April 19, 2018

Housing Heavyweights Welcome REALTORS® to D.C.

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Housing Heavyweights Welcome REALTORS® to D.C.

At the kick-off event for the 2014 REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo on Tuesday, members of the National Association of REALTORS® were welcomed to the nation’s capital not only by leaders of the association but by political and industry leaders as well. 

More than 8,000 REALTORS® are expected to attend the meetings in Washington, D.C., this week. At the NAR 360° session, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) asked REALTORS® for their help passing tax-related legislation known as “the extenders.”

“You are here at exactly the right moment,” Stabenow said. On Monday, the Senate voted to take up the extension of mortgage debt cancellation relief, among other items. “What I’m concerned about is, we have to keep the pressure on. And you all have a story to tell.

"We need you to share these stories, what this is doing to the economy, what this is doing to families,” she added.

The House of Representatives is not in session this week. NAR developed a “one-two punch” strategy for the House, wherein REALTORS® meet with their representative’s senior staff this week to discuss top legislative issues, and then schedule follow-up meetings back home, when their representatives are back in their districts next month. 

Still, the event did feature former REALTOR® and housing champion Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), who appeared via a live streaming service from his district office in Corning, N.Y. Reed told audience members that their presence on the Hill this week would not go unnoticed. 

“That one-two punch is critical,” Reed said. “Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re talking to the member of Congress through that staff.”

Reed is the lead sponsor on the Mortgage Debt Cancellation Relief bill in the House, a companion measure to the “extenders” bill in the Senate. He said he was happy to see the Senate moving on the legislation and that he has high hopes for action in the House.

“We’re going through the extenders. There are 89 of them, and we’re going to review them one by one,” he said. “With your efforts and the National Association of REALTORS®, I’m very confident we’re going to be able to move this, and move it quickly.”

The event also served as a preview for two upcoming votes during Saturday’s Board of Directors meeting. The first proposal, known as “organizational realignment,” seeks to unify the local, state, and national associations and is aimed at strengthening the 100-year-old relationship. The second proposal would represent a shift in the way NAR leadership is elected, with changes to the nominating committee and a shorter campaign timeline. The issues will be explored further in advance of the Board of Directors meeting in sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.

NAR 360° also served as a platform to announce several new initiatives at the association. “Real Insights” was rolled out as a multimedia consumer outreach and engagement effort that seeks to position NAR as the go-to source for real estate information and analysis. The program will also offer resources for state and local associations to get involved in the effort.

Finally, Move Inc. CEO Steve Berkowitz announced a new consumer-facing campaign to position® as the most accurate place to go for housing information.

“We want to help you build your reputation online,” Berkowitz said. “We connect millions and millions of consumers with real estate professionals, and our goal is actually to make those connections even smarter.”

—By Meg White, REALTOR® Magazine

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NAR-Backed Mortgage Debt Relief Clears Committee