Great Ideas In: Advocacy Outreach & RPAC

The Fort Collins Board of REALTORS® had success recently in boosting its profile as a champion of housing affordability by distributing copies of NAR's On Common Ground magazine and providing resources on its website and social media accounts about affordability.

"You gain a lot of respect when you present both sides of an issue and are able to communicate clearly why the REALTOR® view makes the most sense for the real estate industry and the public." 
— Steve Anaya, CEO, REALTORS® Association of New Mexico

When the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., proposed a restrictive sign ordinance, the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® reacted with a "call for action" that generated nearly 500 letters to city council members. That got the city's attention, and with a Land Use Initiative review provided by the REALTOR® Party, the REALTORS® helped the city see reason.

As RPAC celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, Mississippi REALTORS® has raised the bar for RPAC investment. During its winter meetings this year, the small state association hosted a lively "Drawdown and Lip Sync" event supported by a REALTOR® Party grant—and collected more than $83,000 for RPAC.

Even if a REALTOR® association advocacy success story isn't in your backyard, you can still showcase the efforts of the REALTOR® organization and assure members that NAR's experts, resources, and grants are available for your local efforts.

"Members have varying degrees of interest in politics, but when we get them to Government Day at the state capitol meeting with lawmakers, for the most part, we change attitudes and open their eyes to the view the legislators have from the inside."
— Bruce King, Government Affairs Director, REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin

The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS®' "Home Affordability Report" has become an attention-grabber in the local media and an additional, no-cost benefit for association members. The centerpiece of this quarterly is a chart that breaks down recent home sales by suburb and, within Milwaukee, by section of the city.

The Madera Association of REALTORS®, Calif., teamed up with the local school district to hold a bus tour of affordable homes for new and potential teachers. All attendees received a home booklet with listings, advice on using a REALTOR®, and advertisements from affiliate sponsors including lenders and insurance companies. 

The South Shore REALTORS®, Mass., used a $2,500 Placemaking Micro-Grant from the REALTOR® Party to fund and plant an organic community garden that transformed a local rural property into a natural community gathering space.

The Ada County Association of REALTORS®, Idaho, took a direct approach to RPAC fundraising: calling and asking. The association's RPAC committee took to the phones one afternoon to reach out first to top producers and those who had given only at the fair-share goal, then to other members. The group raised $5,000 within hours. 

"Events that incorporate a fun activity are far more successful for raising RPAC contributions than email or other passive solicitations. Our karaoke night and auction raised $50,000 for RPAC in one night."
— Duncan MacKenzie, RCE, CEO, New York State Association of REALTORS®

The Coeur d'Alene Association of REALTORS® raised more than $17,000 for RPAC in 2013 with a luau and pig roast gala event and prize raffle. Prizes included iPad Minis, gift cards, gas cards, free homes magazine advertising, and a weekend hotel stay.

The Texas Association of REALTORS® build a portal for member to access all "REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol" resources in one place online, including custom talking points for each of the 181 lawmakers. Access at TexasRealEstate.com/RealtorDay.

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