By Susan M. Renfrew
It is difficult to imagine working in the real estate industry, working in my local housing market, alone – without the Realtor® association, all three of its tiers (local, state and national) to rely upon. The Association of Realtors® exists in large part to promote housing affordability, opportunity and property rights in our communities, in our state and across the nation. As we work through a lending crisis that greatly impacts our business, we seek useful information for clients on the economic downturn. Likewise as we get ready for an exciting election period coming this fall, we know we have the Realtor® association behind us working on behalf of our industry, our businesses and our future.
The Association of Realtors® promotes legislative and regulatory initiatives to stimulate housing. That’s a big part of our job and we take it very seriously. As an example, NAR recently played a pivotal role in encouraging the passage of the Economic Stimulus package. They called on us to support the bill and the Realtor® voice was heard loud and clear nationwide. The bill passed with our help in the hopes of improving mortgage lending and to jumpstart home sales. A Call to Action was activated after the passage of the bill by NAR to extend the expiration of the FHA loan limit increase. And I know many of you stood together once again with your Association to help infuse stability and security back into the housing market. The Association is planning conference calls and other training vehicles to advise you of the latest information on FHA changes, as well as the basics of the lending program for those who would like a refresher course on FHA lending. The feature in this issue, “Springboard to Sales” is full of insight on lending practices that can help you close deals more effectively. Again, I can’t imagine working alone.
But thankfully we don’t have to. We have an Association that works on our behalf to support and keep the real estate industry thriving. Yet how can we do more to assist the organization that supports our industry so well? You are invited and encouraged to attend the Realtor® Day on Beacon Hill which takes place on June 5 at the State House and participate in Realtor® Day on Capitol Hill which takes place during the NAR Mid Year Meetings, May 12-16. These very important events bring private property issues to the forefront of our state and national legislatures and bring us as an organization together to show our strength and commitment to the real estate industry. Your voice, your presence makes a difference at these events. Our efforts combined are the strength of the Realtor® Association.
Additionally, we can show our support through the extremely vital Realtor® Political Action Committee (RPAC). I commend the member contributions collected at the recent New England Realtor® Conference. Close to $10,000 was raised for RPAC by Massachusetts Realtor® attendees alone and over $30,000 was raised collectively by the six regional states. RPAC gives powerful, bipartisan support to candidates who support Realtors® and our business. This year NAR plans to spend $17 million in the 2008 elections. Your individual contributions will help elect candidates who truly believe in housing affordability, opportunity and property rights in our communities.
We’re not alone; we have a strong back bone of support through our Realtor® Association on the legislative front. Let’s continue to raise our collective voice and work together to keep our industry strong.