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USA Real Estate Blog

Realtors meeting lawmakers and advocating issues this week

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WASHINGTON – May 15, 2019 – Realtors® are in Washington, D.C., this week talking to lawmakers and advocating for homeowners in their district.

“Congress knows we mean business,” John Smaby, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said Tuesday at the kickoff event for the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. With more than 9,000 real estate professionals arriving in the nation’s capital for the conference, “this is the perfect time to let Congress know who Realtors are.”

Playing off NAR’s current consumer ad campaign, “That’s Who We R,” Smaby and Immediate Past President Elizabeth Mendenhall encouraged attendees at the event, known as NAR 360, to tell their stories to their Congressional representatives.

“Our Hill messages are directly tied to our consumer campaign,” Mendenhall said. “You need to talk about the trust and integrity you bring to the industry and your communities.”

Among the pressing topics Realtors will discuss with their congressional representatives: flood insurance, qualified opportunity zones and fair housing. However, practitioners stand to have an even more powerful opportunity: President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to address the conference Friday. “We have the attention of the Oval Office,” Smaby said.

Mendenhall noted that many U.S. presidents, dating back to Herbert Hoover in the early 1930s, have either attended or spoken at the annual conference.

“The clout Realtors have gained on Capitol Hill opens doors for all of us,” she said.

NAR’s annual Washington event also fuels media coverage of the real estate industry. According to research presented at the NAR 360 forum, the event serves as a source for 74 percent of published or broadcast real estate news.

Still, political divisiveness in Washington has been challenging on the legislative front, according to artist Phil Hansen, at NAR 360. Realtors must show patience and strength in pushing for change, he said. Hansen once feared that his career would end when he developed a tremor in his drawing hand. But “I embraced the shake,” he said, adding that he learned new ways to make art in spite of his condition. He was inspired to collect people’s stories of limitations in their lives and created artwork using descriptions of their experiences.

Hanson also presented a Realtor-themed piece of his work – the names of 10,000 major Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC) investors woven into an intricate drawing of NAR’s D.C. headquarters.

“Limitations can become passageways to creativity,” Hansen said. “When we invite ourselves to see limitations as opportunities, we can recraft our future.”

© 2019 Florida Realtors®


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