This Year, Be an Advocacy Superstar

I hate to wax nostalgic, but I miss the days when junk mail via the good ol’ U.S. Postal Service overfilled my wooden inbox. Other than the occasional paper cut or annoying chain letter, there was little chance that anything bad could happen from my daily delivery. Today, phishing, hacking, misinformation, and a whole host of other nefarious activities befall us with a single errant click of the mouse to one of our 10,000 daily emails. In this edition, we will help you understand how to keep your inbox from turning into a minefield.

I will leave the rest of this discussion on tech-related safety to the experts who have filled these pages with great information. I’ll turn my attention now to the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May.

While in Washington, D.C., our focus will turn to the key national issues that affect every REALTOR®. As AEs, we need at least a baseline understanding of these issues, too. Flood insurance reauthorization, tax reform, government-sponsored enterprise reform, and infrastructure spending, for example, are included on our collective advocacy menu.

I urge you to take some time in Washington to learn more about one or more of the NAR priorities. Bright and early at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 15, NAR will host the briefing on federal issue priorities. After picking up some knowledge at the briefing, you can dazzle your members during your Hill visits later that day.

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In most parts of the country, 2019 is a local election year. You may want to think of the NAR meetings as the unofficial kickoff for your campaign program. Although national issues such as flood insurance gain a lot of headlines, the actions taken by your local municipalities can have a major impact on real estate and our members’ business practices. Local communities are facing issues including rent control, restrictive zoning, and even more sign ordinances.

Candidate forums and one-on-one interviews are effective ways to meet with and evaluate current and future lawmakers, but they take time to organize. Please do not be intimidated if advocacy has not been your main strength as an AE. We must all recognize our responsibility to have at least a functioning knowledge of the REALTOR® role in shaping national, state, and local policies. Thankfully, there is a wealth of information at State & Local Advocacy to help refine what you are doing or help get you started.

RPAC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and you’ll hear a lot about it in D.C. This presents a great opportunity to build a fundraising program around the half-century that REALTORS® have put their money where their advocacy is. In my state, we have learned that the best way to raise RPAC investments is to highlight the fun in fundraising. In 1969, 50 years ago, man first walked on the moon and Woodstock would become a happening, not just a sleepy town in New York. There’s got to be some good fodder there for creative, fun, and most importantly, lucrative events!

There’s a saying that goes: “If real estate is your passion, politics is your business.” This must apply to the entire AE community just as it does to every REALTOR®. Let’s use the RPAC 50th as a springboard for revitalizing our political might.