There’s power in numbers. Nowhere was that more apparent than at NAR’s Mid-Year Meeting in Washington D.C. last week. The impact that our collective voices have on our policymakers was evident when meeting with our Congressional delegation. The key issues affecting real estate were laid out on the table and thankfully it was clear that our representatives in Washington heard our concerns. We had substantive discussions regarding flood insurance and the importance of maintaining existing real estate tax provisions as we undergo tax reform. Kudos to our Federal Political Coordinators, our government affairs committee members and to all of you who are actively engaged in the fight for policies that benefit our profession and the clients we serve. Whether you’re simply answering the National Association of REALTORS® Call to Action alerts or are taking the time to meet with our elected leaders, you are helping shape the nation’s housing economy.
Closer to home but along those same lines, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (RIAR) is making significant headway with our legislative agenda. RIAR is tracking no less than 44 bills, 6 of which were introduced at RIAR’s request. As someone who has been actively involved with the Housing Resources Commission’s efforts to elevate education among real estate professionals, I am particularly excited that the House Corporations Committee recommended passage of H5532. The bill removes the exception to qualification for a broker’s license previously granted those with a baccalaureate in real estate. We don’t have a final outcome yet but we’re headed in the right direction. Please take a moment to look at RIAR’s legislative tracker on RIRealtors.org to see where the General Assembly stands on issues important to our profession.
Also, while on the topic of licensure, please make sure that the “licensee” you’re working with, is in fact, a licensee. We work hard for our credentials and it is up to us to ensure professionalism in our industry. I’ve heard reports of showing “agents” who are not agents at all and we can’t afford to look the other way in those circumstances. It is up to us to safeguard our clients. Please make sure you know who you are working with on the other side of the transaction and that they are licensed to sell.
Finally, a plea on behalf of all of us who have waited by the phone for feedback following a showing of one of our listings. Please, please, please show your fellow agents the professional courtesy of following up with your clients’ comments after a showing. Our clients deserve feedback. Email or text is fine but not always received, so a quick phone call is ideal. Besides, it’s a great way to stay in touch with your fellow REALTORS® and build your professional network.
I’ll leave you with a heads up to stay tuned for information on the RI REALTORS® Leadership Academy. We’re developing an exciting program with Bryant University’s Executive Development Center in which a portion of their Emerging Leaders Certificate Program would be geared toward the real estate profession so stay tuned! The program will offer CE credits and great opportunities for our emerging leaders!