What’s Happening with NAR’s Realtor Party

by Houston Agent


NAR's Realtor Party features a distinct set of guidelines for its members, from supporting RPAC to voting for Realtor Party candidates. Will your support it?

By Peter Ricci

In an effort to better mobilize Realtors for the coming elections in November, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has formed the Realtor Party, a group that aims to forgo party politics in the name of it’s own brand of leadership.

According to the Realtor Party website, joining the party carries with it several conditions:

  • Members vote for Realtor Party candidates, meaning they vote for candidates at the local, state and national levels who support the same issues and causes as NAR, such as the mortgage interest tax deduction, the National Flood Insurance Program and net neutrality.
  • They act on Realtor Party initiatives, meaning they act when called upon to support the Realtor Party at the local, state and national levels.
  • And finally, they invest in RPAC, NAR’s political action committee.

Agents can join the Realtor Party through its website, and download a mobile app, which features Realtor news and “Call to Action” reports and alerts, among other features.

According to OpenSecrets.org, only three organizations have donated more to political campaigns than NAR in the last 23 years, so the fact that it would consolidate its political efforts with the Realtor Party is not exactly a surprising development; however, it has still proven controversial, with some arguing that with its Party, NAR is attempting to override its members’ personal political interests for the sake of its own.

Obviously, NAR disagrees with that characterization, as Tom Salomone, NAR’s 2012 director of Realtor party activities, explained in an Agent Genius article.

“The local Realtors decide what’s important in their communities,” Salomone said, clarifying where Realtors’ allegiances ultimately lie. “Realtors on the street decide which candidates are best for their communities after thorough research and vetting. The national association does not decide for them. You won’t see the national association dictating to the local members who they should vote for or which party to support.”

Local Realtors are also, Salomone continued, perfectly willing to not donate to RPAC; though often, upon learning of RPAC’s influence, Realtors are quite committed in their support.

“The initiatives and campaigns Realtors take on are partially funded by voluntary investments in the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC). The key word here is ‘voluntary,’” he said. “The wonderful thing is that once Realtors hear about the amazing campaign and community outreach successes from fellow Realtors across the country, they invest in RPAC willingly.”

But what’s your take on it? Is this a savvy, new-age move by NAR to better galvanize its base and focus their efforts on the issues that count, or has the association gone too far in its emphasis on the political process? Let us know.

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  • The formation of a Realtor Party may be over-the-top as far as I’m concerned. The formation of such a “Party” may not be well-received by the public and could be seen as over-bearing, out of line, and thus it’s intentions might be overshadowed and hampered by the organization itself. I have no problem with being presented with NAR’s suggestions, facts, information, and reasoning for supporting specific causes & programs viewed as beneficial to the Realtor community and the American public in general, but it stops there. Nobody can dictate who I will vote for and what causes I will or will not support. I’m a reasonably intelligent person capable of digesting facts and information and then act accordingly based upon that information. It’s MY decision though and I will not be restricted to what’s being labeled as “conditions” to become a member of any party, including a Realtor Party. It’s not healthy for the Realtor community, nor for the public as a whole. We’re witnessing first hand concerning the current Administration, what can happen when an individual, organization, or government oversteps its bounds and attempts to dictate and mandate policies, programs, choices, and in short control our right to think and make decisions as a free society and as individuals. It’s unacceptable. The majority of the time I agree with what’s being suggested and supported by NAR, but then again it’s untimately MY decision to make.

  • Wanda S. Armstrong says:

    Although I am no longer very active in Real Estate at 73 yrs. old, I keep my license current and truly believe in keeping up with what is going on as much as possible. I have been licensed since 1972 and believe me things have changed dramatically. Before me, my Dad was a Builder and Real Estate Broker. Since the 1940’s I have been made aware of political changes and as time goes by , it is very difficult to keep abreast of what is going on in Washington , D.C. and our state and national representatives. We as a Realtor community need to stick together to stay alive. No one knows who you vote for , once you go into that voting booth. I believe as a group, we will gain even more respect from the rest of our community. Let’s continue to trust our lobby in D.C.

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