Advocacy Everywhere

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

The local REALTOR® association representing three counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore was aware that Worcester County was looking to overhaul its outdated rental code, but was expecting the effort to focus on clarity and uniformity of language. What was presented was a set of severe restrictions on short-term rentals, which is naturally a major issue in coastal communities. When some of the County Commissioners proved unreceptive to the REALTORS®’ initial advocacy, it was time to call on the Land Use Initiative and Advocacy Everywhere programs. The County Commission heard the message loud and clear, and sent its proposal back to the drawing board.

Sarah Rayne, Government and Public Affairs Director of the 1,000+ member Coastal Association of REALTORS® of Maryland, recalls the list of restrictions the County Commission was proposing:  “They wanted to limit the number of ‘unrelated’ people in a short-term rental unit to five; to require all short-term rental units to install an extra parking space; to define ‘short-term’ as under twenty-eight days; and even to prohibit birthday parties, showers, and other special events. The REALTORS®’ position is that a short-term rental is still residential, and so all these restrictions were simply unfair.” The ordinance also sought to create a rental license requirement, which Rayne notes that the REALTORS® do not oppose, as long as the fee is not exorbitant.

While the REALTORS® have strong relationships with most of the Worcester County Commissioners, it was clear that their first efforts at direct advocacy were not getting through to some. So, Rayne commissioned a Land Use Initiative review of the proposed ordinance to analyze land use and zoning legislation. “I’ve worked with them a number of times, and they’re always great – they seem to thrive on tight deadlines,” she says. “This time, they sent us sixteen pages of very useful information, which we condensed into a brief position statement and sent to our members, the media, and the County Commissioners.”

Just a few days prior to the vote, some of the Commissioners were still resistant to the REALTORS®’ reasoning. “That’s when we realized, ‘Ok – we need to get our members involved!’” says Rayne.  “We’re a small association, but our members are great, and very supportive of our Government Affairs efforts and advocacy.”  Rayne called on Susan Mitchell, Director of Government Affairs for the Maryland REALTORS®, who activated an Advocacy Everywhere effort using REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. “It’s such an effective program,” says Rayne, “it was very easy for our members to respond.” And respond they did: the alert went out on a Friday, and over the course of the weekend, the seven Worcester County Commissioners were bombarded by more than 630 emails from 90 unique addresses.

At the next meeting of the County Commission, several members of the Coastal Association of REALTORS® of Maryland were present and testified on behalf of property owners.

The Commission voted to approve the creation of a rental license and sent the rest of the proposed ordinance back to staff for re-drafting. “They’ll be addressing many of the REALTORS®’ concerns in the re-write,” explains Rayne, adding, “It was a definite win for property owners and our members. I’m certain that our call for action made a big difference.” Although the association is small, she says, REALTOR® Party resources help it achieve results that are relatively major. “I’m a big fan of all these tools that allow us to create such an impact!”

To learn more about how the Coastal Association of REALTORS® of Maryland is protecting the rights of homeowners in Worcester County and beyond, contact Government and Public Affairs Director Sarah Rayne at 410-641-4409.

Read more

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

North Carolina REALTORS® knew that finding adequate and affordable health insurance was a challenge for the state’s small businesses, associations, and independent contractors. But when polling revealed that as many as 6,000 of its members were not covered, the REALTORS® took swift and certain action. With help from the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program, they led an aggressive campaign that brought about the passage of an Association Health Plan bill in August 2019.

The REALTORS® had only been actively involved in the health care coverage issue for about two years, explains Seth Palmer, North Carolina REALTORS®’ Director of Regulatory Affairs and External Communications.  Across the state, he says, they were hearing about the increasing difficulty of paying for health insurance, coupled with the worsening quality of that coverage. “Members were dropping coverage or forgoing other important expenses to cover insurance,” he notes.  Forming a coalition with 19 other membership associations spanning multiple industries, the REALTOR® team began work on a comprehensive plan that would ultimately become Senate Bill 86, which allows for small business and associations to have access to the same type of coverage as large employers. It was a preliminary membership survey that lit a fire under the effort: “As a membership association, 6,000 REALTORS® without health coverage was a hard number to see, and that is what emboldened our advocacy work,” says Palmer.

The Association Health Plan campaign began at an intensive one-on-one level, as North Carolina REALTORS®’ State Political Coordinators engaged their contacts in the legislature on the importance of the issue. Print ads and op-ed pieces in the state’s two largest newspapers raised awareness among the general public, with the added support of an active social media campaign.  In August, the Senate bill passed handily, and the House companion bill followed suit, both with strong bipartisan support. The REALTORS® reserved their call for action power for a strategic push after the bills’ passage: the hyper-sensitive, single point-of-contact call for action fueled by the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program directed messages from more than 7,045 unique individuals to Governor Cooper, urging him to sign the bill in to law. Neither formalizing the legislation with his signature, nor vetoing it, he allowed the Small Business Health Care Act to become law after a mandated ten-day period.

Asa Fleming, the president of North Carolina REALTORS®, thanked General Assembly members and the governor for allowing the bill to become law.

“Through this action, small businesses and independent contractors will now have an option for quality, affordable health insurance through Association Health Plans. This bipartisan legislation focuses on ensuring that hard-working citizens throughout our state are not allowed to fall into a gap which can’t be addressed in other programs,” he said, adding, “We look forward to working with our members to develop plans which address their needs and help provide coverage for the more than 6,000 who are uninsured and many more who are underinsured.”

Palmer notes that North Carolina REALTORS® is deeply appreciative of the help and support it received from the REALTOR® Party. “The response to our call for action just blew away the Government Affairs staff. It exceeded any of our projections, and clearly gave the governor an understanding of the seriousness of the challenges our members and other small businesses are facing when it comes to health care.” He also reports that, coming out of North Carolina REALTORS®’ recent Annual Conference, “Everyone is very excited about what we’ve accomplished, and eager to move forward and get the ball rolling!”

To learn more about how North Carolina REALTORS® is looking out for the well-being of its members and other small businesses across the state, contact Seth Palmer, Director of Regulatory Affairs and External Communications, at 919-573-0992.

Read more

Delaware REALTORS® Win Legislative Victory with Advocacy and Research

For as long as anyone can remember, REALTORS® in the state of Delaware have paid licensing fees at the municipal level, a fee extending beyond the state licensing requirements that REALTORS® fully support.

Political subdivisions required additional business licenses of anyone listing property for sellers or representing property buyers. It seemed that the highly visible nature of their business made REALTORS® an easy target.

“Other professional service providers, such as insurance agents, were not being assessed a fee for operating in multiple districts” explained Sara Elalamy, Government Affairs Director and Chief Lobbyist of the Delaware REALTORS® (DAR).

For at least 12 years, the association’s Public Policy Committee had been talking to lawmakers about the unfairness of this requirement. The answer was always the same: The legislature would never agree to depriving municipalities of revenue.

A lack of government transparency meant that the REALTORS® didn’t even know which municipalities required the additional license to do business within their borders, let alone what kind of numbers were at stake. The key to solving the problem was straight-forward research and member engagement.

First, Elalamy called all 57 cities and towns in the state, unearthing 27 that were collecting the extra licensing fee. Requests by staff for data from these municipalities under the Freedom of Information Act revealed data that was surprising to all involved.

“Legislators had assumed we’d been talking about a million dollars, at least,” explained DAR’s 2019 President Beau Zebley. “To be honest, we thought it would be a significant number too. But, in fact, these fees have never exceeded $100,000 a year across 27 municipalities!”

While that revenue number was small, the burden to individual Delaware REALTORS®, who already pay business taxes to the state, averaged $2,600 per year, against the average annual income of about $39,000.

In the 2019 session, REALTORS® from across the state worked with Representative Bill Bush (D), a newly elected legislator, to pass HB 235: Elimination of Municipal Business Licenses for REALTORS® in Delaware. Desite strong resistance from the League of Local Governments, the new legislation passed in both the House and the Senate, where it was sponsored by the president pro-tempore and won support from a solid two-thirds majority.

“It was an amazing team effort,” says Elalamy.

Zebley agrees. “Our members played a huge role in getting this done. They responded in force to our Calls for Action, contacting their representatives in the House and Senate and mobilizing on social media. Our Public Policy Committee and RPAC team all did a great job, using their relationships with legislators to get the common-sense message across,” Zebley added.

On July 23, 2019, Governor John Carney signed the bill into law. It will take effect in July 2020, freeing Delaware’s REALTORS® from the onerous double-licensing fees.

To learn more about how the Delaware REALTORS® have eliminated a longstanding unfair licensing fee required by many local municipalities, contact Government Affairs Director and Chief Lobbyist Sara Elalamy, at 443-567-8319.

Read more

New Jersey REALTORS® Combat Last-Minute Tax Threats to Property- and Business-Owners

With just four days remaining in last year’s legislative session, an age-old puzzle was playing itself out in the New Jersey statehouse: lawmakers were scrambling to find revenue to balance the state’s budget, and negotiations were flying. When New Jersey REALTORS® learned about two proposals that would be seriously detrimental not only to the housing market, but to many businesses that also play a significant role in the state’s economy, they called on their members to make their voices heard. Timely calls for action supported by the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program got the job done.

As Jarrod Grasso, Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey REALTORS®, explains, both proposals would have hit property owners hard. The first sought to impose a sales tax on seasonal rental properties. “The Jersey Shore and other areas that depend on summer tourism could have suffered greatly,” he points out, noting that, according to one study, the average vacationer in New Jersey spends as much as $1,000 a week on food, transportation, shopping, and entertainment. “The bill would have hurt not only the homeowners who rent out their homes, but also all those businesses that depend on the profits they make during the high season.”

The second proposal looked to increase the realty transfer fee on homes sold for over $1 million, adding a minimum of $10,000 to the expenses associated with selling each such property. “In the Garden State, there are about 60,000 homes within the targeted price bracket, or one in every 43 properties,” added Douglas Tomson, Vice President of Government Affairs for the New Jersey REALTORS®. “For the counties with the highest home values, this added financial burden for aspiring homeowners could have resulted in a flattening of the market, or even an outmigration.”

When news of the real estate budget proposals broke, the New Jersey REALTORS®’ Government Affairs team sprang into action.  Using the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program and social media, they contacted all REALTOR® members, urging them to send messages to their elected officials – and ask family, friends, and clients to do the same. Within just 24 hours, legislators received more than 10,000 messages from the voting public, expressing strong opposition to the two bills. Thanks to RPAC, Grasso and his team have built strong relationships with state politicians supportive of real estate issues, and spoke with them directly. They also sent out press releases to all New Jersey’s major news outlets.

A whopping 17,914 electronic letters opposing the seasonal rental tax and realty transfer fee hike were sent, reports Tomson.  “The response to our Calls for Action was so immediate and so strong, that legislators had no choice but to pay attention,” he says:  both real estate tax proposals were dropped from consideration on the final day of the session.  “We’re grateful to the REALTOR® Party and its Advocacy Everywhere program for making it simple to mobilize our members at a moment’s notice, and to RPAC for its deep support of political team-building.  This situation really highlighted how important these resources are to protecting New Jersey’s property owners and its real estate market.”

To learn more about how New Jersey REALTORS® are using the resources of the REALTOR® Party to speak for real estate issues in the statehouse, contact Douglas M. Tomson, Vice President of Government Affairs, at 609-341-7100.

Read more

Advocacy Everywhere Helps DC Association of REALTORS® Keep Property Taxes at Bay

In the weeks before a budget vote by the D.C. City Council, staff at the 3,000-member D.C. Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) was monitoring negotiations closely – and a good thing, too:  just three days out, a single tweet from a veteran journalist hinted that a council member was planning to introduce an “emergency amendment” that would impose a “Mansion Tax” on homes valued more than a million dollars, and a separate tax on those more than $2 million. Never mind that many million-dollar homes in the nation’s capital could not be considered ‘mansions’ by any other standard; the “emergency” nature of the legislation left no room for public comment, which was what alarmed the REALTORS®.

At the time, DCAR was in the middle of a campaign advocating to keep an important consumer protection measure adequately funded. They had to shift gears fast, relates Bryan Frantz, the board’s Manager of Communications. “First, we called the council member, with whom we’ve always had a good relationship, to confirm it was true.” Notes DCAR Vice President of Government Affairs Katalin Peter, “I actually said, ‘You’re kidding, right?!’” The council member was not, and Peter informed him that the REALTORS® would have to do what they had to do. “I told him that while we understand he might want to consider tax proposals, not allowing any public debate was way too extreme. This would increase the annual residential property tax for a large number of D.C. homeowners, and they deserve a fair hearing.”

Next, DCAR notified NAR staff that they needed to halt the campaign in progress to tackle the last-minute amendment. “They were able to pivot on a dime and do exactly what we needed,” says Frantz. “With very little time, they gave us the ability to mobilize a significant portion of our membership for the cause. They helped us put out another Call for Action, and despite the fact that the interruption of a campaign-in-progress may have been somewhat confusing, there was a tremendous response from our members. It was our single most successful campaign ever, with more than 260 action-takers contacting their own representatives, the City Council Chairman, and DC’s at-large representatives.”

With that kind of push-back – plus Peter’s energetic direct lobbying of the entire City Council – the council member in question agreed to introduce his proposal as a stand-alone bill in an upcoming session, which will give opponents the opportunity to approach and combat it with typical methods. Additionally, the $1 million threshold will be increased to $1.5 million. Notes Frantz, “While we’re obviously still going to advocate against this bill, even if it passes as written, we’ve accomplished a significant victory in stopping the property tax hike (for now)!”

Peter emphasizes that thanks to the REALTOR® Party, GADs needn’t feel alone when a legislative crisis such as this one hits: “Don’t think you have to lift this all by yourself:  this resource is really, really good – as good as you are – and the team is right there for you! NAR staff is so quick and agile,” she adds. “We simply couldn’t have done this without them.”

To learn more about how REALTORS® in the nation’s capital are protecting the rights of property owners with tools from the REALTOR® Party, contact Katalin Peter, DCAR’s Vice President of Government Affairs, or Bryan Frantz, Manager of Communications.

 

 

Read more

Mississippi REALTORS® Secure Broader Broadband Access

REALTORS® probably know better than anyone that expansion of internet access is vital to increasing economic opportunity and connecting communities in rural and underserved areas. In January, harnessing the power of Advocacy Everywhere, Mississippi REALTORS® rallied the voting public and its own members to support the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, which overturns a longstanding statute prohibiting electric cooperatives from providing anything but electric power. Thanks to their effort, those cooperatives are now free to carry broadband internet service throughout the state.

In the national ranks of connectivity to high-speed internet service, Mississippi holds a dubious 49th place. Clarke Wise, Mississippi REALTORS®’ Vice President of Government Relations, explains why this is an especially serious concern for the association’s members: “REALTORS® everywhere understand that communities flourish when they offer a high quality of life at a reasonable cost. Livable communities offer a variety of affordable housing choices, nearby employment opportunities, an economically viable commercial sector, great schools, and infrastructure that provide the framework for the quality of life we enjoy in our communities. In this day and age, that infrastructure must include high-speed internet access.”

He adds, “While internet access has an effect on home valuation, it also enables many of our members, and members of their communities, to work efficiently from home, access distance learning opportunities, and continue to explore telemedicine capabilities in a rural state. So, it’s not just a policy issue; it directly affects the development of our state’s economy.” After an initial membership poll indicated overwhelmingly that increasing broadband access should be the association’s top priority, the Mississippi REALTORS® set about clearing legislative obstacles.

The Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act was supported by the Farm Bureau of Mississippi, AARP of Mississippi, and the Mississippi Poultry Association, in addition to the REALTORS®.  “It’s difficult to imagine a demographic not represented in this coalition!” notes Wise.

The bill passed in the state House of Representatives with a vast majority, and as it headed to the Senate, Mississippi REALTORS® launched a REALTOR® Call For Action (CFA) using REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts, and email- and Facebook-outreach, in addition to a powerful consumer CFA. The REALTORS®’ State Political Coordinators were in touch with their legislators, and members of the Mississippi REALTORS®’ executive committee met with the Lieutenant Governor to make their case. “The response was great,” reports Wise. “The passage of this bill is a real testament to our ability to focus on our members’ number-one priority from multiple angles, bringing all our advocacy resources to accomplish our goal,” he says. “It shows that they have a voice, and it’s persuasive and valued in the political process.”

Though the restriction on electric cooperatives has been lifted, the broadband service it makes possible won’t be available overnight. Wise explains that the cooperatives would have to commit to a steep technological investment in order to provide the service, while existing internet providers are reluctant to invest in expensive infrastructure; ideally, he can envision a situation in which they come together, with internet companies leasing the existing poles of the electrical cooperatives. “What we do know,” he asserts, “is that the demand is there: I was sitting in the Senate gallery with the president of Electric Cooperative Association when the vote was taken, and as soon as the gavel came down declaring the bill’s passage, his phone started ringing, with folks wanting to know, ‘When can I sign up?!’ We’re proud to have helped move the process forward to the next level, and hope we can be a model for other states.”

To learn more about how Mississippi REALTORS® are elevating and equalizing quality of life in their state, contact Clarke R. Wise, Vice President of Government Relations, at 601-932-5241.

 

Read more

With Advocacy Everywhere, Illinois REALTORS® Rally Peoria Voters against New “Parcel Tax” on Property Owners

Attempting to bridge a $1.2 million hole in its budget, the City Council of Peoria, Illinois, thought it would impose a new fee on owners of all residential and commercial property within its jurisdiction. The proposed fee, which was expected to increase over time with no end in sight, was not going to get by the Peoria Association of REALTORS® without a fight: “They’ve poked the wrong bear!” declared one board member. With help from the state association and the REALTOR® Party, the REALTORS® used Advocacy Everywhere and other measures to call voters’ attention to the threat and encourage calls of opposition to the City Council. Overwhelmed by the volume, the Council agreed to a compromise.

Dallas Hancock, CEO of the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® (PAAR,) notes that her Government Affairs Committee is proactive and engaged, meeting with the community’s elected officials and staff on a monthly basis to keep the lines of communication open. “Some Council members even contact us directly, when something comes up that needs our attention. And when they don’t, we can depend on Kristie to be closely monitoring City Hall!” Kristie Engerman, the Local Government Affairs Director and Regional Manager for Member Outreach with the Illinois REALTORS®, explains that in this case, the city was trying to fill a shortfall in the Public Safety Pension fund, a perennial challenge that grows exponentially, and which requires a last-minute band-aid every November. “PAAR’s Government Affairs Committee does a great job developing and maintaining working relationships with City Hall, but at the end of the year when there’s a sense of desperation over balancing the budget, you’re going to need more than that. You need pressure from voters,” she says.

Engerman enumerates the “vast store of REALTOR® resources” that PAAR brought to bear on the effort to oppose the proposed Public Safety Pension Fee, part of a program that the REALTOR® Party helped to put together within a matter of hours in mid-November:  “Emails and texts messages to PAAR members, on Fridays and Mondays of two consecutive weekends; and a consumer component supported by the Illinois REALTORS®’ Advocacy Fund that involved texts, social media, and a postcard mailer. We used all avenues at our disposal.  Let me tell you, Peoria is a relatively small community, and when Council members have thousands of constituents calling and emailing – they notice.”

In the end, the Public Safety Pension Fee passed, but in a reduced version of the original proposal: the fee itself was lowered, and a sunset clause limited the duration to three years. Says Hancock, “We’re glad for the compromise. More than that, we really raised awareness among voters in the community. Our REALTORS® saw the advocacy system at work; the public saw REALTORS® in action; and many voters were jolted out of apathy and into action. But most importantly, the elected leadership experienced the impact of the REALTOR® Party collaborative efforts. That’s a big win.”

She continues, “We are just so fortunate to have Kristie handling our Government Affairs – along with those of the rest of the state – with such expertise. Efforts like this could never happen the way they do without her guidance.”  As for Engerman, she notes that it was widely considered time for some push-back on Peoria city budget matters, and it’s been good to put a spotlight on the long-term issues. “For the viability of the entire region, we want Peoria to remain competitive in the housing market, which it can only do if taxes and fees on property ownership are kept at a reasonable level. The REALTORS® are the only organization out there looking to protect private property rights, and at the same time, thanks to PAAR’s strong Government Affairs Committee, we can talk to the City Council about formulating a long-range business plan to resolve challenging budget needs.”

To learn more about how REALTORS® in Peoria used a REALTOR® Party program to protect property owners from unfair tax burdens, contact Kristie Engerman, Local Government Affairs Director and Regional Manager for Member Outreach for Illinois REALTORS®, at 309-253-864; or Dallas Hancock, CEO of the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS®, at 309-688-8591.

 

 

 

Read more

District of Columbia REALTORS® Get Legislative Results Protecting Property Owners and Housing Providers

DCAR’s Advocacy Everywhere Issue Alert

The 2,900-member District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) didn’t have to look far for help when it faced two legislative issues requiring prompt grassroots action recently: thanks to the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program, they were able to send REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert texts and emails that spurred members to contact their City Council members. Both times, the REALTOR® message got through loud and clear and helped to protect the city’s property owners.

Bryan Frantz, DCAR’s head of Communications, learned about the Advocacy Everywhere program when a representative from NAR visited one of DCAR’s recent Public Policy meetings, and presented ‘the new tool.’ “We just happened to have two issues that were coming into play, and the timing couldn’t have been better. We are lucky in having a core group of members who are very active in city governance, and even know various Council members personally, which is invaluable. But there comes a point when what really gets a legislator’s attention is an unknown constituent, a new name in the inbox, voicing an opinion. Advocacy Everywhere is not only a technically smooth and sophisticated platform, but it got us those fresh voices.”

Katalin Peter, DCAR’s Vice President of Government Affairs, agrees, and notes that in the midst of a particularly chaotic legislative session the input from REALTORS® definitely made a difference in the outcome of both issues.

The first was a budgetary matter: DC’s proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Budget emptied DC’s Real Estate Guaranty and Education Fund, an important consumer protection tool. About 140 DCAR members contacted their Council members, urging them to safeguard the fund; At-Large Council members received every single communiqué. When the final budget bill passed, not only was a substantial portion of the Real Estate Guaranty Fund saved, but it was restored with new protections that would mitigate the threat of special assessments down the road. “How important was our advocacy? The Guaranty Fund was the only one out of the 30 or so on the block that was restored in the final budget,” states Peter, adding, “It was a real case of persistency.”

The second Call for Action was issued to amend a 40-year old law protecting landlords in eviction cases. The Council ran into an emergency situation, explains Peter, when the U.S. Marshals Service stepped back from their involvement in eviction cases in the District. The City Council cobbled together new legislation to bridge the gap; though it was a well-intended effort to make the process as humane as possible, it placed an unfair logistical and financial burden on the property owner, who may already have been losing rent on the property in question. DCAR presented a more moderate alternative solution, and turned again to Advocacy Everywhere to drum up member support. “Though this Call for Action brought in only 36 responders,” reports Frantz, “every single one made a significant impact. This legislation was moving fast, and we only had three days to mobilize our members to flip the bill on its back and call for a complete change. The team at the National Association of REALTORS® was incredibly responsive and put the CFA together over a summer weekend.” In the end, the City Council voted to change the requirement from a landlord having to store an evicted tenant’s belongings off-site for 30 days, to storing them on-site for only seven. “We achieved a fairer result for housing providers here in the District,” says Peter, “and even with hours of midnight negotiations, we couldn’t have pulled it off without the grassroots support of the REALTOR® Party.”

To learn more about how REALTORS® in the nation’s capital are protecting the rights of property owners with tools from the REALTOR® Party, contact Katalin Peter, DCAR’s Vice President of Government Affairs, or Bryan Frantz, Communications Associate.

Read more

Home

The REALTOR Party

2019 Election Results are in…

Flood Insurance Resources

Hurricane Season has begun. Be Prepared, Not Scared.

Opportunity Zone Toolkit

A resource for associations working with state and local entities and members to plan and implement development in QOZs

Smart Growth is Smart Finance

On Common Ground: Spring 2019

That’s Who We Are

We're real people making a difference everywhere from neighborhoods, to our nation's capital. That's Who We R.

50th Anniversary of RPAC

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee

2019 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide Now Available

Resources, tools and funding information to help state and local REALTOR® Associations create, implement and sustain successful advocacy and community outreach programs.

The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment.

Latest News

Events & Deadlines

Photo & Video Highlights

See More

SUCCESS STORIES

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.
READ MORE

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

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 was facing. The neighboring Oroville Association of REALTORS® is taking the lead in steering the new development toward a Smart Growth way of thinking.
READ MORE

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 near and dear to the industry and their communities.
READ MORE

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.
READ MORE

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.
READ MORE

Santa Fe REALTORS® Help 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.
READ MORE

Delaware REALTORS® Win Legislative Victory with Advocacy and Research

REALTORS® in Delaware were unfairly subjected to business licensing fees at the municipal level, as well as by the state. Using research to determine how much revenue was at stake, the state association took the results to the legislature via Advocacy Everywhere and face-to-face advocacy. HB 235 was signed into law in July 2019, eliminating municipal licensing for REALTORS®.
READ MORE

Nebraska REALTOR® Association Takes REALTOR® Party Show on the Road

REALTOR® associations of large, less populous states like Nebraska often undertake ‘road shows’ to connect with members of distant local boards. This summer, the Nebraska REALTOR® Association took the REALTOR® Party on the road to acquaint members with all its efforts, accomplishments, and opportunities, receiving warm welcomes from North Platte to Scottsbluff.
READ MORE

Consumer Advocacy Outreach Program helps Seattle King County REALTORS® Share Advocacy Success

After years of stagnant condominium construction in the Seattle region, a coalition led by the Washington Association of REALTORS® was finally able to convince the state legislature to ease the legal restrictions that have discouraged development of this key “missing middle” housing. The National Association’s Consumer Advocacy Outreach Program helped the Seattle King County Association give credit where credit was due – to REALTORS®.
READ MORE

New Jersey REALTORS® Combat Last-Minute Tax Threats to Property- and Business-Owners

In a last-minute scramble to balance the state budget last year, New Jersey lawmakers set their sights on two real estate tax-targets that propelled the state REALTOR® Association into action: seasonal rental properties, and homes valued at more than $1 million. Calls for action got the message out to REALTORS®, who made their feelings known to their elected officials.
READ MORE

Wisconsin REALTORS® Urge State Senate to ‘Hold the Line’ on Property Taxes

With a full-on campaign called ‘Hold the Line on Property Taxes,’ the Wisconsin REALTORS® organized a powerful response to the governor’s plan to lift a freeze on municipal and country property taxes. An Issues Mobilization grant helped them convince the state senate that the move lacked tax-payer support.
READ MORE

Texas REALTORS® Achieve Tax Reform for Texas Property Owners

In Texas, where there’s no state income tax or a state-levied property tax, it’s the tax bills from your county, your municipality, your school district, and various other special districts that’ll get you. Texas REALTORS® have been battling the ‘Hidden Property Tax’ inherent in the system for years, and this summer, with a boost from a sweeping Issues Mobilization campaign, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act was signed into law.
READ MORE

Miami REALTORS® Celebrate Mega Success with Mega-Grant Program Pilot

With more than 47,000 members spanning roughly 70 different municipalities, the Miami Association of REALTORS® is the nation’s largest – a distinction that can be unwieldy and impractical when it comes to taking advantage of REALTOR® Party resources. A scaled-up program designed for “mega-boards,” piloted by the Miami REALTORS®, has proven to be a mega-success.
READ MORE

Greater Los Angeles and Southland Regional Association REALTORS® Join Forces to Defeat Parcel Tax

Fresh off a win with a highly publicized teachers’ strike earlier this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District called for a 16-cent/square foot parcel tax on all residential and commercial buildings, claiming that it would support students. But the REALTORS® of the Greater Los Angeles and the Southland Regional Associations begged to differ.
READ MORE

Utah REALTORS® Think Ahead to Prevent Affordable Housing Shortage

The population of Utah is expected to double – yes, double – by the year 2040, and the state is already feeling a housing crunch. With the help of Utah REALTORS® and the support of Issues Mobilization Grants, Utah has found a way to incentivize solutions to its growing shortage rather than strong-arming municipalities with mandates.
READ MORE

Washington REALTORS® Campaign for Affordable Housing Legislation

REALTORS® in Washington state knew that access to affordable housing at all income levels was being hampered by lack of inventory. Using an Issues Mobilization Grant, they’ve convinced lawmakers to tackle challenges ranging from zoning to builder-liability to spur the creation of more housing stock.
READ MORE

Pacific Southwest REALTORS® Helps Create Homeless Resources Website

Using a Housing Opportunity Grant, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has sponsored the development of a website serving as a one-stop resource for those experiencing homelessness – or near-homelessness – in the San Diego area. The project honors the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.
READ MORE

Advocacy Everywhere Helps DC Association of REALTORS® Keep Property Taxes at Bay

When the D.C. Association of REALTORS® learned on the eve of a budget vote that a City Council member was planning to introduce an “emergency amendment” taxing homes valued at more than $1 million, it dropped everything and called in the REALTOR® Party. A timely Call for Action got a strong message through to council members, and the proposal was shelved – for the time being.
READ MORE

Lincoln REALTORS® Mobilize Voters to Support Roadway Improvements

Many of Lincoln, Nebraska’s 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 them fixed.
READ MORE

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

In the spring election season, 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.
READ MORE

Mississippi REALTORS® Maximize Returns with RPAC Fundraising Grant

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

Charlotte REALTORS®Dive 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.
READ MORE

Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association Keeps Redundant, 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® aided by a Land Use Initiative led a successful charge to keep additional restrictions off the books.
READ MORE

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.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.
READ MORE

Selkirk REALTORS® Protect Quality of Life in Bonners Ferry

With a series of Smart Growth Action Grants, Selkirk REALTORS® supported a multi-year planning process for an integrated network of pedestrian and bicycle routes in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Complete with graphic branding and signage, the plan will enhance the local active transport scene for residents, and contribute to the region’s growing appeal to bike tourism.
READ MORE

Mississippi REALTORS® Secure Broader Broadband Access

REALTORS® know better than anyone that expanded internet access is the only way to increase economic opportunity and connect communities in rural and underserved areas. Harnessing the power of Advocacy Everywhere, Mississippi REALTORS® rallied voters to support the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, which finally permits electric cooperatives to provide broadband services in addition to electric power.
READ MORE

Columbus REALTORS® Joined Forces to Celebrate Fair Housing

Joining forces with colleagues from the local NAREB chapter and the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, Columbus REALTORS® hosted a Cost of Poverty Experience and dramatized a mock trial to highlight issues addressed by the Fair Housing Act that are still at play in their communities.
READ MORE

Successful Florida REALTORS® Campaign Leads to Property Tax Limits on Non-Homestead Properties

In the fourth and final phase of a ten-year effort, the Florida REALTORS® were able to secure a permanent 10% cap on non-homestead property tax through an Issues Mobilization campaign supported by the REALTOR® Party. Had the limit not been approved by voters, 700,000 Florida property owners stood to be hit by a projected $627 million increase in additional property taxes annually.
READ MORE

Arizona REALTORS® Lead the Charge against a Tax on Services

A statewide campaign featuring a superhero named “PAT”, short for Protect Arizona Taxpayers, helped convince Arizona voters to amend the state constitution to prohibit sales taxes on services. Thanks to an Issues Mobilization Grant, the effort was able to achieve its goal in a single bound.
READ MORE

REALTORS® Reverse FEMA Flood Insurance Suspension Within Days of Dubious Shutdown

Bringing its considerable resources, skill, and depth of knowledge to bear on FEMA’s surprising declaration that the National Flood Insurance Program would not be renewed in light of the federal shutdown, the policy team at the National Association of REALTORS® effected a swift reversal of the damaging decision.
READ MORE

Local Maryland Association Takes Bold, Successful Step into Politics

This past election cycle, the Bay Area Association of REALTORS® decided it was time to take a more active role in choosing their politicians. With the help of the REALTOR® Party, it developed a savvy selection committee that interviewed dozens of candidates, endorsed several, and achieved a whopping success rate.
READ MORE

Greater Greenville REALTORS® Promote “Missing Middle” Housing

Greenville, S.C., faces significant shortages of affordable housing, and the existing supply is diminishing rapidly. Using a Housing Opportunity Grant, the local REALTORS® co-hosted a Housing Forum to show policy makers how they could break down barriers to developing housing in the essential “missing middle” range.
READ MORE

With Advocacy Everywhere, Illinois REALTORS® Rally Peoria Voters against New “Parcel Tax” on Property Owners

The city of Peoria, Ill., was attempting to bridge a budget gap by imposing a new tax on property owners. With help from the state association, the REALTORS® used Advocacy Everywhere to call voters’ attention to the threat, and encourage calls of opposition to the City Council. Overwhelmed by the volume, the Council agreed to a compromise.
READ MORE

Hawai’i REALTORS® Improve Public Education without Property Tax Surcharges

The REALTORS® of Hawai’i want high quality public education throughout their state, which suffers from extremely high teacher-turnover. This fall, they led the charge against a ballot measure that would allow for the creation of a property tax surcharge on residential investment properties to fund the Department of Education. And then they redoubled their focus on affordable housing.
READ MORE

Greensboro REALTORS® Tackle Additions to City Zoning Code

When a fatal apartment fire triggered a knee-jerk reaction from the City Council to amend the municipal zoning code, the Greensboro Regional Association of REALTORS® used the REALTOR® Party’s Land Use Initiative to commission a thorough analysis of the changes. The report informed significant changes to the language, and the REALTORS® continue to work with the lawmakers to refine and improve it.
READ MORE

St. Louis REALTORS® Channel History, Community to Celebrate Fair Housing Anniversary

In St. Louis, Missouri, REALTORS® have a profound reminder of past prejudicial real estate practices in the Shelley House, the property at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case of Shelley vs. Kraemer, which gave way to the Fair Housing Act 20 years later. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of that breakthrough legislation, St. Louis REALTORS® engaged into local projects benefiting underserved communities with grants from the REALTOR® Party and Missouri REALTORS®.
READ MORE

South Carolina REALTORS® Commission Analysis of Questionable Proposed Legislation

In South Carolina’s 2018 legislative session, three separate pieces of legislation raised red flags to the South Carolina REALTORS® as matters requiring close scrutiny. With the REALTOR® Party’s Land Use Initiative program, the REALTORS® requested an analysis of all three, and got the answers they needed to act and plan for the future.
READ MORE

Sacramento and Pacific West REALTORS® Join Forces to Keep Rent Control off the Ballot

Two local associations in California launched “decline to sign” campaigns to prevent rent-control ballot initiatives from garnering the necessary signatures to qualify for the November 6 election. While one succeeded and the other did not, both agree that it was well worth the effort.
READ MORE

Haywood REALTORS® Supports Smart Growth and Affordable Housing in Waynesville, NC

Bounded by the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a flood plain, sprawl isn’t necessarily an option for the Town of Waynesville, North Carolina; but using a REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Action Grant, the REALTORS® of Haywood County helped to inform its 2020 Comprehensive Land Use Plan by sponsoring a public Visioning Workshop.
READ MORE

TREPAC Gets a Fun-filled Boost from Dallas-area Diversity Groups

What would you pay to dunk a director of your local REALTOR® board? How about the chance to throw pies at colleagues? Five diversity organizations across the Texas real estate industry joined together to host “Fair Play for TREPAC,” a fun-filled evening that honored the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, and raised more than $6,600 for the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee.
READ MORE

Post-Hurricane Harvey, Houston REALTORS® are focused on Flood Impact – and How to Keep it from Happening Again

One year to the day after Hurricane Harvey hit Harris County, Texas, citizens were called to the polls to vote on the region’s largest bond proposal ever: $2.5 billion for flood-control projects and flood mitigation. The measure passed with 85% support; the Houston REALTORS® helped get out the vote.
READ MORE

Placemaking and Puppy Love Go Hand-in-Hand for Kenai Peninsula REALTORS®

In the city of Soldotna in Southcentral Alaska, dogs are having their day in a spacious new dog park. With the help of a Placemaking Grant and a lot of elbow grease, volunteers from the Kenai Peninsula Association worked alongside the Rotary Club and Parks and Rec Department to build a large shelter, with benches, for dogs and owners alike.
READ MORE

District of Columbia REALTORS® Get Legislative Results Protecting Property Owners and Housing Providers

Thanks to the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® was able to spur members to contact City Council members about two important issues affecting property owners in the Nation’s Capital. The sophisticated system of REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert texts and emails made communication swift and simple.
READ MORE

Greater Nashville REALTORS® Put Placemaking Grant to Work for Pedestrian Plaza

With vision, elbow grease, and a Placemaking Grant, Greater Nashville REALTORS® partnered with a local civic design organization to transform a dismal traffic triangle into a cheerful, safer pedestrian refuge.
READ MORE

Is Smart Growth the Key to Preserving Montana’s ‘Big Sky?’ Gallatin REALTORS® Funds Study to Find Answers.

A REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Action Grant enabled the Gallatin Association of REALTORS® to support an in-depth analysis of property tax value-per-acre in Bozeman, Montana. The resulting 3-D economic model clearly demonstrated the fiscal efficiency of concentrating growth in urban centers, rather than allowing sprawl, and will inform the development of the city’s Growth Plan.
READ MORE

Prince George’s County Mounts Winning Campaigns for County Council Candidates — Times Three!

With three new REALTOR® Champions on the County Council, and a favorable relationship with the County Executive-elect, the REALTORS® of Prince George’s County, Md., can be assured that the issues that matter to them are in good hands. Three Independent Expenditure Campaign grants from the REALTOR® Party helped strengthen the odds.
READ MORE

Southern Minnesota REALTORS® Jump-start Walkability in Mankato

Using REALTOR® Party resources, the REALTOR® Association of Southern Minnesota hosted a WalkShop event to determine how the revival of Mankato’s Old Town section could be even more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly. The half-day program included a walking tour with an expert consultant, and a whole lot of brainstorming.
READ MORE

Laguna REALTORS® Help Seniors Age-in-Place

The seaside municipality of Laguna Beach is not the sort of place anyone likes to leave – least of all the growing number of seniors who are deeply attached to the community in which they’ve made their homes. Now, with a REALTOR® Party grant, the local REALTORS® are partnering with a community non-profit to get seniors the help they need to remain where they want to be.
READ MORE

Sun Valley Board Help Veterans with a Housing Opportunity Grant

The pride that comes with having served in the armed forces makes it hard for many veterans to seek help securing and maintaining housing. “If anyone’s going to do something about their housing needs, it’s going to be the REALTORS®,” says the Executive Officer of Idaho’s Sun Valley Board of REALTORS®. But first, they have to find them.
READ MORE

Maine Association Facilitates Smart Growth for Once-thriving Mill Town

To help the once-prosperous mill town of Sanford envision a future with walkable affordable housing and fresh economic contributors, the Maine Association of REALTORS® used a Smart Growth Action Grant to support a three-day charrette, in which all stakeholders had an opportunity to contribute ideas to a new downtown development.
READ MORE

Palm Springs REALTORS® Defend Short-Term Rental Industry

When the thriving cottage industry of privately operated short-term vacation rental properties was threatened by a recent ballot initiative in Palm Springs, California, the REALTORS® secured an Issues Mobilization Grant. The success of their campaign to defeat the proposal was a victory for private property rights.
READ MORE

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

Within Fayetteville, North Carolina, 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

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

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

Boise Regional REALTORS® Boost School District with Issues Mobilization Grant

In the fastest growing region in the fastest growing state in the nation, the public school facilities could not keep up with the booming student population. An Issues Mobilization campaign helped get a $95 million bond measure approved for new schools, school expansions, and the purchase of future school sites.
READ MORE

Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® Uses Diversity Grant to Commemorate Historic 50th Anniversaries

In remembering the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in their own city 50 years ago this spring, the REALTORS® of Memphis, Tenn. marched two miles to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. But that was just the beginning of a strategic plan that shines a bright light on cultural diversity, fair housing, and anti-blight initiatives.
READ MORE

Thanks to Alabama REALTORS®, First-time Homebuyers Can Now Save for Down Payments and Closing Costs

Armed with polling results and economic research provided by the REALTOR® Party’s Issue Mobilization Grant and legislative language based on an existing model, Alabama REALTORS® convinced the state legislature to create a First-time and Second-chance Homebuyer Savings Account program.
READ MORE

Calaveras County REALTORS® Force Repeal of High-Risk Energy Conservation Loan Program

Thanks to a timely Issues Mobilization campaign, northern California’s Calaveras County Association of REALTORS® was able to reverse authorization for a loan program that the FHA no longer insures. When it comes to financing energy conservation improvements, they stand behind more responsible, less risky options.
READ MORE

Louisiana REALTORS® Defeat a Proposed Tax on Services

Every couple of years, the Louisiana legislature discusses a tax on services to help close the budget deficit, and every time, the Louisiana REALTORS® fight back to protect consumers from a huge increase in costs to get in to a new home or business property. This year, they had help from the REALTOR® Party's new Advocacy Everywhere program.
READ MORE

Miami REALTORS® Create Better Block in West Coconut Grove

Teams of both YPNs and "Old PNs" (as they're affectionately known in Miami) came together with the University of Miami’s School of Architecture to revive a vacant lot in West Coconut Grove with a new weekly marketplace and a vibrant landmark mural celebrating the area's Bahamian immigrant culture.
READ MORE

Cape Fear REALTORS® Top the Broker Involvement Chart with 99% Coverage

“We knew that enrollment drives response rates to Calls for Action,” said Johnson. “So, we set a goal of 50% enrollment for multi-agent offices.” Flash forward, after consistent effort, last fall CFR achieved 94% enrollment of all multi-office brokers, which covers 99% of all agent members. “We thought maintaining that level of involvement would be difficult, but by adding enrollment as part of the Designated REALTOR® Application Form, it’s been easy. We’ve had 100% enrollment with new brokers.”
READ MORE

Phoenix REALTORS®’ Creativity Leads to Sweeping RPAC Investments

With more than 9,200 members, the only sure-fire way for a mega-board like the Phoenix Association of REALTORS® (PAR) to get the attention of its full membership is to tie information to its dues renewal mailing. Several years ago, PAR launched a sweepstakes to encourage investment in RPAC during the December-January dues-renewal season; three years in, the event has gained such momentum that an RPAC Fundraising Grant recently earned back more than nine-times its value in RPAC investment.
READ MORE

Wisconsin REALTORS® Help Lower Property Taxes, Strengthen School Budgets, and Protect Property Rights

The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association launched two successful Issues Mobilization campaigns: the first convinced the legislature to eliminate a minor property tax dating back to the Great Depression; the other supported a new law that overturned an existing one that had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
READ MORE

West Central Minnesota REALTORS® Help to House the Homeless

When the regional Continuum of Care program serving the same 18 counties as Minnesota's West Central Association of REALTORS® created a more streamlined entry system to bring assistance to those in dire need of housing, the REALTORS® used a REALTOR® Party Housing Opportunity Grant to get the word out.
READ MORE

Greater Boston Board Works toward Zoning Reform

Antiquated zoning and a mire of case law stands in the way of the development of housing necessary for economic growth in the Boston region. Using the REALTOR® Party's Land Use Initiative, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board is tackling the complexities of zoning reform in City Hall and at the State House.
READ MORE

Partnership Spurs Diversity for the Grosse Pointe REALTORS®

In Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "The Other America" speech 50 years ago this March, the local REALTOR® board makes all its decisions through an internalized lens of diversification. Partnering with the public school system recently, the REALTORS® recently created a calendar illustrated with student visions of diversity; proceeds from calendar sales support diversity efforts in the schools.
READ MORE

Creativity Help Associations Keep RPAC Investments at an All-time High

With 35% of the national membership investing in RPAC in 2017, state and local REALTOR® Associations have made RPAC stronger than ever when it comes to advancing its public policy agenda. From a strong team of volunteer leaders to technology platforms that help small associations get big results, the REALTOR® Party is getting the word out that investment matters.
READ MORE

Houston Association Gathers and Shares Hurricane Harvey Recovery Resources with Multicultural Associations

Using a Diversity Initiative Grant, The Houston Association of REALTORS® put together a program for members, including the multicultural real estate associations in town, providing information on topics from mold remediation to tax relief to dealing with the emotional aftermath. Grocery story gift cards and a positive housing market outlook made the supportive event even cheerier.
READ MORE

New Hampshire REALTORS® Envision Smart Growth for White Mountains

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a popular tourist region, but affordable housing for would-be service industry staff is not meeting demand. The 150-member White Mountain Board of REALTORS® used a Smart Growth Action Grant to explore possible zoning changes that would permit higher density development—and more affordable housing.
READ MORE

Telluride REALTORS® Elect Three REALTOR® Champions to Town Council

Last fall, with four seats on the Town Council up for grabs, the Telluride Association of REALTORS® (TAR) made the most of the opportunity to promote candidates who espoused the values of affordable housing; sustainable growth and development; and economic vitality and vibrancy. With an Independent Expenditure, TAR conducted a campaign that helped elect three REALTOR® Champions.
READ MORE

REALTOR® PARTY MOBILE ALERT SUBSCRIBERS 202,086

COMMUNITY OUTREACH GRANTS $1,247,133

CANDIDATES SUPPORTED FOR PUBLIC OFFICE (2017)105

RPAC MAJOR INVESTORS 8,433

Read more

Advocacy Everywhere

Advocacy Everywhere is designed to expand the influence of the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations on public policy at the local, state and federal level and to increase REALTOR® and consumer participation in calls for action (CFA).

NAR, with our professional services, will be a full-service provider that can expedite the components of a CFA, thus lowering an association’s time-commitment necessary to launch and monitor a successful CFA.  Local associations will no longer need to have dedicated staff trained on the latest advocacy tools and can focus on messaging and targeting with NAR managing the technology.  State associations can opt-in for these professional services or can utilize the tools and perform the basic functions of a CFA on their own.

ADVOCACY EVERYWHERE CFA REQUEST FORM: PART 1
ADVOCACY EVERYWHERE CFA REQUEST FORM: PART 2

Potential Professional Services Offered

Core Services

When a state or local association requires an expedited launch to an advocacy campaign, and all content materials and messaging have been completed and approved, NAR can launch and monitor a campaign with the following estimated turnaround times:

Activity Time*
Traditional CFA to REALTORS® 3-4 hours
REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts Text Messaging 1-2 hours
Broker State CFA 1 -2 days
Online Advertising 1-2 days
Patch Through Calls 1-2 days
Consumer CFA 2-3 days
CFA Reporting Dashboard 2 hours after launch

*This includes standard reporting and ongoing monitoring during the course of the campaign. All timelines listed above are based on regular business hours: 9a – 6p ET, Monday – Friday excluding holidays.

Enhanced/Add-On/Custom Services

NAR can also provide additional support services to improve campaign performance and further assist state and local associations in their advocacy efforts.  These services include:

  • Message Development
  • Enhanced Audience Targeting
  • Graphic Design and Creative Development
  • Custom Reporting

Planning Your CFA: Strategy Charts

A lot like playing the game Dominoes, it takes preparation (set up) to implement a successful online grassroots advocacy campaign. Our REALTOR® members cannot participate in a CFA campaign to contact their legislators on priority issues if your Association is not ready to build out the CFA campaign components. Building a CFA infrastructure means collaborating with your internal Association staff teams and coalition partners to set strategic goals, take stock of your resources, assess who supports and opposes your position, identify the targeted decision makers and finally decide which tactics you will employ to influence the legislative process. The strategy charts linked below are designed to help aid and streamline these discussions to make planning your CFA campaign easier.

Strategy Chart Sample
Strategy Chart Blank

Training

Throughout the year, NAR will be holding webinars and in-person trainings for state and local association staff to learn the ins and outs of the new advocacy platform. Each webinar training will be recorded and posted here for you to use a refresher or to share with new administrators in your association.

Video Tutorials for State Associations:

Basic Training
Learn the basics of the system and what it takes to get a Call for Action loaded and launched.

Newsletters and Surveys
This training focuses on newsletter creation and distribution tools and resources available as well as the creation of surveys.

Default Lists
This training focuses on how to use both the NAR list and State lists to target messages to specific groups.

Sending a Supportive Message for a NAR CFA
This training focuses on how to suppress action takers and send a supportive message for a NAR CFA to meet Core Standards.

Looking Up Action Takers for a NAR CFA
This training focuses on looking up NAR CFA action takers by Local Association. This is helpful if you have competitions to increase REALTOR® participation.

In Person Training for State AND Local Associations:

Training Description Date Time Location Who Should Attend? RSVP
Association Executive Institute (AEI) Breakout March 29, 2019 3:15 – 4:15 PM CT JW Marriott Austin: JW Grand Ballroom 3 – 4, Level 4 AEI Map State/Local AEs, GADs & Comms Directors RSVP
REALTORS® Legislative Meetings STATE Breakout May 15, 2019 9:00 – 10:00 AM ET Marriott Wardman Park (Room TBD) Washington, DC State AEs, GADs & Comms Directors RSVP
REALTORS® Legislative Meetings LOCAL Breakout May 16, 2019 9:00 – 10:30 AM ET Omni Shoreham (Room TBD) Washington, D.C. Local AEs, GADs & Comms Directors RSVP
Communications Directors Institute Breakout (July 10-12, 2019) TBD The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center Kansas City, MO State/Local AEs, GADs & Comms Directors RSVP
Government Affairs Directors Institute Breakout (July 16-18, 2019) TBD Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, OH State/Local AEs, GADs & Comms Directors RSVP
REALTORS® Conference & Expo Breakout (November 8-11, 2019) TBD San Francisco, CA State/Local AEs, GADs & Comms Directors RSVP

 

Providing Digital Assets & Details For VoterVoice Center Configuration

In an effort to ensure your association’s branded VoterVoice configuration is ready for action in the New Year, we ask that you please share any email banner images, your most up-to-date logo/brand assets and the required VoterVoice configuration details via the form here: http://bit.ly/2AXhF67

Questions? Contact Jim MacGregor at 202-383-1188 or Melissa Horn at 202-383-1026.

Advocacy Everywhere Flier

Read more