NAR: Midterm Results Won’t Change Your Path Forward
November 1, 2018
With less than a week before the midterm elections, REALTORS® were reminded Thursday of their power to influence real estate policy at all levels of government—and to use that power responsibly. In a poetic homage to the real estate community during the kickoff gathering of the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston, spoken word artist Joseph Green said that “being a great REALTOR® is about more than selling homes. It’s about standing up for real property rights. It’s about protecting and fighting for the access of others. It’s about holding our politicians accountable and making sure they are representing the best interests of all Americans.”
Regardless of which political party fares better at the polls next week, REALTORS® will remain a leading force on Capitol Hill and across the country. “REALTORS® are poised for continued success no matter the results on election night,” said NAR’s outgoing chief lobbyist, Jerry Giovaniello, who is retiring after nearly 38 years with the association. Still, the political environment is unpredictable, Giovaniello said during a commemoration of his service at NAR, adding: “I have no idea what’s going to happen Tuesday.”
After NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall called him “a wonderful treasure to the association,” Giovaniello introduced NAR’s new chief lobbyist, Shannon McGahn, who promised to “connect you as dreammakers with policymakers.” She noted that with up to 25 percent of Congressional seats in play, and with many potentially filled by newcomers, “there will be change. But my number one goal is to make the REALTOR® story resonate with the nation’s policymakers. You are an incredible family to join.”
REALTORS® also have a rich future in political advocacy, with $34 million raised for RPAC this year alone, association officials said. RPAC, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019, has 428,000 investors today.
Other highlights from the kickoff event, dubbed NAR 360, included:
- Innovation: NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said the association is continuing to focus on investing in technology startups whose products can help real estate professionals do their jobs better. Through its Second Century Ventures subsidiary, NAR now has partial ownership of 50 companies. “We’re focused 100 percent on finding those companies that can add value for our members,” Goldberg said. NAR’s inaugural Innovation, Opportunity & Investment Summit in August attracted 500 tech companies.
- Professionalism: NAR’s Commitment to Excellence program, designed to help members assess their core competencies and demonstrate their commitment to conducting business at the highest standards, launches Friday.
- Consumer campaign: A sneak preview of NAR’s consumer ad campaign for 2019 showed REALTORS® as “dreammakers who stand up to lawmakers.” The emotional spot features several scenarios depicting real estate professionals fighting for and supporting access to housing and property rights for a diverse group of buyers and sellers.