REALTORS® Advocate in Washington for Communities Back Home: A Note From the President

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: ours is the best profession in the world! I’ve been in real estate for over 40 years, and closing day euphoria has yet to wane. Yes, the paycheck is a contributor, but seeing the possibility, the opportunity, and the future through a client’s eyes is exhilarating. e satisfaction earned from facilitating families and business owners into new homes and commercial spaces is second to none.

It’s not just the job itself that is remarkable; it’s the number of remarkable people in the job.

Traveling around the country, attending state and local REALTOR® association events, I have seen firsthand how we shape the landscape of our communities—vibrant communities we develop from the ground up, with dedicated REALTORS® always at the epicenter of progress. Our focus extends beyond creating and maintaining great places to live and work; we strive together to foster sound and dynamic markets accessible to all.

At the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, close to 9,000 REALTORS®, residential and commercial alike, descended upon our Nation’s Capital to ensure that the REALTOR® voice was heard loud and clear. Meeting with elected officials on Capitol Hill and in executive agencies, we were focused on a range of issues impacting property ownership and investment—1031 Like-Kind Exchanges were top-of-mind.

Since 1921, U.S. tax law has recognized that the exchange of one investment or business-use property for another of like-kind results in no change in the economic position of the taxpayer and, therefore, should not result in the immediate imposition of income tax. When REALTORS® met with policymakers in Washington, we emphasized that any curtailment of the exchange rules would make exchange transactions more difficult to conclude and many would fail, potentially leading to serious repercussions—not only for the real estate investment sector, but for our communities back home.

I want to thank my fellow REALTORS® who attended the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meeting & Trade Expo and who participated during the Capitol Hill visits. Successful advocacy initiatives depend on visibility. Being able to get in front of legislators and be included in conversations regarding important issues such as 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges ensures that our interests are represented by those who make the laws. Your contributions have helped to secure our livelihood and to safeguard our profession for the next generation of REALTORS®.

I encourage all you to heighten your visibility. Get involved and stay involved with your local, state, and national REALTOR® associations. REALTOR® Party initiatives extend throughout the year, and our success depends on you. Working together we can shape our industry. Working together we can make a difference!

This article appears in the Commercial Connections issue Summer 2016: Building Opportunities, Community & Our Future.

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