A Home Away From Home

NAR’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs helps our industry and the country.

The future of our industry—and in some ways the future of our country—depends on what happens between 3 and 7 p.m. each weekday, because that’s when many kids come home from school to an empty house. Will they watch TV or play video games or run around the neighborhood with friends? The choices they make are important, because how they spend their time can influence their choices later in life.

That’s why, in my first initiative as your national president, I reached out to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and we formed a partnership with them. Now you can go to realtor.org/BGCA to easily identify a club in your area and volunteer, donate money, or do both—if you wish.

If you’re not familiar with the Boys & Girls Clubs, it’s a nonprofit organization with clubs throughout the United States that provide a safe and enriching place for kids to go—after school, at night, and on weekends. It’s a second home, a home away from home.

Getting involved won’t be new to many of you. In 2014, RSR, REALTORS®, in Lemoyne, Pa., donated 200 calculators to the Boys & Girls Club in nearby Harrisburg. And last year, the REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin presented a check for $2,700 to the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley in Eau Claire as part of the association’s Week of Giving.

REALTORS® have always been about building community. It’s one of the things that distinguishes many of us from other real estate licensees. We do our jobs well —and then some. And that sums up what I hope will define my year as your president: all of us giving that little extra.

As professionals, we owe it to our clients to represent them honestly and effectively. But we also owe it to them to help keep the communities in which they live safe, vibrant, and strong. And we owe it to our industry to go beyond that, to make a difference for our country.

At the national level, we represent communities and private property rights before the federal government. We do it better than anyone else, and we’re proud of that. But each year brings fresh challenges, and in 2016 we will face renewed pressure as lawmakers look for ways to control the federal deficit. It’s easy to take the mortgage interest deduction, 1031 exchanges, and other tax benefits for granted, but we can’t; the continuing talk in Congress about cutting back incentives for real estate keeps us vigilant.

In preparing for whatever challenges we face, we’re creating a phone bank to support RPAC and improve engagement with the association. I’m excited by the opportunities in the year ahead. It’s gratifying to be part of an industry in which so many of its practitioners go beyond what’s expected of them and do the exceptional. Thank you for being who you are and for caring so much.