By Kevin Sears
I’ve been politically active for as long as I can remember, from holding signs for candidates to later running for local offi ce. There’s a good reason I’ve always had a passion for politics—my family business is real estate. Working in real estate means that you need to have a strong interest in housing and regulatory issues. And Realtors® understand that.
We all share the interest to varying degrees because it affects our business so dramatically. If the sales tax on services had not been defeated last year, we could be paying at least $2,000 per year in additional taxes. And who knows what condition the market would be in were it not for the expansion and extension of the homebuyer tax credit.
But having an interest in politics and being actively engaged may be two different things. We all don’t have to run for political offi ce to impact our legislative climate, but we certainly need to be involved, and the Realtor® organization gives us many opportunities to pull together and impact the decisions affecting our industry.
Local Realtor® grassroots efforts, with the help of our local associations, provide us with the information and resources we need to combat regulatory challenges in our towns. Additionally, our lobbying strategy is strong on the state level. With our participation in Calls for Action and Realtor® Day on Beacon Hill, this year taking place on June 8, we take an active role in the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. Also, the NAR Mid-Year Legislative Meetings in Washington, held May 12-14, provide us with the opportunity to promote the Realtor® legislative agenda on the federal level to our members of Congress.
We owe it to our business and our industry to get involved in the political arena. Its success hangs on our involvement and our investment in the Realtor® PAC. RPAC fuels the Realtor® lobbying efforts on the local, state, and national levels, and we would not succeed in protecting private property rights and our business interests without contributing to RPAC. It is extremely important to contribute annually to maintain and ensure our legislative clout. This is more than a passion for politics; it’s a passion for success in real estate.