Please read and download the information below to help prepare you for meetings with members of Congress during the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade. The data and infographics listed below will help you tell YOUR story to Congress, and let our policymakers know “Who We R” and what we care about, namely:
- The value that REALTORS® bring to communities.
- The impact of real estate on the economy and the vital role it plays for consumers.
- The importance of property ownership in building safe communities accessible to all.
Who We Are
REALTORS® adhere to a Code of Ethics that is a pledge of honesty, integrity, professionalism, and community service.
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics makes REALTORS® advocates in one of the largest transactions you’ll ever make.
- 70% of REALTORS® volunteer in their communities monthly, contributing on average eight hours per month.
- 82% of REALTORS® donated on average $1,000 to charities annually.
- 92% of REALTORS® have a post-secondary education.
- 68% of REALTORS® are sales agents; and 20% are brokers.
- The number of women entering the commercial real estate industry has increased 43% over the last 12 years.
How We Benefit Consumers and the Economy
Real estate remains a critical major driver of the U.S. economy. Buying and selling of real property is the foundation of wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services, and income for millions of Americans.
- Real estate accounted for one-fifth of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.
- The Federal Reserve calculated homeowners’ equity stood at $15.5 trillion in 2018.
- Commercial real estate supported 8.3 million American jobs in 2018.
- Commercial real estate generated $325.9 billion in salaries and wages, which contributed $1.0 trillion to the U.S. GDP.1
- A typical homeowner’s wealth is estimated to reach $262,500 in 2019.
- 84% of non-homeowners want to own a home in the future.
1 “The Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2019 Edition.” NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. January 2019, https://www.naiop.org/Research/Our-Research/Reports/Economic-Impacts-of-....
What We Care About
More than 1.3 million REALTORS® advocate every day as small business owners and on behalf of the nation’s 75 million property owners. Below are key issues REALTORS® are following in the 116th Congress. For more details please visit the Political Advocacy page.
Flood Insurance: Long-Term Reauthorization, Meaningful Reform
Authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to write insurance expires on May 31, 2019. REALTORS® are working to avoid an NFIP lapse while advocating for a long-term reauthorization including meaningful reforms to strengthen program solvency. Reforms include more accurate flood mapping; aligning insurance rates to risk, providing property risk mitigation resources; and opening the door to private flood insurance.
Qualified Opportunity Zones
The Qualified Opportunity Zone program aims to encourage development and job creation in economically distressed communities through tax incentives for investments into these areas. REALTORS® support this program and are active with helping the Treasury Department and the Administration make it a success.
Infrastructure: All-encompassing Investments
Infrastructure improvements enhance property values by creating livable communities and business districts. Poorly maintained streets, public transit, and traffic congestion in an area impose extra costs throughout the local economy. REALTORS® support infrastructure policies that reflect a broad community vision, and a level playing field for both highway and public transit funding.
Technology: Data Privacy & Security
Technology has and continues to transform the way consumers buy, sell, rent, and manage homes, while also impacting the way real estate brokerages operate. As technology drives evolution, our approach to data privacy must evolve as well. Effective data privacy legislation must establish uniform standards for businesses and equal protection for consumers, while focusing on transparency and customer choice.
Health Insurance: Expanded Access to Association Health Plans
As independent contractors, REALTORS® have long struggled to find and secure affordable health insurance options, with many remaining uninsured. We strongly support the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule expanding access to Association Health Plans. This rule has been successful and is supported in many states, providing high quality, lower cost coverage alternatives to many REALTORS® and their families.
Fannie & Freddie Reform: Access to Credit
Earlier this year, NAR unveiled a comprehensive vision to reform our nation’s housing finance system and ensure that people in Springfield, Mo. have the same rates and access to mortgage products as those in Springfield, Mass. America’s uniqueness of offering a 30-year fixed rate mortgage ensures affordable mortgage credit for middle income Americans. Government guarantee and oversight of the system stimulates and protects the flow of private capital to homebuyers.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included many changes that affect homeownership and the real estate industry. As we close the first tax season under the new rules, REALTORS® are working to protect or support the following policies: extending expired Mortgage Debt Cancellation Tax Relief; fixing the marriage penalty on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap; and indexing to inflation the $750,000 cap on mortgage interest deduction and the capital gains exclusion on the sale of a principal residence.
Fair housing is integral to our ability to buy, purchase, lease, and occupy real estate in America, having protected our nation’s essential right to property for more than half a century. Earlier this spring, NAR was pleased to support H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which adds fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Find Your Elected Official
Visit our REALTOR® Party Campaign Services page to find your state and federal elected officials.