By Brett Caviness
From the first year I got my license as a college student, I knew I wanted to be involved in the real estate business as much as possible. I started by attending the Iowa REALTORS® Legislative Bus-in where I quickly realized the power we as individuals have to take part in the political landscape that is our real estate industry. Real estate took a bit of a back seat while I finished my degree. As I made my way back home to another market, I again jumped in full-force as an active member of the Iowa Great Lakes Board of REALTORS®. After less than a year in my current market, I was elected secretary/treasury of our board. Since taking office, I have been involved in many programs and organizations.
During my first trip to state meetings this past winter, I was immersed into the exciting culture of passionate real estate professionals from across the state who take an active role in their profession at the state and sometimes national level. I quickly realized that we do have the power to interact, develop ideas, and implement strategies that affect not only our business, but the real estate industry for buyers and sellers.
After the energizing sessions we attended at the state level, I found myself asking, “Why doesn’t everyone want to attend these meetings? If nothing else, why don’t more brokers attend to take back this valuable knowledge and experience to their agents?” The president of our board responded quickly, “There are givers and there are takers.” Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that we’re living and working in a tenuously linked society right now. Hyper-political-mumbo-jumbo is being thrown around to a jaded audience, and we are more polarized and fractured than ever before.
That same thing could be said for the real estate industry.
Data, IDX, syndication, broker-centric, agent-centric, consumer-centric, lead-generation, third parties, anti-property owner legislation, technological disruption, franchises versus indies versus MLSs versus associations… What does it all mean?
As an industry, we’re changing — we all know that. What’s not so obvious is that these little industry revolutions differ from market to market; and the pace in which these revolutions are happening, the pace in which they’re setting in, is getting faster and faster every day.
But what has been a mainstay in all of this during my time on the YPN Subcommittee, and now as your chairperson, is that regardless of market, MLS, broker and association, we operate for the REALTOR® brand. Y’all said it yourselves. There is not a selfish bone in any of you, and for that I am so proud!
The results of a poll answered by your networks’ chairpersons are telling: Professional development is one of the top priorities in many networks, along with their sponsoring associations. Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
This summer, against my wife’s better judgment (sorry hon), I decided to take the plunge into the REALTORS® Political Action Committee’s President’s Circle. Basically, after giving at the local level, I’m contributing $2,000 of my hard-earned cash directly to industry-friendly politicians’ political campaigns.
I had many reasons to do it, and if you told me just a few years ago I’d be piping money to anything, other than my bank account, much less a politician, I’d have smacked you in the mouth. But among them was the Flood Insurance issue that has, again, reared its ugly head. An issue that has hit home for my state, and frankly, ticked me off. I’m not politically savvy to fight for this on my own, nor do I have the stomach to sit in any politician’s presence right now, so I thought that money would be the best way for me to talk.
Once I told people in D.C. (I talked to Brooke Roth and Chris Nave, RPAC fundraising representatives at NAR) of my intention to give, I got a slick email with the name and party affiliation of politicians who have made the RPAC trustees’ cut-list, PLUS a low-down of what they did to get them there.
Lo and behold there were Republicans AND Democrats from across the country who have been fighting our fight on their local and national platforms. One was even a former REALTOR® – a huge bonus. It took me weeks to run through the list, to decide who would get some cash, and in the end, it was two Democrats and two Republicans who got it. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
Lately, there has seemed to be a lot of drama surrounding the world of real estate. We can’t seem to go a day without some sort of challenge. I have found myself getting emotional sometimes because I work so hard and I seem to frequently get a smack in the face.
This past weekend, NAR passed the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative. I watched it happen live via Twitter. Soon after it was announced, the comments started rolling in. It was amazing how emotional many agents were about the issue. While many had different views on the issue, I did notice one amazing thing…agents were coming together. In my 11 years in the business, I had never seen anything like this. It seemed as if we were all working together, regardless of company affiliation. It was truly amazing.
As an 11-year veteran of the real estate industry, there have been many changes in our business and this is one of them. If you are like me, this is why you are in the business. We need to be able to adapt and evolve with all the changes. Use the challenges you face to help you grow as an agent.
“Though the road’s been rocky it sure feels good to me.” –Bob Marley
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Edina Realty, Hastings, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Nobu Hata
I’ve never had the stomach for the political end of things during my years in the real estate industry, and for those of you who know me well, my left-of-center views didn’t exactly mesh well with the political climate that has made up the bulk of my tenure. It was always my opinion that politics was best left for the folks who know how to play the game. My contributions consisted of pressing “Send” on the e-mail call to actions.
But the one realization I’ve made the last couple years has been with RPAC, our political action committee. These folks, based in the incredible NAR offices in D.C., have fought the good fight, not only for us, but our current and future buyers and sellers and the legislation that affects them; plus our industry initiatives locally and nationally regardless of politically party currently in power. Recently, our national PAC has kept the banks out of the buy/sell facet of our industry and kept the tax credit going, among other things I’m missing – shelving your personal opinions of both for a sec, you have to admit that those two issues alone was for the greater good of our industry.
Locally here in Minnesota, they’ve helped my clients by protecting the mortgage interest and property tax deductions, helped to ban private transfer fees, and defeated several attempts to increase recording fees and an attempt to increase the state deed tax, plus passed legislation to increase industry professionalism. That’s a ton of consumer protection in a very bipartisan town.
That’s where you come in. Wednesday is National RPAC night, where local groups get together and raise funds for the coming year. Why don’t you attend? Inform and educate yourself by asking your AE about what RPAC means to your business locally, ask your peers (YPNers Aaron Wheeler and Brian Copeland are major donors) what RPAC means to them first hand.
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.