Advocacy: REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo 2015 Recap

The Commercial Committee meeting featured guest speaker Peter Joseph, Executive Director of IIUSA, who covered the importance of the EB-5 Visa Program that facilitates job-generating commercial investment from foreign nationals. NAR Special Projects Liaison Cynthia Shelton gave a report on NAR’s U.S. pavilion at MIPIM 2015, and plans for the future. Commercial Services Accreditation honors were presented to the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and the Sussex County Association of REALTORS®.

Wednesday’s Commercial Legislative & Regulatory Advisory Board meeting reflected the strength of NAR’s advocacy and coalition building efforts. Duane Desiderio, SVP and Counsel at the Real Estate Roundtable, presented on the “Tenant Star” program and successes with industry-lead energy efficiency standards. Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6), Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, dialed in via Skype to discuss tax reform. The Commercial Research Advisory Board provided an overview of reports and initiatives from the division with findings from the 2015 Commercial Lending & Appraisal Surveys. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, Commercial Research Director George Ratiu and guest Economist Sam Chandan presented findings from the latest Commercial Market Forecast with a discussion on commercial fundamentals during the Commercial Economic Issues & Trends Forum.

Randall Woodbury, Christopher Mellen and Russ Salzman of IREM presented a panel discussion on the importance of planning, safety, emergency response and crisis management at the Property Management Forum. Association management expert Malcom Young delivered a planning presentation at the Commercial Leadership Forum on Core Standards, and Association Executives from commercial organizations across the country shared best practices for serving commercial members at the local and state levels. Nathan Graham from RPR demonstrated how economic trade reports can be generated and used for advocacy efforts locally.

Members attending Hill Visits were supported with talking points for commercial real estate, appearing for the first time as a separate piece. CCIM also partnered with NAR this year to positive effect. CCIMs from the local Georgia CCIM Chapter joined Georgia Association of REALTORS® members in their group, reporting that the quality of NAR handouts were well received. CCIM designees who joined the Houston Association of REALTORS® Hill Visits were impressed by the key relationships cultivated over the years with influential representatives. “Partnering directly with HAR was a great idea. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the partnership between HAR and CCIM – Houston,” shared one member.

When asked for his feedback on the success of the meetings, Derek Sprague, CCIM said, “This was my second time attending the annual Legislative meeting, and I continue to be impressed with how much activity takes place in just a few days. We had some outstanding discussions and collaboration in the Commercial Committee and the Commercial Real Estate Research Advisory Board, along with fantastic opportunities for networking at the YPN meetings and reception. I am looking forward to meeting in San Diego to continue with the progress we made in D.C.”

As you can see, members at all levels of engagement contribute to the Association’s reputation as the “voice of real estate.” In turn, members are re-energized, ready to bring back new ideas, relationships and tools to benefit their businesses in their respective markets.

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