An Eye on the Present and the Future

The relationships we build will push the industry forward in Washington and in our communities, says NAR President Charlie Oppler.
Charlie Oppler

© Janelle Brevard

When this issue comes out, the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo will be underway. What should members know?

First, you can still register for the meetings at; they run through May 14. It’s the front-row seat for our legislative work on your behalf. The event may be virtual, but we’re pushing forward on our policy agenda as forcefully as ever. And you can help! Now that we’re all comfortable with Zoom, members can initiate their own in-district meetings with legislators at any time. Our effectiveness will always be rooted in our government relationships.

What issues should members be aware of?

Chief among our priorities is helping families, of all backgrounds and in every community, reach their American dream of homeownership. To do so, we’ll work to spur housing supply, improve credit access, protect the 30-year mortgage, and provide tax incentives for property ownership. We’re also working to alleviate the deduction limit on state and local taxes.

Switching gears, you’ve championed a mentorship program for NAR. Tell us about it.

This is special to me because it marries fair housing with giving back. We want to offer young people in underserved areas the opportunity to explore a real estate career, be that marketing, appraisal, sales, or any discipline, while learning about the wealth-building benefits of property ownership. Participants in the eight cities in our pilot program will explore career paths through an online simulation and will be paired with mentors. I can’t think of anything more fitting for our times. Some mentees might one day be featured among the magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of young industry stars.

We’re all excited about the progress being made to quell COVID-19. As a softball player in your sixth decade of competition, this season must feel special.

My wish for all of us is some return to normalcy. For me, that’s playing and watching sports. Fortunately, softball is socially distant by nature, and we all wear masks. I love the camaraderie with my teammates, many of them young enough to be my kids. I used to be involved running a team, but now I show up and pitch; I have no other responsibility. The competition and friendships are still what drive me.