Fall 2011: Better Advocacy Through Technology

Read about evolving marriage laws, political advocacy, advocating through technology, and more.

In This Issue

You may have heard RPAC leaders say this regarding the importance of REALTOR® political involvement: “If real estate is your profession, then politics is your business.”

By Amy DuBose

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how a local association can make a difference in the national scope of politics and change in our country. It often feels as if we’re too small to have an effect, have
too few resources, and even fewer hours in the day to devote to advocacy. With this mindset, no wonder so many small associations pass the responsibility...

As more states enact legislation providing legal recognition to same-sex couples, you may wonder about the differences between same-sex marriage and civil unions (or domestic partnerships), as well as how these laws might affect a REALTOR® association.

The My REALTOR® Party Initiative—introduced at the August NAR Leadership Summit in Chicago—includes programs, consultants, and grants to enable every REALTOR® association to design its own customized package of community involvement and political leadership programs.

Funded by a NAR Board of Directors vote in May out of the $40 dues increase, the initiative aims...

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Public Awareness Campaign, designed to educate homeowners on the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate practitioner who is not a REALTOR®, has been transformed into the Public Advocacy Campaign, focused on educating members and consumers about issues that affect buying, selling, and owning real estate, such as access to affordable mortgage financing, tax incentives to home ownership, overly stringent credit requirements, and cumbersome short sales and foreclosures.

After more than a year of research and planning, the Arizona Association of REALTORS® hoped to take its first step toward establishing a statewide multiple listing service this summer with the $4.75 million purchase of the state’s largest MLS, Tempe-based Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. However, the SouthEast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS® surprised the state in September by voting not to sell its interest in ARMLS.

More than 500 volunteers made the seventh annual REALTOR® Care Day a success, contributing time, sweat, and more than $40,000 to 32 beautification and rehab projects throughout central Ohio. Coordinated by the Columbus Board of REALTORS®, REALTOR® Care Day is an annual event that enables local members, affiliates, family, and friends to volunteer their time to show their communities that REALTORS® care.

The tough fight that the Nevada Association of REALTORS® won for a new law protecting distressed homeowners is now gaining national attention. This law (AB273) is intended to prevent banks from “double dipping” and going after home owners for mortgage payments once a settlement between the borrower and lender has been reached.

Legislation to prohibit Private Transfer Fees before they become a problem in Michigan passed the legislature this summer, supported by the Michigan Association of REALTORS®.

The Plymouth and South Shore Association of REALTORS®, Mass., presented a $2,000 housing and homeless assistance grant to the Friendship Home, which provides respite, support services, and other programs to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families within Massachusetts. The Plymouth associations nominated Friendship Home to receive the grant from the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®’ Charitable Foundation.

The NAR “Home Ownership Matters” bus visited the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® in July as seven area AEs gathered for their two-day annual “peer review” meeting. The bus has stopped at dozens of REALTOR® associations across the country, in addition to other locations, giving local association executives an opportunity to host events where they can speak out for home ownership.

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has chosen 10K Research and Marketing, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®, to produce its local Economic and Market Watch reports.

Politicians welcome all opportunities to issue positive press releases about themselves and tout awards they’ve won. But establishing the REALTOR® Legislative Champion award meant more to the Washington REALTORS® Association than publicity; it’s a way to thank elected officials that fought for real estate industry issues and home ownership.

Three associations in New York are considering a merger that would create the second largest REALTOR® association in the state with more than 9,000 members, according to the Westchester County Business Journal.

REALTOR.com® launched a global property listing site in October to build members’ business. The site aims to expand the exposure of United States property listings to international markets by offering home searches in 11 languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian, Japanese Korean and Chinese.

Although the Realtors Property ResourceTM (RPR) enjoys data partnerships with more than 325 MLSs, representing more than half a million REALTORS®, the NAR subsidiary “has recently hit a wall of entrenched attitudes and business models,” said RPR CEO Dale Ross on the RPR blog in August.

When Patricia (Pat) Connors began work at the Kent Washington Association of REALTORS®, Wash., in 1980 as the first paid staff member, she thought she was being hired as a secretary. She soon learned that she was actually the executive officer.

It wasn’t long after the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® was founded that the management professionals hired to run the state and local chapters realized the need to form their own group to advance their professional goals and meet the diverse needs of their members. And so, the Association Executives Committee was born in 1912. Since that time, the AEC has been integral in shaping the REALTOR® association management profession.

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