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Thursday, May 24, 2012

REALTORS® Make It Personal On Capitol Hill

REALTORS® have always made their voice 
heard on Capitol Hill. Here is a group gathered
in D.C. in the late 1990s.
For more than 20 years, MIBOR has participated in the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Meetings in Washington D.C. Below is a recap of the Capitol Hill visits during this year's trip. Stay tuned for additional recaps and photos that we'll post in the coming weeks! 

Last week, thousands of REALTORS® attended the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Meetings in Washington D.C. The week included many excellent governance meetings, forums on hot topics, and an energized rally of over 13,000 REALTORS® at the Washington Monument. But by far, the most important part of the week were the visits to Capitol Hill to meet one on one with Members of Congress to address issues important to homeowners and the real estate industry.

While the REALTOR® Association prides itself on having an effective lobbying team in Washington, I can tell you that nothing is more effective than having Members of Congress hear directly from REALTOR® constituents. As Congressman Steny Hoyer from Maryland commented in a speech last week, REALTORS® are the experts when it comes to issues pertaining to real estate and he depends on their insight. Hearing firsthand from folks back home on how decisions they make are impacting their constituents is invaluable.

MIBOR leaders meet with Senator Richard Lugar.
Click here to see additional photos from the Hill visits!
MIBOR Leaders meet with Congressman
Andre Carson on Capitol Hill.
REALTORS® carried their messages to each visit talking about important issues of the day including things like reauthorizing the national flood insurance program that expires in a few day, bolstering commercial  lending, and protecting home ownership tax benefits to name a few. (click here for a full list of issues) But what caught the attention of our Congressmen were the personal stories shared by these REALTORS® - real life experiences with things like the  lengthy short sales process, prohibitive FHA condominium rules, continued appraisal frustrations, difficulty securing credit, and so on. 

Sharing these personal experiences made it clear that these issues don’t just impact REALTORS®, but also buyers, sellers, property values, neighborhoods, and communities.

We’ve already seen results. Since those visits, several of our Congressmen have signed on as co-sponsors of legislation that will address some of these important issues. And just this week came word from HUD that they plan to announce changes soon to some of their FHA regulations. So despite what we see on the front page, or on television, know that change is still possible!

Chris Pryor,
MIBOR Government Affairs Director 
Follow me on Twitter! @cpryor1912

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