There’s no other grassroots organization in the country that can mobilize like REALTORS®. We saw the power of our unmatched operation in action as a government shutdown loomed at the end of September – and with it, the potential for a devastating lapse of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Read more about how REALTOR® advocacy helped avert a shutdown, including through a rare nationwide call for action, and the work ahead of us as we face another deadline in November.
REALTORS® Explore Technology, Sustainability, and Commercial Trends at Recent NAR Events
NAR hosted three conferences in August and September designed to help REALTORS® stay ahead of the latest developments in the industry: iOi Summit brought together experts in real estate technology, Sustainability Summit examined key sustainability and resilience trends and opportunities, and C5 + CCIM Global Summit featured three days of commercial real estate networking, learning, and investing. Check out the recaps of each event and make plans to attend in 2024.
What You Need to Know
About 87% of the nation’s 1.5 million REALTORS® are classified as independent contractors. The Direct Seller and Real Estate Agent Harmonization Act (H.R. 5419), introduced in the House last month and supported by NAR, seeks to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to clarify the definition of “employee” by incorporating the Internal Revenue Code recognition of direct sellers and qualified real estate agents as independent contractors.
Congress recently introduced the SAFER Banking Act to ensure continued, safe expansion of the American economy while providing clarity for business owners, banks, and regulators in the cannabis industry. Over the past 5 years, NAR has supported congressional efforts to create a clear framework and open up access to financial services for cannabis businesses and those who provide services to them.
Rafael Perez, a 2022 NAR Fair Housing Champion, shared his insights with attendees at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 2023 Leadership Conference last month. Perez was one of 5 panelists in a session titled “Building a Legacy: How Latino Families Can Secure Their Financial Future,” hosted by U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34) and sponsored by NAR.
Housing affordability and inventory were among the biggest challenges cited for firms in the next two years, according to NAR’s 2023 Profile of Real Estate Firms released last week. “With interest rates rising to more than 20-year highs, it is no surprise that the biggest current concern for real estate firms is housing affordability,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR’s deputy chief economist and vice president of research.
Home buyers are facing the most difficult affordability conditions in nearly 40 years. According to two new reports from NAR, the current real estate market’s high home prices and mortgage rates, as well as limited inventory, are the top barriers to homeownership cited by REALTORS® and prospective home buyers across races and ethnicities.
As of September 30, RPAC fundraising reached 81% of its national goal with more than $41 million raised at all three levels of the association, and 109% of its federal disbursements allocation goal with $10.8 million raised at the national level. RPAC has 8,492 Major Investors, 1,907 President’s Circle members, and a 34% participation rate.
The REALTOR® Party At Work
Don’t forget to bookmark NAR’s Washington Report for the latest policy updates.
Carroll County Association of REALTORS® and Maryland REALTORS® Oppose Sharp Increase in Real Estate Recordation Tax
The Board of Commissioners in Carroll County, Md., had proposed an increase in the recordation tax that would add $1,100 to the closing costs of the median home sale. The Carroll County REALTORS® couldn’t let that dampen the prospects of aspiring homebuyers who were already facing a difficult market. With help from the Maryland REALTORS® and the REALTOR® Party, they convinced the board to take the rate hike out of the budget.
Coastal Association of REALTORS® (MD) Uses Housing Opportunity Grant to Promote K-12 Financial Literacy
On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Coastal Association of REALTORS® is partnering with Junior Achievement (JA) of the Eastern Shore to provide vital skills to the next generation. With a Housing Opportunity Grant from the REALTOR® Party, they have created a three-year program in JA Biztown and JA Finance Park, benefiting young students in nine nearby counties.
New Hampshire REALTORS® Dispel Myths About Housing Development with Videos for Members, Public, and Volunteer Planning and Zoning Boards
New Hampshire REALTORS® produced concise, informative videos with support from a REALTOR® Party Consumer Advocacy Outreach Grant to counter concerns and misconceptions about housing development in the state. These short videos were aimed at educating consumers, legislators, and opinion leaders, ensuring they had access to accurate information.
Resources & Opportunities
Use the State and Local Polling Growth Program to survey residents on growth and development priorities to inform land use policies. Learn how the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® used the program to assess voter attitudes on infrastructure and housing development.
Questions? Contact Hugh Morris at 202-383-1278.
Is your association interested in addressing challenges such as commercial disinvestment, housing gaps, brownfields redevelopment, and natural disaster response? Learn how the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® jumpstarted neighborhood revitalization and the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® helped craft a vision for the city’s Meridian Corridor using NAR’s Transforming Neighborhoods Program in partnership with the Counselors of Real Estate® Consulting Corps.
The American Property Owners Alliance (APOA) is sponsoring a new podcast, “Lost in the Middle: America’s Political Orphans.” Hosted by 14-year news anchor and former Rep. Scott Klug, “Lost in the Middle” focuses on America’s political centrists, how politics became so polarized, and what can be done to change the current dynamics by sharing uplifting stories of people around the country trying to change the current climate.
The Vote, Act, Invest Advocacy Resource Guide includes resources and tools that can help associations reach their advocacy goals and meet Core Standards requirements. State and local REALTOR® association staff can request printed copies for events and conferences by contacting Kathleen LaMarre. Requests for printed guides must be submitted two weeks prior to the event.
Both make the world a better place! If you’re attending NAR NXT, the REALTOR® Experience in Anaheim, come visit us at Booth #1705 to enjoy free ice cream on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 14 and 15, from 11 am to 5 pm and learn more about the REALTORS® Are Good Neighbors program.
The REALTOR® L.E.A.D. Vision Course offers you an opportunity to define your leadership style, deepen your knowledge of the skills necessary to make a positive impact, and discover your inner strength. Enroll for the upcoming interactive session taking place at NART NXT, the REALTOR® Experience on Sunday, Nov. 12, and unleash your leadership potential.