Leadership Message

July Brings Summer Fun and Advocacy

July is the time for baseball, summer fun, relaxation, and family vacations. But rest assured that we are continuing to work hard on your behalf! Here are a few hot topics of note:

Affordability & Supply

President Trump created a Housing Affordability Council, and recently signed an Executive Order that will eliminate barriers that limit access to affordable housing — namely zoning laws, environmental regulations, building codes and lengthy building permit processes. We anticipate there will be opportunities to provide information and input to this Council and will distribute information on an on-going basis as the work process of the Council is fleshed out.

Led by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, the Council will consist of members from eight Federal agencies. Members will engage with government leaders, elected officials, the private sector, and other stakeholders from across the country in the effort to identify and eliminate the “obstacles that impede the production of affordable homes.”

NAR was a Hall of Fame sponsor of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Association Health Plans

It’s more than a year since 12 attorney generals filed suit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), challenging the agency’s final rule which opened the door for small employers and self-employed individuals, including real estate professionals, to participate in Association Health Plans (AHPs). NAR is invested in efforts to pursue AHPs, and more than 200 state and local associations have agreed to support our latest work to secure affordable, high-quality health care options for members and their families. We joined in amicus brief in support of DOL’s rule through the Coalition to Protect and Promote Association Health Plans. In addition, we created the AHP Toolkit is a resource for Associations to use as they investigate and seek to implement an AHP in their area.

Flood Insurance

On February 20, 2019, five federal regulatory agencies published final regulations clarifying lender acceptance of private flood insurance. These rules went into effect on July 1. NAR has been working as part of a coalition to make it easier for lenders to accept private flood insurance, which often offers better coverage at lower cost than the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). We will continue working with Congress and the administration to clarify any remaining issues of continuous private flood insurance coverage and address these issues as part of NFIP reauthorization and reform legislation.

Housing Finance Reform

We are continuing to push for a resolution to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae conservatorship. NAR’s plan would retain the government guarantee and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and ensure the availability and affordability of mortgage credit for credit-worthy borrowers. We met with representatives from HUD and the Department of Treasury as well as the new FHFA Director about to discuss our Vision for Housing Finance Reform.

While we are busy working on your behalf, we ask you to be ready to take action at a moment’s notice on these or other important issues at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Sign up for the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. Simply text the word REALTOR to 30644 or subscribe online before July 31 and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Amazon gift card.



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REALTOR® Party Leaders Plan for 2019

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg & 2019 President John Smaby

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg & 2019 President John Smaby

A few weeks ago, nearly 600 REALTOR® Party leaders gathered in in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the 2019 REALTOR® Party Training Conference. This conference was special for a number of reasons. For the first time, it went beyond just the state and local advocacy components of our organization and brought in the federal parts, as well. It also kicked off an important celebration – the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. While RPAC certainly is one of the most powerful PACs in America, we like to think that RPAC also stands for REALTORS® Participate Advocate and Celebrate, the conference theme.

While a lot of fun was had in our purple REALTOR® Party shirts, we also laid the foundation for important advocacy outreach efforts in each state and region throughout 2019. All of this work was tied to NAR’s 2019 strategic priorities. We also got a preview of our 2019 federal policy priorities. Finally, it wouldn’t have been a REALTOR® event without an opportunity to give back. Conference attendees donated nearly 500 toys to Toys for Tots Twin Cities. This is a great organization that has been “bringing the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children” sin 1948.

The REALTOR® Party comes alive with our stories of advocacy and community involvement. These stories, powerful and inspiring, are stories of how the REALTOR® Party is a force to be reckoned with at all levels. Your state leaders have developed ways to Own Our Story and make sure it’s told, and told well. Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” That’s what the REALTOR® Party is about — 1.3 million members and staff working together nationwide, advancing public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protecting property interests, and promoting a vibrant business environment. No doubt, our ability to articulate the REALTOR® narrative effectively will play a huge role in the future of our businesses and our associations.

We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Bob Goldberg, CEO

John Smaby, 2019 NAR President





Bob Goldberg, CEO                      John Smaby, 2019 NAR President

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REALTOR® Votes Counted: 2018 REALTOR® Party Campaign Coverage

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg & President John Smaby

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg & President John Smaby

Through all the mail pieces, television ads, canvassing, and punditry, we survived the mid-term elections! Every election year, our political activity kicks into high gear, and 2018 was no exception. Not only did we survive, but we broke records – 1.1 million REALTORS® registered to vote, and we were involved in 13 federal independent expenditure campaigns, 252 state and local independent expenditure campaigns, and 25 issue campaigns. Last night, we elected 35 REALTORS® to public office…and counting! Our results were impressive, and we hope you’ll check them out at www.realtorparty.realtor/vote2018. Clearly, REALTORS®’ votes counted.

As newly sworn-in elected officials take office, our work begins but the mission as REALTORS® remains the same: Advancing public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interest, and promote a vibrant business environment. We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year. We’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of RPAC throughout 2019. We also have some major issues ahead to address, one of which is housing affordability.

Housing affordability is one of the most critical problems facing home buyers and the nation. And the lack of housing supply is only adding to the problem. Comprehensive solutions to address this issue must be locally based and include local community experts — REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations. That’s why NAR has developed resources that work uniquely in each community to address the specific issues related to housing affordability and supply. These resources also include valuable information and tools to start the dialogue in your community. Check them out.

McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc once said, “none of us is as good as all of us,” and the same goes for the REALTOR® Party. When we work collectively; when we speak with one voice; when we tell our story, we can change lives. We see it in our neighborhoods, on the faces of our clients, and in the success of our associations and businesses. If we work together — owning, creating, and telling our story — the best is yet to come.

Bob Goldberg, CEO

John Smaby, 2019 NAR President





Bob Goldberg, CEO                      John Smaby, 2019 NAR President

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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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This is Only the Beginning…

bobGoldberg_sm.jpge_mendenhall.jpgWe are only a few weeks into legislative sessions and special and primary elections are occurring around the country. 2018 is going to be a busy year for REALTOR® advocacy. As NAR increases its influence in this uncertain legislative, regulatory and political environment, we’ll need all hands on deck.

Our first step was the reorganization of the former Community & Political Affairs and Government Affairs teams into a singular Advocacy Group. We’ve chosen Bill Malkasian to lead this new team as Chief Advocacy Officer, bringing greater synergy to the association’s federal, state, and local advocacy efforts. We are looking forward to Bill bringing his leadership and expertise as executive officer at the Wisconsin REALTOR® Association for nearly 37 years and overseeing political strategic planning for state and local advocacy outreach at NAR to his new role.

As you might remember we are coming off the heels of the last tax reform calls for action (CFAs), where more than 213,000 members took action. Our Advocacy Everywhere program, which allows state and local REALTOR® associations to better engage REALTORS® and consumers in CFAs, has hit the ground running!  We’ve had more than 10 CFAs at the state and local level since the beginning of the year, working on your behalf on issues such as sales tax on services, changes to Real Estate Broker License Law, rental restrictions, tax preemption bills that restricts voter rights and more.

This is only the beginning. With midterm elections ahead of us, we expect to see a lot of activity on all three levels of government. We’ll need your help. Be ready to take action at a moment’s notice by signing up for the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts, NAR’s advocacy texting platform. To sign up, simply text the word REALTORS to 30644 on your mobile phone.

We are looking forward to having an exciting year.

This is Our Moment; Let’s Own It!

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