When a bill was introduced in the Illinois House in February that would have required a visual sewer line inspection for every house sold in the state, Michael Oldenettel, chair of NAR’s Broker Involvement Council, knew he had to mobilize his fellow brokers and their agents to stop the measure.
The proposed legislation would have cost sellers an additional $500 and potentially slowed the roughly 115,000 residential real estate transactions done in Illinois every year, says Oldenettel, managing broker of RE/MAX Professionals in Springfield, Ill.
So the Illinois Association of REALTORS® sent a call for action text message to its members urging them to contact their elected officials and ask them to vote against the measure. The effort was considered a success; the bill failed to pass at the end of April.
“We were able to use the text alert and stop the bill,” says Oldenettel. “[Mobile alerts] do work and they work effectively.”
This is just one example of a successful issue mobilization that was shared during the Broker Involvement Council meeting on May 13 during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. The council oversees the Broker Involvement Program, which helps members reach out to their elected representatives and have their voices heard on Capitol Hill. It’s also an opportunity to for managing brokers and broker-owners to educate their salespeople on important state and federal issues such as tax laws, ordinances, and other policies that directly affect business.
For instance, the Iowa Association of REALTORS® sent three calls for action on a bill that creates an income tax deduction for people who contribute to a savings account intended to help them buy their first home. Out of the 2,750 received messages, 600 real estate pros took action, contacting their elected officials and urging them to support the proposal. The bill passed earlier this month.
“REALTORS® had a huge impact,” says Victoria Givens, NAR’s mobilization program manager. “This is something to consider if you have big issues moving through your state.”
The Broker Involvement Program can help its members who sit on local and state REALTOR® boards set up alerts and calls for action, tracking open rates and participation. If you are a broker-owner or broker manager, text “BIP” to 30644 to sign up for the Broker Involvement Program, and text “realtors” to 30644 to receive REALTOR® Party mobile alerts. Or sign up online.
Reprinted from realtor.org, May 2015, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright May 2015. All rights reserved. http://www.realtor.org/