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Call for Action Toolkit

The Call for Action (CFA) Toolkit is designed to help state and local associations send out supportive messages to promote a national CFA to their members. This toolkit includes tips on sending emails, posting on social media and advertising on websites. Check it out today!

CFA Toolkit

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REALTOR Party News – June 2018

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Celebrating National Homeownership Month

Throughout June, we recognize the vital role REALTORS® play as stewards of the American Dream of homeownership. National Homeownership Month is an excellent opportunity to encourage people around the country to learn more about homeownership opportunities and financial management plans. READ MORE

By The Numbers

The total reconstruction costs this year due to hurricane damage —a 6.6 percent increase over 2017forecasted in CoreLogic’s 2018 Storm Surge Report. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predcits this year’s hurricane season to be “near- or above-normal,” and CoreLogic projects that nearly 7 million homes are in danger zones. The threat comes as the National Flood Insurance Program — which provides flood insurance coverage to about 22,000 communities — is once again facing expiration. LEARN MORE
The state capital gains tax rate of North Dakota as of May 2018 – the lowest maximum rate in the U.S. and its territories. Guam has the highest maximum rate at 20 percent. While most real estate professionals are familiar with federal capital gains taxes, state capital gains tax rates might also impact the bottom line. Capital gains taxes are paid at the time of sale of an asset (i.e., real estate). Download State Real Estate Capital Gains Rate Chart (log-in required) to learn what your state’s capital gains tax rate. LEARN MORE

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The date of the What’s New in Residential Real Estate Brokerage Competition workshop sponsored jointly by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. NAR general counsel Katie Johnson was among a distinguished group of panelists. NAR asserts that innovation, competitive forces, and consumer choice have never been stronger. READ 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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Residential Real Estate Council Invests in RPAC at Record Levels in 2017

The Residential Real Estate Council (formerly the Council of Residential Specialists) was already a powerful fundraising body for RPAC, but in 2017, its investing was supercharged. Its Major Investors and President’s Circle membership went up too. READ MORE

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Kaua`i REALTORS® Use Grant to Engage More Brokers in Advocacy

The 584-member Kaua’i Board of REALTORS® knew that the best way to involve members in advocacy and RPAC would be to show them what exactly it does for them. At the conclusion of an informative breakfast presentation supported by a Broker Involvement Program Grant, 15 brokerages gladly signed on. READ MORE

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With Better Block Event, Longleaf Pine REALTORS® Demonstrate Just How Pedestrian-Friendly Haymount Can Be

Within Fayetteville, NC, the Haymount district is blessed with neat neighborhoods of cottage-style homes and proximity to downtown, but its commercial district is cursed by an environment that is distinctly unfriendly to pedestrians. Armed with a vision, a Smart Growth Action Grant, and a whole lot of duct tape, the local Longleaf Pine REALTORS® set out to change that. READ MORE

Resources & Opportunities

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Join the National Homeownership Month Celebration

This year, we’re celebrating the ways homeowners (and homeowner advocates) make our communities happier, safer, and more connected by recognizing every #HomeownerHero. Join the celebration all month long! Help us champion homeowners on social media by following our Twitter and Facebook pages and celebrating a #HomeownerHero in your life by using the hashtag on social media. LEARN MORE

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Advocacy A to Z

Wondering what the “active or hot issues” affecting real estate markets are? Learn in the Advocacy A to Z resource. Check out all the federal issues NAR is tracking or contact NAR staff for more information. LEARN MORE

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On Common Ground Magazine: Summer 2018, Fair Housing & Social Equality

It is critical that our society provide opportunities for all people to achieve wellbeing and reach their potential. People of color and the poor are disproportionately affected by barriers to access to health care, healthy food, and a clean environment have provided barriers that have . In this issue of On Common Ground, we discuss the multiple components that we need to address to achieve social equity — providing the opportunities and pathways to success so that all Americans can prosper. READ MORE

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Banking Law Could Help Real Estate

The sweeping banking reform bill signed into law last month is expected to lower borrowing costs to home buyers and create a framework for the use of alternative credit scoring criteria. Commercial loans could pick up, too, including to small home builders. This story and more are covered in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR.  WATCH

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2018 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide

Check out the 2018 REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide on the REALTORParty.realtor website to learn more about community outreach; campaign services; political fundraising; member and consumer mobilization resources; and much more. Also, review what programs and resources qualify for the new Vote, Act and Invest Core Standards’ requirements. DOWNLOAD

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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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With Better Block Event, Longleaf Pine REALTORS® Demonstrate Just How Pedestrian-Friendly Haymount Can Be

The Haymount district of Fayetteville, North Carolina is blessed with neat neighborhoods of cottage-style homes and proximity to downtown. Its vibrant commercial district is currently cursed, however, by an environment hostile to pedestrian traffic.  Armed with a vision, a Smart Growth Action Grant, and a whole lot of duct tape, the local Longleaf Pine REALTORS® (LPR) set out to change that.

Partnering with the North Carolina chapter of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the Haymount business community, and other local organizations, the 1,600-member association mounted a Better Block Event on a weekend in March to reveal how basic improvements such as bike lanes, crosswalks, reduced traffic lanes, and widened sidewalks could transform the area for the better.

“It was beyond great,” says LPR Government Affairs Director Angie Hedgepeth, of the half-day event that drew more than 3,000 visitors and earned a commitment from the City Council to allocate funding for pedestrian safety measures. It was a city staff member who first approached the REALTORS® about the possibility of securing a Smart Growth Action Grant for a Better Block Event, says Hedgepeth. She, in turn, worked on the project with a county transportation planner and a committee of about 70 REALTORS®.

Using its community relationships, ingenuity, and only slightly more money than the $5,000 grant, LPR effectively transformed a central block of Haymount that had already been the site of one pedestrian fatality. “Beyond the immediate issue of pedestrian safety,” says Hedgepeth, “this effort should benefit property values, business activity, and community connectedness, and could set a positive precedent for the entire region.”

For all its potential, the project came with a steep learning curve: the permits alone, from the North Carolina Department of Treansportation as well as the city of Fayetteville, took months to secure. Then, there was insurance for the event, and a stage to rent, musicians to hire, vendors and artists and food trucks to arrange, and dozens and dozens of orange traffic cones. There was a website to create, and a big publicity campaign, and video coverage involving overhead drones.  Hedgepeth and her team experimented with various temporary crosswalk application methods after-hours in the LPR parking lot.  Two local nurseries and a landscaping company contributed a row of mature potted trees, several park benches, and additional greenery.  The night before the event, the REALTORS® pre-marked the roads.  At 8 a.m., day-of, they were out stenciling bike-lane markers and applying eight critical crosswalks with architectural drafting paper and duct tape.

Despite the significant alteration of the traffic access, Hedgepeth reports, “there was no honking of horns, no screaming; drivers were just easing down the road, giving all the pedestrian activity the time and space it needed.  It was wonderful, and a big relief, because of course, we had no idea what to expect.”

Local youngsters circulating through the event collected surveys from more than 300 attendees, which have been complied in a report for the City Council. At the end of the day, the REALTORS® interviewed all the businesses in the Better Block zone; all were excited, and one, a new coffee shop, was thrilled to report doing triple its usual trade that day, says Hedgepeth. “People came to our tent and said, ‘Please, can you help make this happen for real?’ and ‘How can we help get this done?!’”

The REALTORS® are on it. The City Councilman representing Haymount has assured them that he’ll find funding for at least the painting of the new crosswalks in the next budget cycle, as a start. Communities beyond Haymount stand to benefit from all the effort, too: an official from a nearby city called the REALTORS® directly, after she’d seen reports in the media, to ask how they’d done it. “It’ll be a while before we’re ready to do something like this again,” laughs Hedgepeth, “but we’re happy to share our new expertise! In so many ways, the grant from NAR is being leveraged in to far greater gains.”

To learn more about how the Longleaf Pine REALTORS® are working to make the communities of Fayetteville, North Carolina,more desirable, livable, workable, and walkable, contact Government Affairs Director Angie Hedgepeth at 910-323-1421.  To visit the event website, see https://www.betterblockfaync.com/home.

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Celebrating National Homeownership Month

bobGoldberg_sm.jpge_mendenhall.jpg Throughout June, National Homeownership Month, we recognize the vital role REALTORS® play as stewards of the American Dream of homeownership. This is an excellent opportunity to encourage people around the country to learn more about homeownership opportunities and financial management plans. 

We are a key voice in promoting and educating consumers on the value of homeownership. NAR’s two consumer websites – Homeownership Matters and House Logic – are full of great housing-related tips, news, stories and policy issues to share with your clients, especially first-time home buyers.

The Homeownership Matters website also offers localized content for state and local REALTOR® Associations and their members. This is an excellent resource that can help mobilize the consumer on issues that affect homeownership and amplify our voice on Capitol Hill, and at state houses and town halls nationwide. As NAR’s consumer advocacy outreach program, Homeownership Matters also can help establish REALTORS® as experts before, during and after the homebuying experience.

Join the celebration all month long! Help us champion homeowners on social media by following the Homeownership Matters’ Twitter and Facebook pages and celebrate a #HomeownerHero in your life by using the hashtag on social media. Be sure to visit Homeownership Matters and House Logic, share articles and resources in your newsletters and on your websites.

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GADFly Newsletter – June 2018

In This Issue…



Dates & Deadlines

June: Homeownership Month
June is Homeownership Month and we need your help celebrating! This year, we’re celebrating the ways homeowners (and homeownership advocates) make our communities happier, safer, and more connected. Here’s how you and your members can be involved:

  • Follow us on Twitter (@NAR_homeowners) and Facebook (@homeownershipmatters)
  • Follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #HomeownerHero
  • Celebrate a #HomeownerHero in your community by using the hashtag on social media

More Homeownership Month assets (like social media posts) will be available for download on the Homeownership Matters website. Contact Erin Murphy at 202-383-1079 for more information.

2018 GAD Institute: June 8 – Early Registration Ending; June 16 – Online Registration Ends
The GAD Advisory Group hopes you can join us for the 2018 GAD Institute in Portland, Oregon from July 17 – 19!  This year they have packed the program full of optional, hands-on workshops (pre-registration required during registration) as well as the issues, topics and speakers YOU have requested!

Plan to be there when the Institute officially kicks off on Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. through Thursday night as we wrap up the conference with a fun Oregon Night Out reception. On-site registration and program pick-up opens Monday from 3:30– 5:30 pm.

Two new items this year include award-winning walking tours, discounted just for our group, to better give you a flavor of Portland, its economic drivers and current issues; and GADs Give Back to give back to our host city and provide fashion and super hero dolls to children at Randall Children’s Hospital.

Registration and Program Details
Registration Fee: $500; $550 after June 8, 2018
On-site Register: Available after June 16
For more information, contact Kyle Lambert London.

July 2: FPC Stipend Invoices Due
A stipend of up to $1,000 per FPC is provided for costs incurred to travel to Washington, D.C. for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo (RLMTE). Any FPC, not otherwise reimbursed by their state or local association (for example: member of the Board of Directors or Leadership), is eligible to apply for the stipend. The reimbursement process is the same as in previous years: FPCs, following state reimbursement rules, should file their expense report with the state immediately after the RLMTE. States will aggregate each FPC expense report and submit one invoice to NAR for the entire state FPC delegation that attended the meetings and are requesting the stipend. The invoice should list the name of each FPC requesting assistance, and the amount requested for each FPC. Deadline for invoice submission to NAR is July 2, 2018.  Please email your invoice to govcpapay@realtors.org and copy Victoria Givens.


GAD News & Resources

New at the 2018 GAD Institute! GADs Give Back.
GADs Give Back is a new initiative to give back to the host community! This year, Portland’s Randall Children’s Hospital has been chosen to receive GAD support.

Please bring (or pick up in Portland) a super-hero or fashion doll to contribute to the hospital as a token of our appreciation to the city hosting us. Your gift of a doll will be distributed by the nurses to the children who spend days or weeks in the hospital. A surprise toy provides hours of happiness and perhaps some relief from their illness. During the holidays or on their birthday, this may be the only gift the child receives.

Super-hero and fashion dolls will be collected at the registration desk during registration hours. If you are interested in helping deliver the dolls immediately following the Institute on Friday, please sign up at the registration table or see Dwayne Mingo for details. For health reasons, deliveries will not be made directly to the child, but to the Hospital Administrator.

Can’t bring a doll?  Don’t want to shop? Make your check payable to the Randall Children’s Hospital or — if your contribution is cash — we will go shopping for you!

FHA Commissioner Montgomery Confirmed
On May 23, the Senate confirmed Brian Montgomery to be the Assistant Secretary/FHA Commissioner for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by a vote of 74-23.  The vote comes six months after the Senate Banking Committee approved him, but only one week after REALTORS® urged his confirmation on Capitol Hill as part of the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.  Montgomery previously served as FHA Commissioner for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  He has a proven record of accomplishment as a strong advocate for FHA and its role in mortgage markets.

Changes to Community Outreach Grant Deadlines
Changes have been made to the last monthly deadline for submitting Community Outreach Grant applications for Level 2 grants in Housing Opportunity, Smart Growth, and Diversity. It will now be September 15. Applications for Level 1 grants and for Placemaking grants will be accepted until October 1. Please visit the REALTORparty.realtor website for more information about these grants.

State Legislative Monitor
Louisiana Governor Edwards vetoed a bill (SB 462) that would have banned local governments from implementing inclusionary zoning (IZ) programs. Although no parish or jurisdiction have implemented IZ measures, Governor Edwards does not want to limit the ability to “boost affordable housing.” Tennessee Governor Haslam signed a bill (HB 1020) that will preempt local governments from banning or limiting short-term rentals for two years. First-time home buyer savings accounts legislation in Missouri is awaiting the Governor’s signature. A measure in Missouri will make changes to the historic and low-income housing tax credit (SB 590) such as increased fees, was signed into law on June 1.  For more information, contact Adriann Murawski at 202-383-1068.

NEW RESOURCE: State Capital Gains Rates on Sale of Home
Most real estate professionals are familiar with capital gains taxes especially at the federal level. Meanwhile, state capital gains tax rates might also impact the bottom line. Capital gains taxes are paid at the time of sale of an asset (i.e. real estate). As of May 2018, Guam has the highest maximum rate at 20 percent, whereas North Dakota has the lowest maximum rate at 2.9 percent. Download today (log-in required). For more information, contact Adriann Murawski at 202-383-1068.

Get Legislative & Regulatory Updates through the NAR Weekly Newsletter
Subscribe to the NAR Weekly Newsletter and check the “Legislative & Regulatory Issues” box to receive weekly updates by e-mail on legislative and regulatory policy activities affecting all aspects of residential and commercial real estate.  The weekly legislative and regulatory issues updates are also available through the Washington Report publication, which is available to NAR members and the general public online at https://www.nar.realtor/washington-report. For more information, please contact John DiBiase at 202-383-1037 or Bira de Aquino at 202-383-1118.

Fair Housing at 50 – Expanding Access to Opportunity Report
Use NAR’s Fair Housing at 50 – Expanding Access to Opportunity report to start a discussion with your members about the paper’s recommendations for action. Recommendations include increasing diversity in leadership and representation; promoting awareness about fair housing issues; supporting state and local efforts to expand housing options; and advocating for strategies to promote housing opportunities. Read the full report for details. For more information, contact Wendy Penn.

REALTOR® Party Social Media Update
Posting advocacy content to your social media accounts? Use #REALTORParty to have it featured on the REALTORParty.realtor’s new social media wall! The NAR Community Outreach Facebook page has been shut down. Community Outreach updates and information will now be posted to the REALTOR® Party Facebook page. For more information, contact Tiane Harrison at 202-383-7531.


RPAC & Political Fundraising Update

Corporate Ally Program Update
The Corporate Ally Program (CAP) Advisory Board welcomes ServiceMaster, whose home office is located in Memphis, TN, as the newest real estate service business to invest this year. As the REALTOR® Party’s unique corporate, soft dollar fundraising campaign that supports the real estate industry as an advocate and influencer in the legislative and regulatory arenas, the program has now provided a source of funding to 18 state and local REALTOR® association issue campaigns. At work around the nation and on Capitol Hill protecting your business, CAP has been an instrumental factor in NAR’s progress toward restoring net neutrality to the nation. It has never been more important than now for corporate real estate entities to invest in REALTOR® Party advocacy through the Corporate Ally Program. Half of your investment will be used to support federal issues and half will be used to assist NAR to support state and local issues in your state. Be a member of the Corporate Ally team and invest today! For more information, contact Lauren Facemire at 202-383-1080 or Paula Martino at 202-383-1156.

2018 President’s Circle Update
The deadline for President’s Circle members to invest their first $500 was May 31. Three of the four President’s Circle rounds have launched for 2018, with the fourth and final round launching later this summer. The full $2,000 investment is due by September 30, 2018, but please encourage your members not to wait to complete their commitment in this important election year! View the current President’s Circle Roster online. For more information, contact Lauren Facemire at 202-383-1080 or Kanoa Naehu at 202-383-1268.

RPAC Training Webinar: Awards & Goal Tracking
Want to track your association’s progress toward the Triple Crown and President’s Cup Goals? Please join Peter Kelly, Director of RPAC Technology and Online Fundraising, and Jackie Zaporowski, RPAC Fundraising Coordinator, Tuesday, June 12 at 3:00 p.m. EST for a webinar that will review RPAC award criteria and how the PAC Management System can help you track progress toward your goals throughout the year. Click here to register. For more information, contact Liz Demorest at 202-383-1030.

 RPAC Summer Email Campaign
While many people are starting to think of ways to cool off this summer, RPAC is just heating up! NAR is excited to announce the RPAC Summer Campaign, a three-month long email fundraising competition for State Associations. Don’t be left out! The deadline to participate is Monday, June 14. For more information, contact Peter Kelly at 202-383-7599.


NAR’s Economic Outlook

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Message from the GAD ChairCady Thomas
GAD Chair
North Carolina Association of REALTORS®

The countdown is on to GAD Institute! If you have not registered, you have until June 8 to get the early bird discount, and June 16 to register overall. Believe me, you don’t want to miss all this Institute has to offer!

Before I see you in Portland, I will be seeing some of you the next two weeks in D.C. This week NAR is holding a new GAD/AE orientation. The last two classes have been fun and energized – can’t wait to meet this class as well.

The following week, NAR is holding the final part of the campaign training program. Can’t wait to see how much our GADs have learned through this project. Hope I will see you there!
Follow the REALTOR® Action Center!

RealtorActionCenter on Facebook RealtorActionCenter on Twitter RealtorActionCenter on YouTube RealtorActionCenter on Pintrest Flickr


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SAVE THE DATE

REALTOR® Party New GAD and AE Orientation (Summer)
June 7 – 8, 2018
Washington, D.C.

Candidate & Issues Campaign Training – In-Person Training
June 14 – 15, 2018
Washington, D.C.

2018 GAD Institute Registration Opens – Next Week
July 17 – 19, 2018
Portland, Oregon
Registration Fee: $500
Late Registration (after June 8): $550
On-site Registration Available After June 16

REALTOR® Party New GAD and AE Orientation (Fall)
September 13 – 14, 2018
Washington, D.C.
Registration opens late July

REALTORS® Conference & Expo
November 2 – 5, 2018
Boston, Massachusetts

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Kaua`i REALTORS® Use Grant to Engage More Brokers in Advocacy

If brokerages don’t understand the value of the Broker Involvement Program, they’re not likely to join. If agents don’t realize the importance of RPAC, they’re probably not investing. That’s why Hawaii’s Kaua’i Board of REALTORS® (KBR) set out to educate and engage broker-members at a recent information-packed breakfast presentation. Supported by a REALTOR® Party Broker Involvement Program Grant, the event spelled out the importance of supporting the REALTOR® Party, and the critical role that brokerages play, as the key point of contact with their agents. By 10 a.m., 15 firms had newly signed on, representing a significant percentage of KBR’s membership of 584 REALTORS®.

KBR Government Affairs Director Chad Deal, who understands brokers’ reluctance to crowd their colleagues’ in-boxes with automated messages, developed the morning program to dispel such concerns. “We needed to assure our broker-members that the Broker Involvement Program only issues communiqués and calls for action (CFA) for major, time-sensitive, real estate issues, and doesn’t ever abuse the privilege. It was also an important opportunity for us to emphasize the way issues advocacy benefits all members,” he explains.

The program fell within the normal scheduling of KBR’s Brokers’ meetings that take place three-to-four times a year. It featured the President Elect of the Hawaii Association of REALTORS® (HAR), as well as its RPAC Chair, who had everyone in stitches with their joint comic presentation on the importance of Broker Involvement and RPAC. Deal, who himself served on the Government Affairs Committee at the state level for many years, reported on federal, state, and local issues affecting private property and the real estate industry. Shining a spotlight on a serious situation of the sort that could imminently spur a CFA, a Coastal Land Use Extension agent from the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Foundation gave a sobering update on coastal erosion. In a region where properties are already being affected by rising sea levels, the timely topic held significant interest for all program participants.

The brokers in attendance were given a video on RPAC investing produced by HAR, as well as two PowerPoint pdfs to bring back to share with their agents: one on Government Affairs, and another on the affect of the rising sea level on coastal properties. The REALTOR® Party grant also provided for gift cards that were awarded to Major Investors, and to brokers who’d already secured 100% agent participation.

The feedback after the event was fabulous, reports Deal; he has already been invited to attend several upcoming Broker Caravans to appeal to agents directly. “Our brokers were clearly surprised and impressed by their board’s level of involvement in local and state legislation,” he notes. “Many more of them now realize how necessary their involvement is, in advancing real estate issues. Our goal is to sign 100% of our broker-members on to the Broker Involvement Program, so we’ll certainly be doing this again. We’re very grateful to the REALTOR® Party for all it does — and for helping us drum up business, in return, so to speak.”

To learn more about how the Kaua`i Board of REALTORS® is engaging its members in political advocacy, contact Government Affairs Director Chad Deal, at 808-245-4049.

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Residential Real Estate Council Invests in RPAC at Record Levels in 2017

You see the letters “CRS” and you know it identifies sales agents who’ve met the exacting standards of experience and education set by the Residential Real Estate Council (RRC).  So, it might not surprise you to learn that the more than 34,000 active REALTORS® who are members of the organization are also engaged at a high rate in industry advocacy: in fact, in 2017, their collective RPAC investment reached $4.5 million, up from $3.9 million in 2016.

This dramatic increase can be credited to a movement RRC (formerly known as the Council of Residential Specialists) calls Building the Complete REALTOR®, whose hashtag #morethanhouses refers to all those ancillary activities, like volunteering and civic involvement, by which its members improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods and strengthen and protect the real estate industry. The energetic movement, says Michelle Huffman, RRC’s Director of Communication, can, in turn, be credited to Leigh Brown, last year’s RRC President.

Brown, who is now 2018 RPAC Fundraising Trustees Chair, says “One of the biggest and most successful undertakings of the National Association of REALTORS® is our advocacy efforts. The members of RRC are already leaders in so many regards, when it comes to professionalism, education, achievement, etc., that it was a natural progression to examine and improve our efforts on the advocacy front as well,” she says, adding, “The members of RRC represent a large portion of the investment and volunteerism that leads to success. The focus on improving our reach among members is that of outreach and education:  I have personally found that many members WANT to do more once they know WHAT is being accomplished.”

In addition to emphasizing RPAC awareness at meetings and in email and social media campaigns, Brown also addressed the importance of investing in her President’s Letter at the front of The Residential Specialist, the group’s every-other-monthly magazine. Also in the magazine, RRC began celebrating its Major Investors in a high-profile list that’s become a popular bi-annual feature. Brown also initiated a new icon on the CRS.com website’s Find a CRS page, identifying RPAC Major Investors:

“There’s a growing movement among RPAC Major Investors to refer to one another, as that means the end consumer is more likely to be served by a REALTOR® who is involved in more than just their transaction. As such, we added a filter to the Find a CRS app, to help members locate CRS Designees who are also Major Investors. It’s been well received and becomes an ongoing effort to reach more members, so they can belong to the group and also use the app!” she says.

Huffman notes that “Leigh’s efforts were focused and tireless, and her message of investing in and protecting the industry really took hold with our members. Raising the visibility of those who invest has also been a successful strategy:  not only are they strong advocates, but great role models for their peers.” Says Brown, “Nothing makes me prouder as a REALTOR® than to know how many of my peers are engaged in changing this profession forever, while we also protect it from unnecessary and damaging regulation.”

To learn more about how the Residential Real Estate Council encouraged record investment in advocacy last year, contact Michelle Huffman at or 312-321-4428.

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INS: NAR Board OKs Stepped-up Ethics Enforcement, Dues Increase

The NAR Board of Directors at its meeting in Washington May 19 took a major step toward increasing professionalism in real estate by giving associations new teeth for enforcing Code of Ethics violations, and it also positioned REALTORS® for the future by adopting the association’s first dues increase in eight years.

READ MORE: https://www.nar.realtor/internal-news-service-special-report-legislative-2018

 

Advocacy-related Updates

S.M.A.R.T. Budget Approved

In a major move to keep REALTORS® positioned for success into the future while ensuring NAR no longer needs to use reserves to cover expenses, the board approved a budget that sets national association dues at $150 per year per member beginning in 2019.

That’s a $30 increase. Seventeen dollars of the increase is for REALTOR® Party advocacy programming. The remaining $13 will fund programs such as the new Commitment to Excellence professionalism initiative, the popular forms and transaction management benefit, and upkeep of the association’s buildings.

The new package of measures, called the S.M.A.R.T. Initiatives (for Strategic Measures Advancing REALTORS® to Tomorrow), was approved by NAR’s Budget Review Committee in March and association leaders have been getting member feedback on them since then.

The NAR budget underwent a comprehensive review after Bob Goldberg became CEO of the association last August. The spending plan for 2019-2021 reflects more than $2 million in annual savings, achieved by reducing association staff, cutting global travel, and making across-the-board cuts.

NAR is also realizing savings from a decision Goldberg made earlier this year to end the Advanced Multi-List Platform (AMP), formed in 2015 by NAR’s wholly owned Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) subsidiary to provide customized back-end technology services for small- to mid-size multiple listing services. The elimination of the program saves NAR $1.7 million in 2018 and, along with other reductions at RPR®, will save $5.25 million in 2019.

A key element of the financial blueprint involves replenishing NAR’s reserves, which have fallen 45 percent since 2015. In recent years, NAR used savings to fund activities such as a popular forms and transaction management platform benefit and for creation of Upstream, an innovative data management platform for brokers.

The increase also funds needed upgrades and repairs to the association’s Washington and Chicago office buildings. In addition, the board voted to establish a reserve fund to cover maintenance costs for the buildings in the future.

Fair Housing 50-year Anniversary

The board heard a report that the NAR Diversity Committee passed a resolution commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and acknowledging that NAR policy over the years has evolved from promoting exclusion and opposing fair housing to leading efforts to expand fair housing rights and inclusion in the association’s membership.

Chief Lobbyist to Retire

The board recognized the service of NAR Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello, who is retiring at the end of 2018. Giovaniello is a 37-year veteran of NAR, the last 17 as chief lobbyist.

Meritorious Service Award

The board recognized Sharon Keating of Jefferson City, Mo., and Larry Edward of Jackson, Miss., as this year’s federal political coordinators (FPCs) receiving the Meritorious Service Award. FPCs are NAR members who serve as liaisons to their senator or representative in Congress.

REALTORS® Political Action Committee

The board heard that RPAC met more than half of its $34.5 million fundraising goal for 2018 during the first four months of the year, and that the percentage of members who are RPAC contributors has risen to 28 percent, up from 25 percent a year ago.

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2017 RPAC Awards

2017 was banner year for RPAC! Congrats to all our state and local Presidents Cup and Triple Crown winners, YPN RPAC Pledge honorees, and Hall of Fame Inductees!

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