Thousands of REALTORS(R) Rally to Support Home Ownership

May 17, 2012

More than 13,000 REALTORS® attended the Rally to Protect the American Dream this morning in the shadow of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Additionally, thousands more participated in the virtual counterpart to the rally in order to send a clear message to legislators and policymakers: Home ownership is critical to the United States economy and needs to be fostered and protected.

Speaker after speaker affirmed that sentiment in brief remarks to the crowd. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun forcefully declared that the mortgage interest deduction, often brought up as a possible target for cutting to bolster federal tax revenues, belonged to the people of America, not to politicians looking to make up a budget shortfall.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told the crowd that Congress needed input from REALTORS® to help guide the country's real estate policies. "My decisions will be better if I listen to you," he said. "God bless all of you. America is better for what you do."

Hagan Stone, a REALTOR® from Brentwood, Tenn., and the RPAC fundraising chair for the state of Tennessee, was among the thousands of attendees taking in these messages. He told REALTOR® Magazine that he had two basic pieces of advice for decision makers in the Beltway: Keep real estate at the forefront of the nation's economy and don't do any additional harm to housing. In his market, he's found that appraisals have been negatively affected by murky rules laid out in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

Stone added that the rally was helping reinforce those messages in a very clear, powerful way. "I've never seen anything like this," he said. "Being here and knowing that REALTORS® back in Tennessee are watching this online and supporting us makes me incredibly proud to be part of the National Association of REALTORS®."

Chris Polychron, a Hot Springs, Ark., REALTOR® and NAR's 2013 First Vice President nominee, agreed. "I've never been more proud," he said. "We're not here for ourselves. We're here for the American home owner."

— Brian Summerfield, REALTOR® Magazine