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REALTOR Party News – May 2019

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Homeownership Advocates: ‘That’s Who We R’

The 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo next week is the perfect opportunity to introduce REALTORS® to the 116th Congress. There are more than 100 new members serving in Congress and thousands of new Hill staffers. It’s important that we let them know “Who We R” and remind them of the value we bring to our communities, the impact of real estate on the economy, and the vital role homeownership plays in building generational wealth.
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By The Numbers

10

Number of states that have signed First-Time Home Buyer Savings Accounts into law. After Gov. Kevin Stitt signed bill SB 961 into law on April 26, Oklahoma became the tenth state to provide this tax-free incentive to first-time home buyer with the support of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®.
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12

Number of people appointed to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee (HCFAC), one of whom is REALTOR® Paul Yorkis. The Medway, Mass. REALTOR® will use his 27 years of experience in real estate to provide recommendations and support to the HCFAC in the effort to help families obtain, sustain, and improve their housing through a strong national network of HUD-approved counseling agencies and HUD-certified counselors.
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189

The number of REALTORS® and staff to be inducted into the 2018 RPAC Hall of Fame, the largest to date. Attend the celebration during the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo on May 15 at 5:00 p.m. This is also an opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of RPAC. Wear white & gold and enjoy the celebratory atmosphere with an adult beverage and noisemakers, courtesy of NAR.
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The REALTOR® Party At Work

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

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Two Missouri Associations Help Communities Pass Much-Needed School Bonds

In the spring election season, the Southeast Missouri REALTORS® and the Mark Twain Association of REALTORS® both used Issues Mobilization Grants to improve neighborhoods by improving school facilities. Through energetic campaigns, they convinced the public to approve ballot initiatives that will fund major school improvements in the coming years.

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Mississippi REALTORS® Maximize Returns with RPAC Fundraising Grant

As RPAC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Mississippi REALTORS® have raised the bar for RPAC investment. During its winter meetings this year, the state association hosted a lively Drawdown and Lip Sync event supported by a REALTOR® Party grant — and collected more than $83,000 for RPAC.

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Lincoln REALTORS® Mobilize Voters to Support Roadway Improvements

Many Lincoln, Neb., streets were in disrepair, some to the point of impassability. Using polling services and an Issues Mobilization grant, local REALTORS® took a leading role in getting the roads fixed.

Resources & Opportunities

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NAR Engaged in White House Discussions to Find Association Health Plan Solutions

Representatives from the NAR and various local REALTOR® Associations met with White House officials to discuss industry support for the administration’s Association Health Plan rule. This meeting comes on the heels of NAR’s call for the Justice Department to defend the Department of Labor’s regulatory authority to support AHPs.
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We Must Strengthen Commitment to Housing Equality

JoAnne Poole, vice chair of the REALTORS® Multicultural Real Estate Leadership Advisory Group, and Jeffrey Hicks, president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, urged Congress to focus on policies that tear down the “persistent barriers that minorities continue to face” in homeownership.
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ICYMI: REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Hill Visit Town Hall

On May 8, NAR’s senior vice president of government affairs Shannon McGahn; Tracy Kasper, vice president of advocacy; and NAR staff hosted a live webcast to discuss NAR’s Advocacy Group structure, the new Congress, and the messages that will help you to prepare for meetings with members of Congress during the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.
WATCH

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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.
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2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Register today for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 13-18, in Washington, D.C. Take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Plus, NAR cleared the schedule between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, and we want to see YOU on the Hill Wednesday afternoon! Contact your state association for information on your state delegation’s Hill visit.
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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.

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Join the REALTOR® Party Online

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

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Homeownership Advocates: That’s Who We R

Hopefully by now you’ve seen our consumer ad campaign – That’s Who We R. The campaign has been a success that with the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo next week, we have tied our Hill Visit messages to Congress directly to the campaign – That’s Who We R – featuring both commercial and residential real estate. Why? Well with more than 100 new members serving in Congress, thousands of new Hill staffers, this is the perfect opportunity to reintroduce REALTORS® to the 116th Congress. REALTORS® will remind Congress of the value they bring to their communities, discussing the impact of real estate on the economy, consumers, and the vital role homeownership plays in building generational wealth for consumers.

We have an important story, namely:

  1. Who We Are and Why We Care
    REALTORS® adhere to the code of ethics, and 70% actively volunteer in their communities.
  1. How Real Estate Benefits Consumers and the Economy
    Real estate accounts for one-fifth of the gross domestic product, and commercial real estate supported 8.3 million American jobs in 2018.
  1. What We Care About
    NAR is following range of issues before Congress. For example, the National Flood Insurance Program needs to be extended by May 31, and Opportunity Zone tax incentives, which we are working to implement.

If you haven’t already, watch the recording of the yesterday’s town hall featuring Shannon McGahn, senior vice president of government affairs, and Tracy Kasper, vice president of advocacy.

For those of you attending next week’s meetings, be sure to check out the following events:

Federal Legislative & Political Forum: Behind-the-Scenes in Today’s Political Environment featuring Terry McAuliffe and Haley Barbour
Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 8:00–9:30 AM
Marriott Wardman Park, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level
Regulatory Issues Forum featuring Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria
Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 12:30 PM–2:00 PM
Marriott Wardman Park, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level
NAR 360
Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 4:00–5:00 PM
Marriott Wardman Park, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level
Federal Priority Issues Briefing
Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 7:30–8:30 AM
Marriott Wardman Park, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level

RPAC Awards Ceremony, RPAC Hall of Fame Induction, and 50th Anniversary White and Gold Celebration
(Be sure to wear white and gold)
Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 5:00–8:00 PM
Marriott Wardman Park, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level

 

And don’t forget to visit the NAR Booth #1707. Throughout the week, we’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, culminating in the special sold out celebration at the National Building Museum.

If you are unable to attend follow along on social media using the hashtag #NARLegislative, and stay tuned to www.legislative.realtor for additional content.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C., and safe travels.

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Lincoln REALTORS® Mobilize Voters to Support Roadway Improvements

After substantial potholes caused massive damage to vehicles amounting to tens of thousands of dollars in claims, the city of Omaha, Neb., was recently forced to close two major thoroughfares. Fifty miles to the south, roads in the state capital were likewise crumbling.

Using an Issues Mobilization grant, the REALTORS® Association of Lincoln took the lead in supporting a ballot initiative to fund critical road repairs. Though it passed by a very slim margin, says Kyle Fischer, Executive Vice President of the 930-member board, the quarter-percent sales tax increase will help safeguard the city’s economic development, public safety, and quality of life for at least the next six years.

The new funding mechanism was first proposed by a bi-partisan group called the Lincoln Citizen’s Transportation Coalition, following a lengthy study of the city’s insufficient street-repair budget and possible solutions, explains Fischer. The Lincoln City Council voted six-to-one to put the initiative on the ballot, and the REALTORS® got right to work promoting the time-limited, quarter-percent tax increase to the voting public.

“We reached out to NAR about the process, and they walked us through the next steps,” says Fischer. First, the Lincoln REALTORS® received polling services through the REALTOR® Party’s trusted vendor. Initial polling indicated that the ballot measure was slightly favored by a margin of 57-41, with 2% undecided. Armed with that encouragement, the association submitted an application for an Issues Mobilization grant. “The application process wasn’t quick and easy, but it was incredibly user-friendly, he says. “I’d tell first-time applicants to give themselves plenty of time for collecting details and background information and planning a budget. It will take some time to put it all together, but once you have, you’ve got a good road map, and you’ll really know your stuff. In fact, NAR took our initial application and reached right back out to us about what we could do to enhance it, to make it even stronger,” he notes.

The REALTORS® were the largest donor to the campaign called Fix Lincoln Streets Now, which educated voters through a dedicated website and social media messaging. The REALTOR® Party grant funded phone banks that called voters in the last four days leading up to the election, and that, says Fischer, is what made the difference. Despite being supported by the City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Civil Engineers Association, and the Lincoln Independent Business Association, among others, the measure only passed by a difference of 368 votes. “Our members are so excited that we were able to play such a critical role in the outcome of the vote,” he adds. “It’s very gratifying to know that the REALTORS® have contributed to making the streets better.

Members on the ground and in the trenches are more aware than anyone that having functioning, passable streets affects every aspect of a community’s well-being, from emergency access, to reducing the necessity of expensive car repairs, to home values. Taking care of the infrastructure helps to ensure a strong economy.”

To learn more about how the REALTOR® Association of Lincoln, Nebraska is using REALTOR® Party resources to improve the condition of city streets, contact Executive Vice President Kyle Fischer at 402-441-3625.

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GADFly Newsletter – April/May 2019

In This Issue…

 

2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Hill Visit Messages
The 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meeting Messages to Congress are directly tied to our consumer ad campaign – That’s Who We R® – featuring both commercial and residential real estate. With more than 100 new members serving in Congress and even more new Hill staffers, we have the perfect opportunity to reintroduce REALTORS® to fa new Congress. REALTORS® will remind Congress of the value they bring to their communities, discussing the impact of real estate on the economy, consumers, and the vital role homeownership plays in building generational wealth for consumers.

REALTORS® have an important story. We will tell Congress:

  1. Who We “R” and Why We Care
    REALTORS® adhere to the code of ethics, and 67% are active participants in their communities.
  2. How Real Estate Benefits the Economy and Consumers
    Real estate accounts for 19% of the gross domestic product, and commercial real estate supported 8.3 million American jobs in 2018.
  3. What We Care About
    NAR is following range of issues before Congress. For example, the National Flood Insurance Program needs to be extended by May 31, and Opportunity Zone tax incentives, which we are working to implement.

For more information, please join:

May 3: FPC/GAD Webinar 
GADs are welcome to join us on Friday,May 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm ETfor an FPC webinar outlining all your FPCs will need in preparation for their trip to Washington, D.C. The webinar will include a review our new organizational structure at NAR, our revamped approach and messaging for Capitol Hill, logistics of where to pick up printed materials and an overview of decorum for your meetings.

Dial-In: 855-797-9485 or 415-655-0002
Access code: 921 542 571
Meeting password: PM24VJ73

May 8: Hill Visit Town Hall
Tune in to hear Shannon McGahn, NAR’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, and Tracy Kasper, NAR’s 2019 Vice President of Advocacy, prepare you for meetings with members of Congress during the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, and how to tell YOUR story to Congress, expressing:

  • The value that REALTORS® bring to their communities.
  • The impact of real estate on the economy and the vital role it plays in building personal wealth for consumers.
  • The importance of property ownership and building safe communities accessible to all.

Members of NAR’s federal policy team will also be available to answer questions from the audience. If you miss the webcast, the entire program will be available for download at www.nar.realtor/hillvisitmaterials by May 9.

GAD Meetings and Events of Interest
Tuesday, May 14  

  • 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. – Federal Legislative & Political Forum
    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – GAD Briefing on Hill Visits
    Omni Shoreham Hotel, Ambassador Ballroom, Lower Level
    This briefing allows local, state and federal government relations professionals an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas before attending your Capitol Hill meetings. This year’s briefing will be a town hall style with NAR Legislative Representatives and Political Representatives providing insight into the NAR advocacy structure and previewing the legislative meeting materials. We will also be saving plenty of time for GADs to ask questions and interact with the Political and Legislative Directors and Political Reps.
  • 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. – GAD Advisory Group Meeting (Closed Meeting)
    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, McKinley Room, Mezzanine Level
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – NAR 360
    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level

Wednesday, May 15 

  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Federal Priority Issues Briefing
    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Advocacy Everywhere Training
    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Park Tower 8216, Lobby Level
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – State and Local Issues Policy Committee
    Omni Shoreham Hotel, Diplomat Ballroom, Main Floor
  • 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Hill Visits
  • 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. – 2018 RPAC Fundraising Awards Ceremony, Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and 50th Anniversary Celebration, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Marriott Ballroom.

Thursday, May 16  

  • 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. – Public Policy Coordinating Committee – Omni Shoreham Hotel, Blue Room, Main Floor
  • 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Hill Visits
  • 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. – Advocacy Everywhere
    Omni Shoreham Hotel, Cabinet Room, West Conference Center
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – RPAC Events Using the PAC Management System
    Omni Shoreham, Capitol Room, East Conference Center
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – RPAC Online Fundraising Email Campaigns
    Omni Shoreham Capitol Room, East Conference Center
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – NAR PAC Management System Best Practices
    Omni Shoreham, Cabinet Room, West Conference Center
  • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – GAD Reception
    Location: Bar Deco (Near Chinatown and Capital One Arena)
    717 6th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001
  • 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. – RPAC 50th Anniversary Celebration (Sold Out)
    National Building Museum

Friday, May 17  

  • 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. – GAD Professional Development Session: Best Practices for Choosing REALTOR Champions Train the Trainer class (Registration Required)
  • Washington Hilton, Monroe Room, Concourse Level
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Planning for Opportunity Zone Investments, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Virginia Suite, Lobby Level
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Government Affairs Directors Meeting
    Washington Hilton, International Ballroom East, Concourse Level
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – State and Local Breakout Meetings
    Washington Hilton
    State Breakout – Georgetown East Room, Concourse Level
    Local Breakout – International Ballroom East, Concourse Level
  • 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Regional Caucus Meetings
    Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham Hotels

Advocacy News

2019 GAD Institute Registration – Opens Soon!
Keep your eyes peeled! The Government Affairs Directors Institute registration opens soon. Join us in The Queen City, Cincinnati, July 16 – 18 along with 250 of the best GAD colleagues in the world. The event provides a means for REALTOR® association lobbyists, policy and regulatory professionals, and those who communicate REALTOR® Party Advocacy strategy to their members and their communities to exchange ideas and best practices, and gain valuable career skills and networking opportunities, providing the best value and information back to the real estate industry.
Registration Fee: $550; $600 after June 15.

*In the March GADFly we advertised that “The Pollsters” would be the keynote speakers at this year’s Institute. They unfortunately cancelled, and we will fill the keynote speaker session soon.

Limited Seating Left – Best Practices for Choosing REALTOR®Champions Train the Trainer Course 
On May 17 from 8:30 am to 11:30 am at the Washington Hilton Hotel, NAR will be offering a Train the Trainer course in Washington, D.C., to provide GADs an opportunity to become eligible to teach this offering to volunteer leaders, RPAC trustees, Government Affairs Committee members, and interested staffers. The Best Practices for Choosing REALTOR®Champions course provides time-tested methods for screening, identifying and ultimately choosing the best political candidates who will support issues important to REALTORS® and real estate. For more information, contact Kyle Lambert London.
Register today.

One-on-one Consulting for Small REALTOR® Associations
If you are a small association wondering how to take advantage of the REALTOR®Party Community Outreach grants to help revitalize your downtown, NAR staff is here to help. Submit the  Grant Outreach Assistance Questionnaire, which is part of the new Rural Outreach Initiative, to tell us about your community and its challenges. We will then get in touch with you to discuss strategies to address these challenges and what grants could help fund a project. For more information, contact Holly Moskerintz.

Land Use Initiative: 2019 Q1 Report
Fifteen requests were processed and approved during the first quarter of 2019. Environmental-related issues came up in Sandwich, Mass., with proposed beachfront regulations. And in Birmingham, Ala., a storm water management ordinance was reviewed. Several requests were made by state REALTOR® associations, for example land bank legislation in Nevada, housing transfer agreements in New Jersey, solar systems and restrictive covenants in Delaware. Other projects include review of a condo conversion proposal in Somerville, Mass., and “Right to Survive” ordinance in Denver. Review more details of the 2019 Q1 Report. For more information, contact Adriann Murawski at 202-383-1068.

State Resources
State Legislative Monitor: A number of states have enacted laws to attract more investment for Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ) by conforming to the federal tax code. NAR is monitoring more than 340 pieces of legislation related to affordable housing, inclusionary zoning, housing supply, workforce housing, and rent control. This year, ten states have enacted remote notary laws (Ariz., Idaho, Iowa, Ky., Mont., Nev., N.D., S.D., Utah, Wash.). Arizona became the first state to recognize out of state licenses (HB 2569). Review weekly reports.

State Issues Tracker:The home inspector issue was recently updated for any legislative or regulatory changes for all states. Of note, Ohio and New Mexico passed legislation requiring home inspectors to be licensed. The Hawaii state auditor submitted a report to the governor and legislature finding that the regulation of home inspectors is notrequired to protect Hawaiian consumersTwelve states and four territories do notregulate home inspectors (Colo., Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kan., Maine, Mich., Minn., Mont., Neb., Utah, Wyo., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Access the full database.
For more information, contact Adriann Murawski at 202-383-1068.

Qualified Opportunity Zone Primer
NAR has put together an Opportunity Zone Primer in response to some of the questions we frequently get from members. The Primer includes information on where to find NAR’s resources on the program, as well as information from outside groups, and the details of the Opportunity Zone Education Session at the Midyear Meeting on Friday, May 17. The complexity of the Opportunity Zone program will require the assistance/advice of professional investment, legal, and tax advisors. Members interested in utilizing the program should consult and work with the appropriate professionals to make sure that they are following all the requirements necessary to reap the tax benefits.

Download NAR’s Qualified Opportunity Zone Primer

Do You Have a New GAD Staffer? 
Update any and all 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!

RPAC Fundraising Update

2019 President’s Circle Rounds and Deadline
Round Three of the President’s Circle will launch on Monday, May 13. The deadline for President’s Circle members to invest their first $500 is May 31, 2019. For more information, contact Avery Walkerat 202-383-7510.

RPAC Fundraising Awards Celebration & Hall of Fame Induction
Be sure to save the date for the 2018 RPAC Fundraising Awards Ceremony, Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and 50th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Marriott Ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Join us to cheer on your association as well as the 189 REALTORS® and staff who will be inducted into the 2018 RPAC Hall of Fame Class. View the 2018 RPAC Hall of Fame roster, and President’s Cup and Triple Crown Award details. The awards ceremony is also an opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of RPAC. Wear white and gold, and encourage your members to do the same. Enjoy the celebratory atmosphere with an adult beverage and noisemakers, courtesy of NAR.For more information, contact Jackie Zaporowski at 202-383-1029.

Corporate Ally Program
2019 has brought some exciting changes to the Corporate Ally Program! Want to know how it can benefit your association AND members? Contact Allyson Nelsonat 202-383-1156.

NAR’s Economic Outlook

Existing-Home Sales Drop 1.2 Percent in January – Existing-homes sales took a minor drop for the third consecutive month in January. Of the four major U.S. regions, only the Northeast saw an uptick in sales activity last month.

REALTORS® Confidence Index – Twenty-one percent of sellers offered incentives such as paying for closing costs (10 percent), providing warranty (8 percent), and undertaking remodeling (3 percent).

Metro Home Prices Jump 4 Percent in 2018’s Fourth Quarter – Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says in light of the various hurdles for 2018, the close of the fourth quarter was promising.

Video: Who are REALTORS®? A Look at NAR Members Through 2018 Member Surveys – This short video takes a look at the demographics of a typical REALTOR®, as well as specialties, sources of business, membership on real estate teams, and ways in which REALTORS® participate in and give back to their communities.

Expectations and Market Realities in Real Estate – What will the year bring for the US and global economies and the commercial real estate market?

Message from the GAD Chair

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Matthew Leger
GAD Chair
REALTORS® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale

With the 2019 REALTORS®Legislative Meetings & Trade Expojust a couple weeks away, I just wanted to highlight a couple of our meetings, please see below.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – GAD Briefing on Hill Visits
Omni Shoreham, Ambassador Room, Lower Level

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Federal Priority Issues Briefing
Marriott Wardman Park, Marriott Ballroom, Lobby Level

Friday, May 17, 2019 
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Government Affairs Directors Meeting
Washington Hilton, International Ballroom

Of course, these are not all the meetings, but this is a good start! For a complete list of all the meeting dates/times, click here.

For those traveling to Washington, D.C., for the first time, if you have questions, any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email at mleger@rapb.com or my cell 561-635-2118. Whether this is your first time attending or your tenth, I encourage everyone to be active and participate in the dialogue at your committee meetings. When you’re not at committee meetings or running around on Hill Visits, engage your peers and your fellow GADs. We only get to see each other a couple times a year, take full advantage of the resources around you!

And now the fun stuff… The GAD Reception! This year’s GAD Reception will be on Thursday, May 16 at Bar Deco from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A big thank you to Real Strategies for sponsoring this year’s reception!

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon. Safe travels to all!

Matthew

GAD Directory

SAVE THE DATE

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Two Local Missouri Associations Help Communities Pass Much-Needed School Bonds

Earlier this spring, two communities on the eastern edge of Missouri found themselves in dire need of improvements to their school facilities, with multi-million-dollar bond measures on the April ballot, poised to provide the needed funding. The Mark Twain Association of REALTORS® and the Southeast Missouri REALTORS® stepped up to persuade the voting public to approve the bonds with vigorous campaigns funded by REALTOR® Party Issues Mobilization Grants and additional funds from the Missouri REALTORS®.  Both efforts were successful, and the schools are getting the funding support they need.

“The Issues Mobilization grants are the best advocacy tool that the National Association provides local and state associations,” says Erin Hervey, Vice President, REALTOR® Party and Local Board Relations of Missouri REALTORS®.

In Cape Girardeau, Mo., which the Wall Street Journal cited last year as having the most concentrated poverty in the state, the school system is working in partnership with the city to create a Purpose-Built Community that has been successfully modeled in a formerly struggling Atlanta neighborhood; a $12-million no-tax-increase bond was placed on the ballot to renovate and expand schools, and to create a new aquatic center. Terry Baker, Association Executive of the 305-member Southeast Missouri REALTORS®, credits her Government Affairs Committee with having the vision to see that the REALTORS® needed to get behind the effort. The superintendent of schools came to speak with the committee, she explains, at the invitation of one of its members, who is also a member of the city’s school board. “For us, supporting the school bond campaign was a good way to engage in a true partnership alongside people where they work and live. It was clear that strengthening economic development on the south side of Cape Girardeau must begin with education.”  Southeast Missouri REALTORS® contributed $1,200 of its own funds to the campaign, which used polling, live phone calls, digital advertising, and yard signs to promote the school bond, passing with nearly 62% of the vote.  “All those who’ve been involved in supporting the bond are extremely grateful to Missouri REALTORS® and to NAR for their investment in the City of Cape Girardeau,” says Baker.

Further north, in the rural community of Monroe City, the Mark Twain Association of REALTORS® was working to convince voters to approve a property tax increase to raise $13.5 million in funding to improve deteriorating school facilities. REALTOR® Debbie Kendrick, Past President of the 108-member association, and chair of the Friends of Monroe City Schools committee, explains that the REALTORS® were already solidly behind the school bond. “But, when you’re running a campaign in a town of 2,500, you have to know who’s going to be walking in to the polling stations and casting ballots,” she says. So, in addition to the campaign of direct mail, yard signs, print media, advertising in local newspapers and social media, Kendrick and her committee supported the School Superintendent in an energetic speaking tour of local civic organizations, from the Knights of Columbus to the Garden Club. “We helped the Superintendent with talking points, and a member of the school board, as well as a member of the ‘Friends’ Committee, accompanied him on each visit,” she says, adding, “It really was a matter of getting our School District leadership in front of the voters, so they could put themselves on the line!” She notes that the application for the REALTOR® Party Issues Mobilization grant was not just user-friendly, but helpful, in forcing the committee to get down on paper what they were doing and why. “We’re very blessed to be able to turn to NAR and the Missouri REALTORS® for funding and guidance; otherwise I don’t know that the bond would have passed.”

Erin Hervey, Vice President, REALTOR® Party and Local Board Relations of Missouri REALTORS®, worked closely with both boards on their respective efforts. “The Issues Mobilization grants are the best advocacy tool that the National Association provides local and state associations,” she says. “Individual REALTORS® and individual REALTOR® offices are active in their communities, but these grants show the power of the whole association and our dedication to the livelihood of the communities we serve. From a practical standpoint,” she adds, “they are a good way for local associations wanting to become more active politically, but are a bit worried about picking one candidate over another. Issues such as school bonds are usually not as controversial and really elevate the status of the association in the community.”

To learn more about how small communities in Missouri are being strengthened by Issues Mobilization grants, contact: Debbie Kendrick, Past President of the Mark Twain Association of REALTORS®; Terry Baker, Association Executive of Southeast Missouri REALTORS®, at 573-579-9586; or Erin Hervey, Vice President, REALTOR® Party and Local Board Relations.

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Mississippi REALTORS® Maximize Returns with RPAC Fundraising Grant

In 2019, RPAC celebrates 50 years of supporting REALTOR® issues. This past February, Mississippi REALTORS® demonstrated impressive support for RPAC: at a festive annual event that coincides with its Winter Meetings, the 6,500-member state association parlayed a $5,000 REALTOR® Party grant, matched by funds of its own, into more than $83,000 of RPAC investments.

“Mississippi is a very giving state,” says Beth Hansen, the organization’s CEO. “For a state association, we may be small, but we have a really strong culture of MARPAC success,” she adds. That’s a considerable understatement: in fact, Mississippi has been awarded the REALTOR® Party President’s Cup in six of the past seven years.

This was the eighth consecutive year that the association has hosted a ‘MARPAC Drawdown’ event following a day of committee meetings and preceding its big annual REALTOR® Day at the state capitol. Hansen is careful to note that while ‘drawdowns’ are a very popular fundraising device in Mississippi, they may not be permissible in other states. A month before the event, members began snapping up $100 tickets, plus $25 ‘second-chance’ tickets for the drawdown, which promised a winning pot of $5,000. They also purchased $25 token packs to vote for their favorite acts in the lip sync contest. Not only did the event surpass its goal by more than $11,000, it attracted sixteen new Major Investors at the $1,000 level; substantial investment increases by 19 other members; and numerous first-time investors to Mississippi’s RPAC family.

This is the second year that a REALTOR® Party grant supported the rental of a large event venue, and a separate admission fee offset the cost of the catered dinner. “It’s grown every year,” says Hansen, “and our members really look forward to it.” As about 150 REALTORS® dined and caught up with colleagues from across the state, they were entertained by a spirited Lip Sync Throwdown – dominated by the Northwest Mississippi Association of REALTORS® for the second year in a row. All in good fun, the lively musical numbers are interspersed with dramatic moments in the suspenseful drawdown, which eventually brings five final ticket-holders to the fore; the finalists are given the chance to split the prize or continue with the drawdown. Hansen reports that the final five ticket holders typically opt to share the pot, leaving everyone feeling good about a win-win conclusion.

  • Table décor from the Drawdown

 

The fun and games of investing in RPAC gave way to more serious business the next day at the Capitol, when members heard from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and Secretary of State, and met with their legislators about the current legislative agenda as it regards real estate and private property issues, explains Hansen. At the Political Advocacy Luncheon that followed at the state REALTOR® headquarters, Mississippi REALTORS® President Adam Watkins moderated a discussion of the 2019 statewide election forecast with the Chairmen of both the Mississippi Republican Party and the Mississippi Democratic Party. “Our members understand the importance of political advocacy, and how it affects not just the industry, but the communities they inhabit and serve. We’re proud to be acknowledging the 50th anniversary of RPAC at every meeting and in all our branding,” she continues, “It’s an important reminder of all RPAC has done for us, and why we continue to invest.”

To learn more about how the Mississippi REALTORS® are engaging in political advocacy and raising the bar for RPAC investment, contact CEO Beth Hansen at 601-932-5241.

 

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REALTOR Party News – April 2019

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April Highlights Fair Housing and Tax Day

April is Fair Housing Month. As stewards of the right to own, use, and transfer private property, REALTORS® understand that fair housing protects the real estate industry and our businesses. In short, fair housing makes us stronger. It’s also four days until Tax Day. If you still haven’t filed, we encourage you to review What REALTORS® Need to Know About the New Tax Law and other resources available to you READ MORE

By The Numbers

The net gain of new Hispanic homeowners in 2018, according to the 2018 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). This raised the Hispanic homeownership rate from 46.2 percent in 2017 to 47.1 percent in 2018 and was the largest net gain for Hispanics since 2005. LEARN MORE

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The percentage of LGBT renters who said they fear discrimination in their future homebuying process according to a new study conducted by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP). NAGLREP used the survey’s findings to call for support of the recently reintroduced Equality Act in Congress, which is aligned to NAR’s Code of Ethics. If passed, the bill would amend the Fair Housing Act and several other civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in seven key areas.LEARN MORE

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The percentage gap in homeownership between African Americans and non-Hispanic Caucasians between 2015 and 2016 according to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ (NAREB) 2018 State of Housing in Black America report. This is the highest it has been in the new millennium. NAR supports NAREB’s Two Million in Five initiative to expand African American homeownership, and is working closely with the NAREB and the Urban Institute to develop strategies NAR can use to support this effort..LEARN MORE

The REALTOR® Party At Work

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

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Bay East REALTORS® Mobilize on Short Notice to Fight Just-Cause Evictions

With an important rental housing regulation hanging in the balance, the Bay East Association of REALTORS® launched a REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert campaign using the Advocacy Everywhere program, mobilizing more than 175 recipients to contact the City Council in a span of less than 48 hours.

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Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association Keeps Redundant and Burdensome Zoning at Bay

In the last three years, more than 45 municipalities across Florida have modified their vacation rental ordinances to be more restrictive. In Cape Coral, a seasonal residence for many homeowners, REALTORS® made use of the Land Use Initiative and issue campaign to urge City Hall to keep additional restrictions off the books.

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Charlotte REALTOR® Association Dives Deep into Regional State of Housing

Like so many U.S. urban centers, Charlotte, N.C., is facing an affordable housing crisis. To help housing stakeholders understand the full scope of the complex issue as it affects the whole region, the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association used a Housing Opportunity Grant to commission a State of Housing study that analyzed factors like jobs, housing supply, and affordability.

Resources & Opportunities

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April is Fair Housing Month

This April continue to build on last year’s Fair Housing celebration. Share your Fair Housing stories online and on social media, and visit www.fairhousing.realtor for resources and information. LEARN MORE

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REALTORS® Testify in Congress on Finance, Tech, and Flood

Register today for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 13-18, in Washington, D.C. Take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Plus, NAR cleared the schedule between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, and we want to see YOU on the Hill Wednesday afternoon! Contact your state association for information on your state delegation’s Hill visit. WATCH

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2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Register today for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 13-18, in Washington, D.C. Take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Plus, NAR cleared the schedule between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, and we want to see YOU on the Hill Wednesday afternoon! Contact your state association for information on your state delegation’s Hill visit. LEARN MORE

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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. LEARN MORE

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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.

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Join the REALTOR® Party Online

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

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