How Did the Realtor Party Perform in 2012?

by Houston Agent


NAR's Realtor Party was quite active in 2012, but how successful was it truly in meeting its lofty aims?

By Peter Ricci

The Realtor Party was something new from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Though the famously democratic group was already one of the most active lobbying groups in the U.S., the Realtor Party made the association’s political influence official, with members of the party committing to: vote for “Realtor Party candidates,” meaning candidates at the local, state and national level who support the same issues as NAR; act upon Realtor Party initiatives; and invest in RPAC, NAR’s political action committee.

Though the Realtor Party generated controversy, with arguing that it sought to override personal political convictions for the sake of the real estate industry, it’s worth taking a look at 2012 and asking: how did the Realtor Party actually perform in 2012?

Realtor Party in 2012: A Raging Success?

Of course, NAR has pointed out a number of success the Realtor Party can take credit for, among them:

  • Nearly 3,000 program requests from local Realtor boards and state associations for Realtor-related issues, according to Bill Malkasian, NAR’s vice president of strategic political planning, who spoke of the Realtor Party to AGBeat.
  • Nearly $28 million in direct and indirect funds to local/state associations for Realty Party programming.
  • Realtor Party programming, Malkasian said, encompassed the following: 28 percent for building Realtor Party strength; 32 percent for advocacy; 22 percent for raising RPAC money; 17 percent for community outreach; and 1 percent for game changer.
  • For 2013, Malkasian told AGBeat, the Realtor Party’s emphasis will be “on legislative issues at state levels and ballot issues at local levels of government.”

Realtor Party in Houston

AGBeat also drew attention to a ballot initiative in Louisiana that the Realtor Party successfully passed, which amends the state’s constitution to prohibit real estate transfer taxes. How did the Realtor Party’s initiatives, though, fair in Houston?

The Realtor Party’s success with local Houston candidates was quite impressive. All the candidates within the Houston metro area who received NAR financial support were successful in their Congressional races, with Al Green (D) leading the way with $4,010 in contributions from NAR.

And Christi Borden, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene who is also a TREPAC Trustee, said that outside of political contributions, NAR’s Realtor Party engages in the political process in a nuanced, cutting-edge manner.

“NAR Realtor Party programs are focus on the cutting edge to engage in the political process,” Borden said. “They deal with so many different levels: assisting with voter registration; issue-driven calls for actions; legislative liaison updates; Hill visits, and more … These programs deliver the message clearly and succinctly, so that the Realtor can confidently become engaged in the process.”

But what are your thoughts? Does housing get the proper attention, given NAR and the Realtor Party’s efforts, or did they not perform up to par in 2012?

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