One in every 220 adults in the U.S. is a REALTOR®. Think about what that means. When you shop at the grocery store, root for the home team at the ball park, attend a PTA meeting, or walk down the street, chances are you are among peers. Yes, competition can be stiff within your community, but the positive implications of our omnipresence give each of us a leg up.
No man is an island. Two heads are better than one. There is safety in numbers. For REALTORS®, our family provides a powerful voice, an influential place at the table in support of a healthy real estate market. Together, we have the ability to shape our industry and our communities.
From city hall and the state house to the U.S. Capitol, our elected officials make decisions that have a huge impact on our livelihood. If we do not combine our voices, we will not be heard; decisions will be made for us. The REALTOR® Party seeks to prevent this from happening. Everyone needs an advocate and the REALTOR® Party is your advocate.
We are in an election year, an especially critical time for REALTORS® to come together to promote the stability that a sound and dynamic real estate market brings to communities. Property ownership is not a partisan issue, nor is it just an American issue. It’s a global issue. We need to elect REALTOR® champions who understand this.
As your 2016 president, my goal is to increase member engagement, especially with the REALTOR® Party. While the association’s professional lobbyists are doing a tremendous job and then some, we need the backing and involvement of our grassroots. When NAR announces a Call for Action, hear it as our rally cry—we need you to act. Last year’s Call for Action to stop the housing tax for transportation generated the highest response rate in NAR history, with national participation by members reaching 20.7 percent. This is good, but we can do better.
The same can be said about RPAC contributions. While a third of NAR’s 1.1 million members now contribute to RPAC, we can do better. This is why we started a nationwide volunteer phone bank initiative focused on -member-to-member outreach. No member should be able to say, “I’ve never heard of RPAC,” “I was never asked to invest,” or “I didn’t know why it was important.” Some 350 local and state associations have already committed to hosting a phone bank this year.
Collectively, our voices and our actions matter. I encourage you to get involved and stay involved. Most importantly, answer our calls—whether they are telephone calls from a REALTOR® phone bank or Calls for Action from the REALTOR® Party. Let’s not be average—let’s be great!