The Voice for Real Estate Special Edition: 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings
REALTORS® told Capitol Hill lawmakers about the key issues that impact our industry and our hometowns. Also: RPAC celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Board of Directors elects NAR’s 2020 Leadership, That’s Who We R investment is renewed, and President Trump addresses REALTORS® in Washington. This week’s video is sponsored by the REALTOR® Benefits Program.
Host Stephen Gasque: REALTORS® go to Washington to meet with their members of Congress – and the President, making sure real estate remains a top priority in America. We’ll take you there – straight ahead on a special edition – of The Voice for Real Estate.
‘The Voice for Real Estate’ is sponsored by NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. Your official member benefits program. Bringing you savings and unique offers on products and services, just for Realtors. Learn more at nar.realtor/realtorbenefits
Stephen: More than nine thousand REALTORS® came to Washington this month for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. Their mission? To tell members of Congress that real estate is vital to the nation’s economy and to communities and families all across America. On Capitol Hill, REALTORS® told lawmakers about the key issues that impact our industry and our home towns.
Christine Hansen: Our members are here because we have over 100 new members of congress and thousands of staffers, and so I think we’re now… it’s a great opportunity for us to go be on the hill and share our REALTOR® story, kind of go reintroduce our story to them.
Tracy Kasper: So, this is what we tell them. Hi, I’m a REALTOR®, and let me tell you what that means. That means that I am going to have communication with your constituents on a very consistent basis. That means I’m here representing private property rights, that means I’m representing infrastructure needs, I’m here representing big medium and small business, but I’m here really representing more importantly that home owner, who this is going to be the biggest probably of their lives, and we want to make sure that we’re taking really good care of that.
Stephen Gasque: NAR has been an advocate for the real estate industry and property owners since it was founded in 1908, but 2019 is a special year, the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. Since 1969, REALTORS®’ voluntary contributions to RPAC have helped promote the election of REALTOR® champions across the United States. To celebrate, NAR held an RPAC gala at the National Building Museum. Looking back on 50 years of advocacy – and looking ahead at the future of property ownership, and the role RPAC will play in keeping real estate a top priority in America.
Denyse Wilson Streeter: It’s important because we lead -- from the leadership, from the top -- and we need to let our members to know how important it is to be a part of RPAC. And not only that, to be a part of what’s going on with legislation.
Tracy Kasper: What our PAC does is it stands on those issues that represent our industry, and our communities. We have to create relationships, make sure that we get really good people who understand our industry and understand our ideas of what community, and family, and homes, and business seem to be. And if we can find those champions, which is what we call them, those are the people that we want at the table because we want to have a voice at that table.
Stephen Gasque: Also at the meetings, NAR's board of directors elected the association’s 2020 Leadership. The team includes Charlie Oppler of New Jersey, as NAR’s President Elect, and Leslie Rouda Smith of Texas, elected as First Vice President - putting her in line to be NAR president in 2022. Leslie told us, she’s proud to continue - a family tradition.
Leslie Rouda Smith: My father was also the 1991 president of NAR, so I was a licensed real estate broker at the time. I was already selling real estate. So I saw why being involved and volunteering in the industry is so important. I think it’s always important to not just leave it how you found it but make it better for the next generation. And the fact that I have third-generation children who are REALTORS®, I want this business to continue to thrive for them.
Stephen Gasque: In another big development, the board of directors propelled NAR's popular consumer ad campaign. "That's Who We R," into the future…by renewing the assessment that funds the campaign - for a three-year period. As you may know, ‘That Who We R’ showcases the passion that REALTORS® bring as advisers, advocates, volunteers, and neighbors.
Christine Hansen: Sixty-seven percent of REALTORS® are already involved in their communities. And so we wanted the consumer to know and to embrace and understand that as REALTORS® we’re so much more than buying …helping them buy and sell properties, we actually advocate for the property rights and for home ownership.
Stephen Gasque: And – the campaign demonstrates REALTORS’ role as the ultimate professionals – committed to a strict code of ethics. ‘That’s Who We R’ is off to a strong start. In its first 60 days, the campaign has made 676.8 million impressions, and earned 47.5 million social media engagements.
Every year, NAR invites the President of the United States to address REALTORS® at its conferences. And this year, President Trump accepted the invitation. It was standing room only in the ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park, as the president expressed his gratitude, for the important work Realtors perform for families, communities and the nation.
Donald Trump: "We’re here today because REALTORS® play a special role in the American economy. As a group you’re a tremendously big business and a very powerful business politically because you have numbers. Numbers is power. When a young family needs room to grow; when a new job sparks a new adventure in a brand new, beautiful city; when parents want to find the right neighborhood and schools for their children, Americans put our trust in you.”
Stephen Gasque: President Trump is the first sitting president to address REALTORS® since 2005. His appearance underscores REALTORS®' central role in the experience of buying, selling, and owning real property.
And that's our show for the week of May 27th.
You can get more on the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo online – at magazine.realtor/live.
And special thanks to our sponsor, NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. Your official member benefits program. Your NAR membership pays for itself, with savings and special offers on:
- Personal and business insurance
- Digital marketing
- Transaction management solutions
- Car rentals
- And through Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. The official automobile manufacturer of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Thank you for joining us. And we hope to see you again soon, as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.
Voice over: Brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS®, your advocate for housing and property rights in Washington, across America, and in your neighborhood. This is The Voice for Real Estate.