the crowd.


Show Your RPAC Pride Online

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. Add a special graphic overlay to your social media profile picture (click on Add Your Photo). Then check out the map to see profile pics of your REALTOR® colleagues from across the country.


Join the REALTOR® Party Online

Are you posting, liking, tweeting or pinning? So is the REALTOR® Party.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram to get the latest news, information and resources.

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2019 Election Results are in…

Independent Expenditures

The State and Local Independent Expenditure (IE) Program was used in 244 races in 2019. Of those races, 115 were for primary or general elections occurring before Nov. 5, and had a win/runoff rate of 76.32%.  On Nov. 5, there were 129 state or local elections. To the right are current stats on our results.


Of the 129 races, incumbents were supported in 66 (51.16%) and challengers were support in 14 (10.85%). Open seat candidates were supported for the remaining 49 (37.98%) races. It is of note that state and local REALTOR® associations usually support incumbents in 65% of races. But this year, they shifted more resources to open seat and challenger candidates.

Of the 129 races, 25, or 19.38%, were in support of REALTOR® candidates, which is on-par with previous years. Here are the stats for REALTOR® running for office.

Election Results

  • Wins (65.12%)
  • Run Offs (0.78%)
  • Too Close To Call (5.43%)
  • Losses (28.68%)

REALTOR® Candidate Results

  • Wins (52%)
  • Run Offs (4%)
  • Too Close To Call (4%)
  • Losses (40%)

Highlights for November 5 Election Night
Updated November 13, 2019

  • REALTOR® Champion Tate Reeves picked up the open Mississippi governor’s seat in a tight race.
  • Despite a lot of sweeping change in Virginia, REALTOR® Champions still won 75% of their races.
  • The New Jersey REALTORS® won or protected 70% of their targeted legislative seats.
  • REALTOR® Allan Domb was re-elected to the Philadelphia City Council in a campaign that many consider a pre-cursor to running for mayor in 2023.
  • REALTOR® Champion Erin Mendenhall was elected mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • REALTOR® Champion Buddy Dyer was re-elected mayor of Orlando, Fla.
  • REALTOR® Champions won three out of four races in Spokane in an election that received a lot of press coverage regarding our activity.
  • REALTOR® Scott Delano was elected to the Mississippi State Senate in this program’s first “do-over” election.

2019 State & Local Independent Expenditure Program Totals

This gives the 2019 program a combined win/runoff rate of almost 70.48%, which the highest win/runoff rate for this program since 2016. That number may move slightly with races to be called.

  • Wins (57.38%)
  • Run Offs (13.1%)
  • Too Close To Call (3.28%)
  • Losses (26.23%)
  • Pending (0.01%)
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Coeur d’Alene REALTORS® Bring a “Storybook Trail” to Growing Community

It must have been like Christmas at the Rathdrum, Idaho City Hall: the local REALTOR® association had decided to make the small but up-and-coming mountain community the beneficiary of a Placemaking project, with support from the REALTOR® Party, as well as considerable volunteer power of its own.

Ali Taylor, association executive of the 1600-member Coeur d’Alene Association of REALTORS®, explains that her board was aware of Placemaking Grants, and wanted to find a way to use one to help a local community where its members live and work. They chose the City of Rathdrum, a growing city that was still small enough to benefit from the impact of a relatively modest project. Taylor and her board president, Amanda Kuespert, sat down with staff from the Rathdrum Parks and Recreation Department, and asked, “What can we do for you?” It didn’t take much brainstorming to land on a dream project with broad appeal: the creation of a storybook trail at the base of Rathdrum Mountain.

Taylor contacted NAR staff and pitched the idea, whose walkability and community gathering features made it a good fit for a Placemaking Grant. “The project’s intent is to provide children and their families, and even schools and daycares, a destination for spending quality time outdoors, away from the television and electronics, while being active and learning at the same time,” says Taylor. She also expects that the StoryWalk will attract visitors from beyond the City of Rathdrum, which could bolster local businesses, and notes that the trail will be a positive asset for REALTORS® to use in marketing the area.

The Placemaking Grant supported the construction of a gentle, unpaved creek-side trail on a wooded 540-acre plot of public land just a few minutes’ drive from the downtown Rathdrum, and several schools. The city provided the mapping and design of the trail, which features 20 cement posts installed along the path, specially designed to hold pages from picture books chosen by the local library. The books, whose pages are protected by plexiglass covers, will be changed four times a year. The ‘reading stations,’ as well as benches and a nine-foot high cement Bigfoot statue marking the trailhead, were funded by the Placemaking grant, together with another $2,500 pledged by the Coeur d’Alene Association of REALTORS®.

About 20 REALTOR® volunteers joined with city volunteers, Boy Scouts, and other community partners to clear the trail site and install the book posts over the course of about five days this summer. “We had a blast working with all of them!” reports Taylor. “It was a great collaboration, and many parties can claim real ownership of the project, which has been a real success.” The city built a parking lot near the trail to improve access, and has committed to taking care of trash removal; it is also providing an on-site ‘camp host’ during the trail’s open season to provide safety and information.

The City of Rathdrum organized a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony with the mayor when the trail was nearly complete towards the end of the summer, and in its inaugural season, the camp host reported 30 to 60 visitors per day. Several signs, one at the trailhead, a smaller one mid-trail, and a plaque on Bigfoot, credit the Coeur d’Alene REALTORS® with making it possible, and Taylor says that they’ve noticed quite a buzz over the city’s new attraction on local social media. “The project has helped us to develop a strong relationship with community members and city officials,” notes Taylor, adding “It’s been much more impactful than simply writing a check.”

To learn more about how the REALTORS® of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho are using REALTOR® Party resources to improve the quality of life in their local communities, contact Association Executive Ali Taylor at 208-667-0664. To learn more about Storybook Trails, see Storybook Trails: Where Kids Can Walk and Learn at the Same Time.

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After a Wildfire, Oroville REALTORS® Makes Smart Growth Plans to Rebuild Paradise

The aftermath of the 2018 Camp Fire Wildfire in California

It’s not every day that a community can plan its own redevelopment from scratch. Following last fall’s devastating wildfire that destroyed Paradise, California, however, that’s exactly the silver lining that the town is facing. Paradise, having popped up during the Gold Rush and grown haphazardly over the years, never had a town center or any coherent pattern, and the opportunity to rebuild comes with the advantage of a clean slate; for neighboring communities like Oroville, California, whose population has swelled by 20% as it accommodates refugees from the fire, the need for significant housing expansion is urgent.  Organizations like the Oroville Association of REALTORS® are determined to steer the new growth toward Smart Growth.

Ellie Rosebush, executive of the 131-member Oroville association, was at work when she lost her own house in the November 2018 Camp Fire. She’s quick to credit the California Association of REALTORS®, many local associations, and fellow AEs from across the country with providing her and her community with critical support that got them through the harrowing aftermath. When she began thinking of a topic for the association’s annual “20/20” forum, it made sense to be thinking of Smart Growth. With a REALTOR® Party grant, the Oroville Association was able to bring an expert to the table.

That expert was Kate Meis, executive director of The Local Government Commission, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that helps local governments grow smarter and more sustainably. She presented a compelling case for Smart Growth, with inspiring examples of places that have come back from devastation even stronger.  Speaking to a gathering of 95 attendees interested and involved in the restoration of the area, she cited a town in the Midwest that was destroyed by a tornado and might have folded, rebuilt, instead, and is now a model of fundamental Smart Growth principles. She also described the success of San Francisco’s Embarcadero neighborhood, whose current prosperity as a cultural and economic center was only possible after the disastrous 1989 collapse of an overhead freeway. For neighboring towns like Oroville that are desperate for more housing but don’t have a ‘clean slate,” she emphasized the benefits of in-fill development. The buzz in the room was palpable, says Rosebush, as people saw solutions in the success of other once-devastated areas.

Rosebush explains that her team made a significant effort to bring a ‘who’s who’ of community builders to the forum. “We contacted all the local government groups, City Councils, County Supervisors, and Chamber and Downtown Associations leadership. Many attendees were newcomers to the conversation, which made us especially happy. One group, the Rebuild Paradise Foundation, connected with Kate immediately following her presentation, to invite her to come speak to another group involved in the growth of our community,” she reports. “As ‘The Voice of Real Estate’ here in the Paradise-Oroville area,” she notes, “it’s our responsibility to plant seeds like this, and bring the right people – interested, empowered people – together to hear, learn, discuss, and plan. We’re influencers, keeping the message of Smart Growth front and center in a region where growth is going to happen.”

To learn more about how the Oroville Association of REALTORS® is contributing to the vision of the community that will rise from the ashes of Paradise, contact Association Executive Ellie Rosebush at 530-533-9112. A more in-depth article on the work of the Oroville Association’s efforts can be found in this quarter’s issue of On Common Ground, The REALTOR® Party’s Smart Growth magazine.

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North Carolina “Congressional Road Shows” Highlight Working Relationships of REALTORS® and Capitol Hill Counterparts

“August recess” sounds like a lovely month of downtime, but for hardworking members of Congress, it’s one of the busiest times of year, packed with constituent meetings and events in their home districts. In North Carolina this summer, NC REALTORS® experienced the phenomenon first-hand through a series of “Congressional Road Shows” that gave them rare access to Representatives across four districts. The opportunities capitalized on, and gave REALTORS® members a glimpse into, the successful workings of the state’s Federal Political Coordinators (FPC).

NAR’s Federal Political Coordinator program takes political advocacy to the halls of Congress and makes it personal. Each state association pairs a knowledgeable REALTOR®, the Federal Political Coordinator, with a member of Congress in a one-on-one relationship, in which the FPC can effectively advocate for favorable real estate industry policies, and serve as a resource and educator on housing issues in a given state or district. Often, the FPC and his or her Congressional counterpart have an existing relationship, making the working bond even stronger.

Kevin Green, the FPC working with Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina’s 6th District, including Greensboro and Asheboro, reports that the Congressman and his staff were excited to participate in this summer’s “Town Hall” type meeting.  “He was able to interact with his constituents, answer real-estate specific questions and share with us his view of the mood in D.C.  The FPC program allows us to personally connect with our Congressman, and also gives him a resource for real-estate related economic data and demographics in his district.”

Bill Aceto, who is paired with Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, which includes Winston-Salem, agrees that the mutual value of the FPC relationship is invaluable. “There are very few, if any, other industries I know of that have this kind of access, and such positive relationships with members of Congress across the board; of course, it doesn’t hurt that RPAC provides such generous support. Our representatives look to us as a reliable resource,” he continues, “with good industry data and our fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in the district. They know that we’re not lobbyists, but volunteers: we are citizen advocates!”

Troi Bachmann, Local Government Affairs Director of the Winston-Salem area, helped to coordinate the event with Representative Foxx, working with Katharine Wendt, NC REALTORS®’ State Grassroots Coordinator and Regional Government Affairs Director. “Our members were thrilled,” says Bachmann. “It was so powerful to see our elected Congresswoman here in our REALTOR® association office, in conversation with our own Bill Aceto, talking through a pre-approved agenda based on NAR’s guidelines; it really showed our members the power of the REALTOR® brand. Bachmann, who is a shared GAD with the local Homebuilders Association, arranged for its members to attend the event, as well, and Representative Foxx addressed issues of concern to both industries. These ranged from the National Flood Insurance Program, to association health care reform, to a shortage of skilled building labor. The hour-long event seemed to make an impression on the Congresswoman, too, says Bachmann. “She asked us to make sure we do it again!”

Also making themselves available to their REALTOR® constituents were Representatives Ted Budd and David Price. According to Wendt, who began planning the Congressional Road Shows more than four months in advance, they were lucky to get as many as that:  “We reached out to each of the 13 Congressional district offices in the state, and some were already booked for every minute of the August recess!” she recalls, adding that members who sit on the Homeland Security Committee advised them that, during hurricane season, they’d have to cancel if FEMA called…. On the strength of the success of this year’s Road Show, NC REALTORS® is going to repeat the effort next year, and will start planning even earlier. “Now that we’ve built connections with the schedulers in each office, we should have a leg up,” says Wendt. The value of opportunities like this, she adds, is that it’s not feasible for all REALTORS®   to attend the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in May and travel to the Capitol for National Legislative Day visits coordinated by the FPCs. “This gives them a chance to be involved closer to home, advocating for issues close to the heart of their industry and communities.”

In addition, FPC Bradley Cohen was asked by his Congressman Richard Hudson to participate in a small business round table organized by the 2020 Trump Campaign, part of a larger effort by the Trump campaign asking business leaders across the country about the economic impact of their industry. NAR Political Representatives and Research staff helped prepare Bradley Cohen with appropriate North Carolina-specific real estate data. Trump Campaign Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany prompted many questions directly to our FPC during the panel. He was able to lead the conversation around a myriad of housing issues including: the economic impact on the average home sold, improving home ownership rates, tax reform with the 20% deduction for independent contractors, opportunity zones, affordable housing, and association health plans.

To learn more about how NC REALTORS® are working with their elected officials to make a difference for the state’s property owners, the real estate industry, and small businesses, contact Katharine Wendt, State Grassroots Coordinator and Regional Government Affairs Director, at 919-573.0988 x388.

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A Clear Direction for Navigating Change in 2020

Fresh off Election Day, it was great to see nearly 20,000 people attending the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. With a new Leadership Team in place, we can’t think of a better place to get started on the hard work ahead of us. San Francisco is a city at the center of a technological revolution that is changing the way we live, work, and play. Our industry is no exception.

We are witnesses to a massive shift in the real estate field in today’s consumer-driven, on-demand economy. Of course, we already know this! We also know that change and opportunity walk hand-in-hand.

In the 1990s, technology companies were pouring millions into real estate while REALTORS® relied on printed listings with black-and-white photos. Today’s listings are in the cloud, and you can pull them up on your phone.

In the 2000s, when big banks threatened to create an anti-consumer, anti-competitive industry, REALTORS fought and won in 2009 when Congress passed a law preventing big banks from engaging in real estate brokerage.

Read and Download NAR’s 2020 Strategic Priorities

Of course we know how to manage change. Our business is change. You’ve changed the lives of the families you helped buy their first home, or the entrepreneur their first business. You’ve changed your communities through your generosity because REALTORS® reinvest in our neighborhoods. We know that giving enriches the giver as well as the recipient.

Times are changing—and opportunity is knocking. Now is the right time to focus on our industry and the communities we serve. From rent control and short-term rentals to housing supply and affordability, the issues facing our industry are unprecedented. By forging a new contract between NAR, REALTORS® , and our industry, I believe we can realized unprecedented success for ourselves as business owners, the communities where we work and live, and homeowners.

We invite you to review our 2020 priorities to get a better understanding of our strategic focus. You’ll be hearing a lot of the two specifically related to advocacy: Collaborating for positive impacts on housing equality and affordability and driving community development.

The changing times may change the way we do our work. But nothing can change one crucial element—the human element—that only REALTORS® can provide.

In the coming week, we’ll gather with state presidents, association executives, government affairs directors, and committee chairs and members at the REALTOR Party Training Conference in Austin, Texas, to further discuss the REALTOR® Party and advocacy objectives for success in 2020 during an intensive two days. We look forward to providing you an update and working together to inspire you to find your own story to tell and to help show the world “That’s Who We R.”

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Meet Your 2020 REALTOR Party Leaders

Meet your 2020 REALTOR® Party and advocacy leaders appointed by your 2020 president Vince Malta.

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GADFly Newsletter – October 2019

In This Issue…

2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo

Please mark your calendars for the GAD meetings below.
Friday, November 8

  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
    Federal Issues Update
    Moscone West, Rooms 2001, 2003, 2005, Level 2
  • 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
    State and Local Issues Policy Committee
    Marriott Marquis, yerba Buena Salon 13, Lower B2 Level
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    RPAC Management System – Best Practices and Fundraising for State Associations
    Marriott Marquis, Pacific H, Level 4
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
    Advocacy Everywhere – State Association Meeting
    Marriott Marquis, Sierra C, Level 5
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
    RPAC Events Using the PAC Management System
    Marriott Marquis, Pacific H, Level 4
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
    Advocacy Everywhere: Concierge Services for Local Associations
    Marriott Marquis, Sierra C, Level 5
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
    RPAC Online Fundraising Campaigns
    Marriott Marquis, Pacific H, Level 4
  • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    GAD Reception, Harborview Restaurant, 4 Embarcadero Center, Street Level, San Francisco
    Sponsored by San Francisco Association of REALTORS® and Airbnb
    Please R.S.V.P. Here

Saturday November 9

  • 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
    GAD Advisory Group Meeting (Closed Meeting)
    Park Central Hotel, Olympic Room, Second Level
  • 10:00 am – 12:30 p.m.
    GAD Meeting
    Park Central Hotel, Franciscan Ballroom, Third Level

    • State Breakout location:
      Concordia Room,
      Second Level
    • Local Breakout location: Franciscan Ballroom,
      Third Level

State/Local Breakouts (taking place at the front of the GAD Meeting)

  • 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
    Federal Legislative and Political Forum
    Moscone North South, Esplanade Ballroom, Upper Mezzanine Level
  • 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
    RPAC Major Investor Evening – Sterling R, Crystal R, Golden R, Platinum R, and Corporate Platinum R (invitation only)
    USS Hornet, 707 W Hornet Ave., Alameda, CA

Neighborhood Revitalization Walking Tours
As a GAD, you are invited to attend one of two neighborhood walking tours in San Francisco at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo on Thursday, Nov. 7 or Friday, Nov. 8. On the 90-minute tours, you will see how new development projects are changing downtown neighborhoods in San Francisco. You can either walk or take a short Muni ride or Uber to the starting points. You must RSVP as space is limited to 30 people on each tour. To RSVP, email Holly Moskerintz, and include in the email (1) your name; (2) the name and day of the tour you would like to attend; and (3) the name of your association.

Advocacy/RPAC Dates, Deadlines, & Resources

Nov. 9: RPAC Major Investor Reception  
The RPAC Major Investor Reception will be held Saturday, November 9 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm aboard the USS Hornet. The USS Hornet offers spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline and Bay Bridge, and its exhibits include vintage aircraft as well as Apollo moon artifacts. We hope to see you and your fellow 2019 Major Investors there! For more information contact Beth Brittingham at 202-383-1209.

Nov. 18/27: First Issues Mobilization Application Deadline for Assistance in 2020
The Issues Mobilization Program provides financial and technical support to state and local REALTOR® associations to assist in addressing public policy issues that impact REALTORS® and the real estate industry. As we near the end of 2019, we’re shifting our focus to 2020 and any assistance on issue advocacy efforts that state and local associations might need in the coming year. The first Issues Mobilization Committee meeting at which associations can request funding for 2020 issue campaigns is the December 4, 2019 meeting in Austin, Texas, during the REALTOR® Party Training Conference. The earlier you connect with us, the better able we are to assist you. The deadlines for submission of grant applications for consideration at the December 4 Committee meeting are: Draft Deadline – November 18; Final Deadline – November 27. For more information, contact Joe Maheady at 202-383-1006 or John Winston at 202-383-1235.

Dec. 18: Year-End RPAC Transmittal Deadline
The final deadline is quickly approaching for individuals to be recognized as NAR RPAC Major Investors and for associations to receive credit toward their 2019 fundraising goals! National RPAC requires that all funds, with appropriate back-up documentation, be received in the Chicago Finance office by close of business on Wednesday, December 18. For more information regarding RPAC deadlines, cotact Jackie Zaporowski at 202-383-1029.

Dec. 18: RPAC Hall of Fame Deadlines
The RPAC Hall of Fame eligibility deadline is December 18. Eligible members and staff must meet the $25,000 minimum threshold by the end of the previous fundraising year. The deadline for the nomination form to be submitted to NAR by the state is January 31, 2020. To access the guidelines and nomination form, for questions regarding the Hall of Fame, or to verify an investment history total, contact Jackie Zaporowski at 202-383-1029.

Dec. 18: RPAC Fundraising Partnership Program Reimbursement Deadline
Reimbursements for the RPAC Fundraising Partnership Grant Program are due on or before the RPAC year-end transmittal deadline of Wednesday, December 18, 2019. No 2019 reimbursements will be processed after that date. For more information on updated grant policies and procedures, contact Lauren Facemire at 202-383-1080.

Last Chance for Consumer Advocacy Grant
The year is winding down, but there is still time to submit your Consumer Advocacy Outreach Grant request. The grant offers your association the ability to engage with a powerful collective of consumers in your community and advocate for public policy issues that impact homeownership and property rights. Apply now or contact Erin Murphy at 202-383-1079.

Do You Have a New GAD Staffer?
Update GAD contact information in NAR’s GAD Directory. Are you a new Government Affairs Director, serving your association in a GA or REALTOR® Party capacity? Please add (or remove) any contact information there. Help us keep this list accurate and up to date. Thanks,

NAR’s Economic Outlook

Pending Home Sales Rise 1.5% in September – The Midwest and South recorded gains, but the Northeast and West reported declines in month-over-month contract activity.
Foot Traffic: September 2019 – Home showings picked up in September as mortgage rates continued to trend down, making a home purchase more affordable.
The Real Estate Mantra: Locate Near Public Transportation – This study compares residential and commercial property sales near fixed-guideway stations with those in areas without public transit access.
Top Vacation Home Counties – NAR has identified vacation home counties, the least expensive and most expensive areas, and the income profile of buyers who can afford to purchase a vacation home.
Remodeling Impact – This report looks at the reasons for remodeling and the increased happiness found in the home once a project is completed.


For more information on NAR’s Economic Outlook, contact Meredith Dunn at 202-383-1207.

Message from the GAD Chair
Julia Parenteau
GAD Chair

cadyThomas2.jpgIn just one week, many of us will be convening in San Francisco for long days of committee meetings, member management, and – the best part – GAD connections. We’ve got a lot of great things planned for your time at the 2019 REALTORS® Conference, including presentations from your fellow GADs and NAR staff on the best ways to utilize REALTOR® Party programs and financial resources; special guests from Airbnb; state and local issues breakout discussions; and of course the GAD Reception, co-hosted by the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® and Airbnb.

The State and Local Issues Policy Committee has assigned GADs serving on that committee to six “Policy Modernization Work Groups.” These work groups have been tasked with reviewing NAR model policy positions related to:

  • Rental housing, general housing, and public education,
  • Spending limitations, tax limitations and internet tax policy,
  • Community service, community development, and member involvement,
  • Growth issues, land use, and impact fees,
  • Tax-exempt properties, property rights, and confiscation of real property, and
  • Transportation.

Proposed changes will be presented to the State and Local Issues Policy Committee at their meeting on Friday, November 8, 9:00 – 11:30 am PST at the Marriott Marquis Yerba Buena Salon 13. GADs are welcome to attend and provide comment. The Committee will consider these proposed changes for approval at their May 2020 meeting in Washington, D.C., so there will also be additional time to submit comment before the policies are finally adopted.

For those of you participating in the GAD Mentorship Program, San Francisco will be a great time to meet up with your partner for a quick in-person chat. Maintaining those relationships can be a lot easier once you’ve been able to put a face to the emailer.

If you’re not a long-time attendee of the REALTORS® Conference and have any questions about which sessions to prioritize or need other pointers for navigating the biggest REALTOR® event of the year, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can always reach me at the conference (or any other time) on my cell at (763) 232-9055. But before we get to San Francisco, many of us have elections to finish. If you’re in one of the 39 states that has some form of early and/or absentee voting, hopefully you’re already seeing lots of ballots roll in. While typically, off-year elections have lower turn-out than presidential and midterm election years, this November could be a good indicator of 2020 public engagement (aka: how mad is everyone, really?). I am very curious to hear how your local elections fare. Perhaps you’ll have a great Election Day success story to share when the GADs meet next Saturday!

Until then, Happy Halloween – I call dibs on the Fun Size Milky Ways.


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REALTOR Party News – October 2019

Bob Goldberg John Smaby

Long Awaited FHA Condo Rule Goes Into Effect Oct. 15

On Oct. 15, the long-awaited FHA Condo Rule goes into effect. Make sure your are prepared. Hear NAR staff discuss the long-awaited FHA Condo Rule, and its impact on REALTORS® and consumers. Have your questions answered by typing them into the videos comments section.

By the Numbers

Expiration date of the current Qualified Mortgage Patch. The QM patch was intended as a temporary measure to prevent turmoil in the mortgage and real estate market after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) implemented the Ability to Repay rule. NAR is calling on the CFPB to improve the Qualified Mortgage definition and patch while supporting an extension before a long-term solution is secured.

NAR’s booth number during the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Learn about exclusive member tools, offers, and products from NAR and its family of resources and Affiliates, and have an opportunity to meet Billie Jean King in the NAR Booth on Saturday, November 9, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, where you’ll take home a custom tennis ball!

Amount of money the REALTORS® Relief Foundation has collected since it launched in 2001, following the 9/11 attacks. Since then RRF has provided aid for some 80 disasters in 39 states and territories, helping more than 13,000 families. Every dollar donated goes directly to victims of disaster. NAR covers 100% of administrative expenses.

Date that the latest continuing resolution extended federal funding of the National Flood Insurance Program and other federal programs. On September 26, the Senate joined the House in voting to pass this funding extension 82-15. This is the 13th extension of the program since 2017 when its most recent long-term authorization expired.

The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are cataloged in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.


North Carolina REALTORS®’ Advocacy Spurs New Legislation for Small Business and Association Health Care Coverage

North Carolina REALTORS® staff knew that finding adequate, affordable health insurance was a challenge for the state’s small businesses and associations; discovering that as many as 6,000 of the state’s REALTORS® were not covered lent a real sense of urgency to their advocacy efforts.


Santa Fe REALTORS® Helps Spur Re-Development of Central Urban Corridor

Santa Fe, like many communities across the country, is experiencing a serious workforce housing crunch. Using two Smart Growth Action Grants over the past ten years, the Santa Fe Association of REALTORS® is helping to spur the redevelopment of a central thoroughfare with an emphasis on form-based zoning and affordable housing.


Maryland’s Coastal Association of REALTORS® Battles Restrictions on Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals are naturally a major issue in coastal communities. When Worcester County, Maryland proposed severe restrictions in its rental code overhaul, the local REALTOR® association got to work with a Land Use Initiative review and a call for action. The County Commission heard the message loud and clear, and sent its proposal back to the drawing board.

Resources & Opportunities


Imagine the Possibilities at the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo

Enjoy education, networking, and inspiration you won’t find at any other event. Stop by the REALTORS® Expo Hall to see Billie Jean King or more than 400 exhibitors. Be sure to participate in one of the many philanthropic events and activities. Register today!


Addressing Housing Affordability & Supply Issue in Your Community

With increased lending and consistent job creation, the housing market has regained some health, with higher home sales and a very low foreclosure rate. However, the industry today is also facing a lack of inventory. Check out these research and advocacy resources designed to help you understand issues in your community, and be part of a dialogue.


Show Your RPAC Pride Online

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. Add a special graphic overlay to your social media profile picture (click on Add Your Photo). Then check out the map to see profile pics of your REALTOR® colleagues from across the country.


2019 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide

Check out the 2019 REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide to learn about resources for community outreach, candidate and issue campaigns, RPAC and political fundraising; member and consumer mobilization; and much more. Also, review the programs and resources that qualify for the new Vote, Act and Invest Core Standards’ requirements.


Join the REALTOR® Party Online

Are you posting, liking, tweeting or pinning? So is the REALTOR® Party.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram to get the latest news, information and resources.

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Long-Awaited FHA Condo Rule Goes into Effect Oct. 15

On August 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the long-awaited final rule on project approval for single-family condominiums insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). For many years, NAR urged HUD to finalize changes to the previous rule that would ease restrictions on FHA financing for condominiums, thus enabling more first-time buyers, older adults, and low to moderate-income families to achieve the dream of homeownership. We will continue to work with FHA and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to insure that people who wish to purchase a condominium have safe affordable access to mortgage credit. The final rule goes into effect on Oct. 15.

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to take your questions live on this important issue, but watch the video below and type your questions in the comment section for NAR staff experts to answer.


Check out the resources below to assist you in understanding the FHA Condo Rules and in serving your clients.

 NAR’s Condominium Page

FHA Condominium Rule Assessment

HUD Condo Project Look Up

VA Condo Project Look Up

FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook – Condo Project Approval

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