The REALTOR® Party and You
Pictured (left to right): Doreen Roberts, Otto Catrina, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Sherri Souza and Craig Ragg of Bay East Association.
Every May, NAR, Women's Council and other REALTOR® affiliates meet in Washington, D.C. For many, this journey includes Hill Visits to meet members of Congress as the REALTOR® Party. You will probably ask, "What does politics have to do with my business?" However, you may be surprised to find out that the political process does, in fact, have a huge impact on your real estate business.
During the annual Hill Visits, there are various opportunities for interested REALTORS® to meet with politicians who can benefit our mission of protecting private property rights. In these organized efforts, we visit senators and congressmen to discuss issues that are relevant to the REALTOR® Party.
The visits can be arranged by state associations, local associations or affiliate groups that would like their voice to be heard regarding proposed or current legislation that affects how we do business. I have been fortunate enough to be a member and volunteer with my local association, Bay East Association of REALTORS®, and when in Washington for the REALTOR® meetings, I have joined in Hill Visits whenever possible.
Never would I have thought that I would find myself walking the halls of Congress to discuss issues with politicians. At my first visit, I was hesitant and doubted my ability to talk in depth about some of the topics to be addressed. But I had mentors who helped me understand the protocol, the issues and the importance of my presence at these visits. We REALTORS® do need representation from our politicians. As a group, we are more impactful, and our requests and discussions become more important and relevant.
You may not even know who your local representatives are or how you can help, but with a little coaching, an intent to learn the issues that affect our industry and businesses and your presence during this opportune time, it does make a difference with those that represent us in Washington.
By committing to learn about the issues that affect us most and spending a little extra time in our nation's capital, you can make a difference. You may even find that this is something that interests and fascinates you and can lead you to both personal and professional growth.
Politics is not for everyone. However, it's your insight to the practice of real estate, your transaction experiences, your knowledge of the industry and your voice that is valuable to the cause. If we are not assisting with bringing our issues and concerns to those who make the decisions for the people, who will?
Our state associations have done a great job keeping us up to speed on the issues and challenges that will affect us in business and the economy of real estate. Make an effort to support the issues that matter most to our mission as REALTORS®. Make a commitment of time to contribute your expertise and knowledge. Make a promise to yourself to get involved and make a difference wherever you can!
If not at the Hill Visits, find another way to assist with efforts being made by the REALTOR® Party. Donate, volunteer, respond, get involved. You'll be glad you did!
For further information check out these links:
Sherri Souza, CRS, GRI, PMN
Independent Women Brokers
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