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Each state and local association should have a robust governmental and community affairs program, even going beyond Core Standards. intertwined as both actions impact lawmaker relationships and community branding. This is why Core Standards reflect these two equally important roles that governmental affairs and community affairs play. The National Association of REALTORS® expends 65 percent of total resources towards these two related areas, illustrating the importance of both. Growing the Association’s community footprint is not easy. Existing groups often push back as they become uncomfortable with another voice at the table. “The essence of the REALTOR® Party is we support elected officials and candidates,” said NAR Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello. “Democrats and Republicans alike, who understand real estate issues.” We take this position because we are unlike other groups in the arena of public discourse, that often gather around one ideology. Instead, the NAR Express is filled with Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Libertarians. So while we will experience bumps along the way, let’s all pledge to continue working hard to represent this wonderfully diverse group of leaders. #

NC REALTORS®

ADVOCACY AS AN AVOCATION BY: SETH PALMER POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS DIRECTOR How NC REALTORS® has become one of the state’s most powerful advocacy organization, thanks to our members For many membership organizations, the business of the organization has focused more on managing the needs of members through education and other member benefits, and less on advocacy efforts, lobbying and communication with elected officials. NC REALTORS® is not one of those organizations. While it is absolutely committed to the growth and success of its members, providing a bevy of education opportunities, events and other member benefits, there has also been a realization and recognition of the value that advocacy has for members, their business, their clients and the real estate industry. NC REALTORS® has not embarked on this journey alone. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reformed itself as an advocacy-focused organization almost a decade ago (See The New Third Rail). This effort has certainly reaped significant benefits in protecting the industry from unnecessary legislative and regulatory intrusion. To support those efforts, NAR has developed an extensive toolkit of resources for local, state and national advocacy. From the REALTOR® Party Platform, featuring the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert Program, to the Voter Registration Initiative and a multitude of professional lobbyists, political operatives and policy professionals, NAR has committed the resources necessary to become one of the most powerful forces in the lobbying and political arenas. To respond to the needs of our members and local associations, NC

REALTORS® followed suit with its own advocacy and outreach tools. For starters, the association’s Government Affairs Department has grown from a staff of four to more than 11 professionals, representing the areas of legislative affairs, regulatory affairs, political communication, political outreach, political fundraising and grassroots outreach. NC REALTORS® also developed a robust Shared Government Affairs Director program that provides assistance to four local associations to help them engage with local elected officials. Additionally, the growth of internal programmatic functions like the NC Homeowners Alliance and the NC Property Rights Fund help to promote the voice of real estate through targeted engagement with consumers and elected officials. Like NAR, NC REALTORS® differentiated itself as a legislative and advocacy leader. This leadership has produced continued success for its members’ interests before the General Assembly and the industry as a whole. However, this success exists only because of the engagement and involvement of REALTORS®. REALTOR® members lend support to both NC REALTORS® and NAR efforts through response to Calls for Action, investments in NC REALTORS® PAC and participation in events like the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. and NC REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Raleigh. It is important for these efforts to continue and multiply to ensure that the REALTOR® brand remains the true voice of real estate at the federal, state and local level. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  7

Insight | May 2017  

Be Epic: NC REALTORS® launches member benefits campaign

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