I'm Talking to You

by Rita Coffey | Jan 02, 2018
Being a long-time Realtor® volunteer at my local, state, and national associations, I know a lot of Realtors®. In fact, it’s hard not to when you’ve been in the business for over 35 years. Yet, despite "all” the Realtors® I know, it’s but a tiny fraction of our total membership. So, I’m writing this first column as president of MAR to the 98 percent of you who I’ve yet to meet.
For many of us, being a Realtor®-member means taking advantage of member benefits like free online forms and continuing education, discounts on products and services, and maybe even occasionally calling the MAR Legal Hotline. However, I’m sure there’s
a lot about the Association you don’t know, including the advocacy work we do on behalf of you, our fellow member, and for the housing industry.

When it comes to advocacy, the Realtor® Association is the only group speaking up for
homeowners across the state and the country. Think about that for just a moment. There are no country-wide or state-wide homeownership associations that are actively advocating for the rights of homeownership and private property rights. The Realtor® Association is it. We’re the ones who are toeing the line and no one else.

For example, the Realtor® Association was one of the first groups to stand up against the proposed tax reform that Congress introduced last November. As proposed, the “tax cut” would have increased taxes for middleclass homeowners by reducing the benefit of using the mortgage interest deduction and eliminating the ability to deduct real state
property taxes. In a high-cost state like Massachusetts, these benefits of homeownership matter and impact how much home someone can afford.

I’m happy to report, that we’re generally successful in our advocacy efforts. However, for us to continue to be successful we need your help. Now, we’re all busy, and giving up your personal time to volunteer for your Realtor® Association might not be  something you want to do. I get that, but there are ways you can still be engaged and make a difference.

The first way to be engaged is by taking advantage of the “Realtor® brand.” This means
identifying yourself as a Realtor® in your signage, correspondence, and your branding. This also means wearing your Realtor® pin whenever you leave your house. Whether you’re in line at the grocery store or at a community meeting or watching your kids’
games, it identifies you as a Realtor®. There are lots of agents out there, but being a Realtor® means you stand out.

The second way you can get engaged is by simply responding to Calls for Action. Calls for Action are emails that you receive from either MAR or the National Association of Realtors® that allow you to click and send an email to your state and federal legislators.
It’s a quick and easy way to let our state legislature or Congress know that we either support or oppose legislation that might impact our industry and homeowners. 

The next step is making your fair share Realtor® Political Action Committee (or RPAC) investment.

By taking advantage of your Realtor® brand and participating in Calls for Action, making an investment in RPAC, and hopefully one day volunteering, you’re doing
your part to highlight your status as a Realtor® and protecting homeownership. It doesn’t take much to be an engaged Realtor®, but by doing it, you’re making a
difference.

Please let me know if I can come talk to your brokerage office about being an engaged Realtor.®