RPAC

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

  • Lincoln County Board of REALTORS

 

 

REALTOR® associations of large, less populous states like Nebraska often undertake ‘road show caravans’ to connect with members of distant local boards. Inspired by that model, this summer, the Nebraska REALTORS® Association’s REALTOR® Party Leadership Team (RPLT) took the REALTOR® Party on the road to acquaint members with all its efforts, accomplishments, and opportunities.  They’ve been warmly welcomed from Scottsbluff to Nebraska City and from Norfolk to Beatrice – and they didn’t ask for a single dollar

Jeff Hebb, Governmental Affairs Director, explains that he and the RPLT saw a need to connect with and educate members of the state’s local boards on the workings of the REALTOR® Party. “Across the state, although we have strong RPAC participation, there was still not a bigger-picture understanding of the REALTOR® Party’s value. But when a fellow REALTOR® says to you, ‘I just met with elected officials on your behalf, and made your voice heard at the Capitol,’ that really drives it home,” he says, adding that member attendance at the 12 locations of the REALTOR® Party Tour averaged 17.99%, a great turn-out for a first-time event. Nebraska, notes Hebb, is fortunate in having a team of REALTOR® Party leaders with complementary strengths, who were all willing to take on various tasks involved in the education effort – from getting funding approved and preparing a REALTOR® Party ‘Quick Reference Guide’ booklet for distribution, to taking turns traveling to the local boards to speak, answering questions, and listening to ideas. “The REALTOR® Party tour was not just an information dump from the state association,” he says; “we were there to listen and learn more about our members’ needs.”

Those impressive REALTOR® Party leaders made the following observations about the first annual Nebraska REALTOR® Party Tour Road Show:

Kim Zwiener, Chair of the state Government Affairs Committee and NAR Participation Council for NE, points out that the REALTOR® Party is all about community: “Just as National Association has to consider varying needs of the state associations, we at the state level work to engage local members. We’ve had amazing results in mutually sharing our stories on the road.”

Lisa Ritter, a state Past President and current member of NAR’s Broker Involvement Council, agrees, observing that, “Passion is contagious, and this team is so passionate about how the REALTOR® Party is benefiting our members and property owners across the state. Our members need to see us, instead of just being talked at through social media!”

Darlene Starman, who is both Vice Chair of the state’s REALTOR® Party Team Work Group and serving on the REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Council on the national level, notes that the road show team made a real effort to demonstrate the link between the local, state, and national associations, emphasizing the benefits of the REALTOR® Party at all levels, from advocacy to grant programs.

Connie Burleigh, NAR Major Investor Council member and a past Chair of the state Government Affairs Committee, says that, on a practical level, they took care to make the presentation duplicable, following highlights in the REALTOR® Party ‘Quick Reference Guide’ booklet so that the tour wouldn’t have to be dependent on any particular team members. She adds, “We learned a lot about what the local boards are already doing out in their communities. This was definitely an information exchange, not just a one-way lecture. They also clearly appreciated that we were not asking for money, just urging them to get involved, and showing them how.”

Pat Ohmberger, who chairs the state’s RPAC Fundraising Committee and its REALTOR® Party Team Workgroup, as well as being a state Past President, explains that the team actually had all local attendees write down their top three industry concerns on three-by-five cards, and is putting the information together in a spreadsheet. “This becomes very valuable feedback for our state board on our members’ priorities.”

Darlene Fletcher, 2019 state President, concludes that, “There are great distances between communities in the state of Nebraska, and sometimes those far from the capitol can feel alienated, so we’re constantly trying to think inclusively. This was all about making our members feel connected and engaged, and it’s a process that’s worked both ways! I know that we at the state level have gained a better understanding of our local boards, and I believe we’ve given them a real sense of connection to the REALTOR® Party.”

What was it like to be on the receiving end of one of these road-show visits?:

Fremont Board of REALTORS® President Traci Hilbers says, “I’ve heard about RPAC for years, but I never really understood where the money goes let alone with all of the other advocacy efforts taking place. One of the things I learned today is, not only does the REALTOR® Party work on a state and national level, but they give back to the communities we live, work, and volunteer in.”

Tri-County Board of REALTORS® Immediate Past President Krista Wiedel couldn’t have been more pleased with the team’s presentation to her association. “We have a young slate of executive officers this year, and many board members without much experience participating at the state level. It was fantastic that they were able to hear from the state leadership team about all that the REALTOR® Party does, and how we can get more involved. When our members present heard how Nebraska state legislators were calling our State Political Coordinators to find out our position on issues and gain input on how to vote, that made a huge impact, and is sure to affect their future investments.”

To learn more about how Nebraska REALTORS® are bringing the benefits of the REALTOR® Party on the road, contact Jeff Hebb, Governmental Affairs Director, at 402-323-6500.

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President’s Circle

The President’s Circle is a group of REALTORS® who contribute directly to REALTOR®-friendly candidates at the federal level. Political Action Committees, like RPAC, can only legally contribute $10,000 per election cycle to a congressional candidate. The President’s Circle Program supports REALTOR® Champions—members of Congress who have made significant achievements in advancing the REALTOR® public policy agenda. The President’s Circle Program allows REALTORS® to contribute beyond RPAC dollars and increase the strength of the REALTOR® voice on Capitol Hill.

Overview

FAQs

View the 2019 President’s Circle Roster. (Updated 10/15/2019)

 View the 2017-2018 Federal Election Summary.

Questions? Contact Avery Walker at 202-383-1268.

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Mississippi REALTORS® Maximize Returns with RPAC Fundraising Grant

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

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

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

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

  • Table décor from the Drawdown

 

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

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

 

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State Key Contact Grant

Purpose:
The State Key Contact Grant will provide resources and consultant expertise to help states create, grow or revise a REALTOR® grasstops advocacy program much like the Federal Political Coordinator program.

 

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President’s Circle Program Overview

Joining Presidents’s Circle

1. Contact Avery Walker at awalker@realtors.org and let her know you’d like to join. She will register your information on the Votesane website, and send your welcome email. You must be an RPAC Major Investor in order to join the President’s Circle. If you are a Federal Political Coordinator, let her know your Member of Congress.

2. Once you are registered, use this link to access the website.

3. You will be emailed reminders for “Rounds” throughout the year where you can contribute. All contributions must be complete by September 30 each year.

PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE RECOGNITION AND BENEFITS

President’s Circle members must be RPAC Major Investors, and receive the benefits for their chosen level. They also receive the President’s Circle Conference benefit the year following their first year in the program:

A long-standing tradition of the President’s Circle program is the preeminent President’s Circle Conference, which provides an opportunity to network with NAR’s top political investors and to engage with cutting edge speakers. The 3-day conference is held annually at a top hotel or resort; 3 nights’ hotel accommodations, receptions, most meals, and the full conference program are included in the $495 registration fee for the President’s Circle member and a guest.

Below is a Q&A on the President’s Circle program. Contact Avery Walker at awalker@realtors.org with questions.

PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE FAQs

1. Why is the President’s Circle program important if we already support REALTOR® Champions with RPAC monies?
The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) is only legally allowed to contribute a maximum of $10,000 to a Member of Congress every two year election cycle.  While many other PACs also have the resources to “max out” to a Member of Congress with a $10,000 contribution, they do not have the grassroots power that REALTORS® have. Thus the President’s Circle program was developed in 2003 to mobilize President’s Circle members to invest directly in REALTOR® Champions who take the lead on our issues in Congress. NAR lobbyists communicate to the Member of Congress and provide them with a list of everyone who supported their campaign via the President’s Circle. That way the Member knows how much was invested under the “REALTOR® umbrella” in addition to RPAC monies. The President’s Circle is well known on Capitol Hill; Members of Congress inquire how they can receive President’s Circle support!

2. What are the deadlines for President’s Circle investments?
$500 is due by May 31, 2019. The full $2,000 is due by September 30, 2019. For new members of the program, $500 is due upon enrollment to be officially recognized as a President’s Circle member and begin receiving President’s Circle benefits.

3. Since President’s Circle members must be RPAC Major Investors, must they invest in RPAC before they can become a President’s Circle member?
No, you can join the President’s Circle and remain a member in “good standing” as long as you fulfill your RPAC Major Investor amount (minimum $1,000) by the year-end deadline for RPAC.  NOTE: States often set an earlier year-end deadline for RPAC so they will have adequate time to transmit the monies to NAR by the deadline. Please check with your state if you plan to invest in RPAC at the end of the year so your investment will count towards 2019.

4. Do my RPAC investments (Sterling R, Crystal R, etc.) count towards the President’s Circle?
No, the monies allocated towards maintaining the Major Investor portion of your annual recognition go directly to RPAC, whereas the monies invested through the President’s Circle program are directed to the REALTOR® Champions who you have selected.

5. How many opportunities will there be to contribute in 2019?
There will be 4 rounds available in 2019 beginning in January. Members may invest in as few or as many rounds as they like.

6. How do I make my President’s Circle investments?
President’s Circle members make their contributions through a website that collects the monies and disseminates them to the appropriate Member of Congress that can be found here: nar.votesane.com.

7. Is it possible to contribute to President’s Circle other than the times we receive President’s Circle email solicitations?
Yes. A President’s Circle member may contribute at any time by going to the REALTOR® Party website, and selecting the Invest page. A large “Invest in President’s Circle” button is on the investment page. Members can click through at any point and be linked to the VoteSane website to make a President’s Circle investment.

8. How do I access a record of my completed investments?
Once you log in to the Votesane website, you may view your complete record by selecting “My Account” in the top, right-hand corner. Once selected you will be able to view all of your investment receipts.

9. May I contribute to any Member of Congress via the President’s Circle?
Members may not contribute directly to a Member of Congress unless he/she is a target picked by the national RPAC Disbursement Trustees. The reason for this is so that President’s Circle members can invest collectively in a small number of incumbents in order to make a big impact. If President’s Circle members contribute to whomever they choose, our strength is diluted and the program is not as powerful.

10. Which President’s Circle members receive preferred placement at hotel headquarters at national meetings?
President’s Circle members who are Golden Rs receive preferred placement at one of the headquarter hotels at national meetings, after maintaining that level for a full year. President’s Circle members who are Platinum Rs receive guaranteed headquarter hotels at national meetings the following year. Due to the significant amount of time it takes to plan the annual meetings, the hotel headquarters cannot be guaranteed until the following year. (Example: If a Platinum R joins the President’s Circle on August 1, 2019, they will receive guaranteed hotel headquarters at Midyear Meetings and Annual Convention in 2020.)

11. How do I find out which members in my state are in the President’s Circle and how much they owe?
There is a President’s Circle roster located on the REALTOR® Action Center that is updated every Thursday evening. Simply go to this link. And of course, feel free to contact RPAC staff if you need to find out about a member’s President’s Circle investment before the Thursday update.

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President’s Circle Program FAQs

1. Why is the President’s Circle program important if we already support REALTOR® Champions with RPAC monies?
The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) is only legally allowed to contribute a maximum of $10,000 to a Member of Congress every two year election cycle.  While many other PACs also have the resources to “max out” to a Member of Congress with a $10,000 contribution, they do not have the grassroots power that REALTORS® have. Thus the President’s Circle program was developed in 2003 to mobilize President’s Circle members to invest directly in REALTOR® Champions who take the lead on our issues in Congress. NAR lobbyists communicate to the Member of Congress and provide them with a list of everyone who supported their campaign via the President’s Circle. That way the Member knows how much was invested under the “REALTOR® umbrella” in addition to RPAC monies. The President’s Circle is well known on Capitol Hill; Members of Congress inquire how they can receive President’s Circle support!

2. What are the deadlines for President’s Circle investments?
$500 is due by May 31, 2019. The full $2,000 is due by September 30, 2019. For new members of the program, $500 is due upon enrollment to be officially recognized as a President’s Circle member and begin receiving President’s Circle benefits.

3. Since President’s Circle members must be RPAC Major Investors, must they invest in RPAC before they can become a President’s Circle member?
No, you can join the President’s Circle and remain a member in “good standing” as long as you fulfill your RPAC Major Investor amount (minimum $1,000) by the year-end deadline for RPAC.

NOTE: States often set an earlier year-end deadline for RPAC so they will have adequate time to transmit the monies to NAR by the deadline. Please check with your state if you plan to invest in RPAC at the end of the year so your investment will count towards 2019.

4. Do my RPAC investments (Sterling R, Crystal R, etc.) count towards the President’s Circle?
No, the monies allocated towards maintaining the Major Investor portion of your annual recognition go directly to RPAC, whereas the monies invested through the President’s Circle program are directed to the REALTOR® Champions who you have selected

5. How many opportunities will there be to contribute in 2019?
There will be 4 rounds available in 2019 beginning in January. Members may invest in as few or as many rounds as they like.

6. How do I make my President’s Circle investments?
President’s Circle members make their contributions through a website that collects the monies and disseminates them to the appropriate Member of Congress that can be found here: nar.votesane.com.

7. Is it possible to contribute to President’s Circle other than the times we receive President’s Circle email solicitations?
Yes. A President’s Circle member may contribute at any time by going to the REALTOR® Party website, and selecting the Invest page. A large “Invest in President’s Circle” button is on the investment page. Members can click through at any point and be linked to the VoteSane website to make a President’s Circle investment.

8. How do I access a record of my completed investments?
Once you log in to the portal, you may view your complete record by selecting “My Investments” in the top, right-hand corner. Once selected you will be able to view all of your investment receipts.

9. May I contribute to any Member of Congress via the President’s Circle?
Members may not contribute directly to a Member of Congress unless he/she is a target picked by the national RPAC Disbursement Trustees. The reason for this is so that President’s Circle members can invest collectively in a small number of incumbents in order to make a big impact. If President’s Circle members contribute to whomever they choose, our strength is diluted and the program is not as powerful.

10. Which President’s Circle members receive preferred placement at hotel headquarters at national meetings?
President’s Circle members who are Golden Rs receive preferred placement at one of the headquarter hotels at national meetings, after maintaining that level for a full year. President’s Circle members who are Platinum Rs receive guaranteed headquarter hotels at national meetings the following year. Due to the significant amount of time it takes to plan the annual meetings, the hotel headquarters cannot be guaranteed until the following year. (Example: If a Platinum R joins the President’s Circle on August 1, 2019, they will receive guaranteed hotel headquarters at Midyear Meetings and Annual Convention in 2020.)

11. How do I find out which members in my state are in the President’s Circle and how much they owe?
There is a President’s Circle roster located on the REALTOR® Action Center that is updated every Thursday evening. Simply go to this link. And of course, feel free to contact RPAC staff if you need to find out about a member’s President’s Circle investment before the Thursday update.

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And the 2018 Triple Crown Winners are…

Congratulations to the 24 state associations that have won the 2018 Triple Crown Award! The Triple Crown recognizes the hard work of state REALTOR® leaders and association staff perform to meet their state-specific RPAC goals during the current fundraising year (Jan 1– Dec 31 annually). The Triple Crown will be presented in May at the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meeting & Trade Expo.

  1. Colorado
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Georgia
  4. Idaho
  5. Illinois
  6. Iowa
  7. Kansas
  8. Kentucky
  9. Louisiana
  10. Maryland
  11. Mississippi
  12. Missouri
  13. Nebraska
  14. New Mexico
  15. Ohio
  16. Oklahoma
  17. South Carolina
  18. South Dakota
  19. Tennessee
  20. Texas
  21. U.S. Virgin Islands
  22. Utah
  23. West Virginia
  24. Wyoming

 

View the final state 2018 Triple Crown Report.

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Fundraising Grant Policy Changes

  1. Reimbursements: Associations must submit for reimbursement within 30 days of their event. Failure to do so can result in an association not being reimbursed for an event. Reimbursements for the year must be submitted by the year-end RPAC transmittal deadline (currently the third Wednesday in December). Reimbursement discrepancy issues must be brought to NAR’s attention within the same calendar year the association received the reimbursement.
  2. Associations must provide proof of funds raised as a direct result of fundraising efforts in either the PAC Management System or by submitting an Excel document.
  3. Associations are required to notify NAR of event date changes and cancellations as soon as possible.
  4. Applications submitted within 30 days of a fundraising event must include a written explanation for tardiness to be submitted with the application for consideration by the RPAC Trustees approval committee.
  5. Fundraising efforts cannot exclusively target NAR Major Investors. The audience for events should target the general membership or large segments of the general membership. i.e. YPN, new investors, lapsed investors
  6. An association can only submit a grant request meant to fund the applicant association event.
  7. Reimbursement of grant funds that exclusively pay for prizes and entertainment at a fundraising event are dependent on the event raising 3 times the cost of the prizes and entertainment. Failure to raise 3 times the cost of prizes and entertainment will result in the reimbursement equaling one-third of the total funds raised.
  8. Grant funds cannot be used for transportation or accommodation costs related to a fundraising event.
  9. Long Term Campaigns (i.e. email campaigns, inter- association competitions): Applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the campaign or competition beginning as opposed to 30 days prior to awarding the competition winner.
  10. Application and Reimbursement Edits:
    1. Application will include a question on whether the association has consulted with a state association or an in-state attorney on the legality of their proposed fundraising effort.
    2. Application will ask for association NRDS number or association ID number.
    3. Reimbursement will ask for participation rate changes as a result of the fundraising effort.
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