REALTORS® Running to Win
REALTORS® Running to Win
Mark Ashworth has his sights set on a seat in the Nevada legislature. When he runs, probably in three years or so, he expects to have his business affairs well in order and his campaign carefully planned out. He can say that confidently as a result of the day he spent a day last January in “political campaign school” developed as part of NAR’s My REALTOR® Party initiative.
The veteran sales associate with Trans-Action Realty 500 in Reno concedes that without the training, he was at serious risk of jumping unprepared in to the electoral fray. “When I started thinking about running, I had no idea what was involved,” says Ashworth, who was one of about 25 participants in the Jan. 7 Candidate Training Academy, hosted by the Reno-Sparks Association of REALTORS® in partnership with the Builders Association of Northern Nevada and the Reno-Sparks chapter of The Chamber, a business networking group. The curriculum was developed for NAR by national political campaign strategists and was conducted by veteran campaign professionals retained by NAR. “It was only after I participated in the session that I understood just how big an undertaking running for office is,” Ashworth says.
The Candidate Training Academy covers 7 strengths and skills important for successful campaigns:
- How to concisely articulate reasons for running
- How to plan and budget for a race
- What research is helpful for a campaign and how to get it done
- How to raise money and what rules are in place governing what you can collect and how you can collect it
- How to ensure you have sufficient time and opportunity to make contact with voters
- The need to leverage social media
- How to get out the vote on election day
NAR launched the program nationally this spring after testing it with several state and local associations. The intent is to give REALTORS® who are interested in running for local, state, or national office the grounding needed to enter the political process.
“The curriculum was excellent,” says Jim Nadeau, a government affairs consultant from Carrara Nevada, a consulting firm in Reno. Nadeau serves as government affairs director for the Reno-Sparks Association of REALTORS®. “And the trainers were absolutely the best. They just brought so much knowledge and experience to the session.”
The program is open to any state or local association of REALTORS®. Associations are free to bring in their own trainers if they prefer to work with local campaign specialists, or they can host NAR trainers. There are no limits to the number of associations that can participate in the program at any one time, but NAR-provided trainers are limited to about 20 sessions a year. Associations can host a program themselves or in partnership with other associations, including groups outside of real estate sales, as the Reno-Sparks association did.
Learn more about the NAR Candidate Training Academy at the REALTOR® Action Center: realtoractioncenter.com/for-associations/electoralservices/candidate-training/