Chief Executive Officer
Let Us Talk About RPAC
Often we receive questions from members asking what is RPAC, why is it important, and what is the benefit to investing? RPAC, or the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, raises voluntary funds from REALTOR® and Affiliate members that goes to support REALTOR® friendly candidates and issues on the local, state, and federal level. Issues that not only impact your ability to do business, but also those private property rights of you, your clients, and any property owner.
Sounds like a fairly generic statement, but it is in fact the core reason that RPAC is so important. To break it down a little more, I will go into a little bit of detail on the HOW.
Each year GMAR hosts numerous interviews with local candidates, those running for an elected position on the City Council, for a local Mayor, or City Commissioner. We provide a questionnaire in advance of scheduling the actual interviews and we ask industry specific questions, such as their thoughts on what local municipalities can do to address housing inventory, what are their top priorities if elected, what are their thoughts on Short Term Rentals or Certificate of Occupancy.
Candidates are then scheduled for an in person (or Zoom) interview with our volunteer members from the Government Relations and RPAC Committees. This is not only an opportunity to hear from them firsthand and begin building a relationship, but to also educate them on issues that are important to our communities. Building these relationships early on is beneficial for many reasons, such as having a point of contact if elected and having introduced REALTORS® as subject matter experts. Being identified as subject matter experts in this relationship is helpful when municipalities being discussing items that will impact the real estate industry or private property rights, oftentimes they will reach out to GMAR Director of REALTOR® and Community Affairs, Grant Meade, or to our Political Engagement Director, Alex Haddad, to learn our thoughts and our feedback on how this could either positively or negatively impact what we do every day.
Oftentimes, this also benefits our industry long term because many of those who serve an elected position on a local level will run for state and federal seats as well, having already created a working relationship is important on all levels.
When we meet extraordinary candidates who understand our industry and the importance of protecting private property rights, we support these candidates not only through our endorsements, but we also use funds raised through RPAC to help support their campaigns regardless of their party affiliation. RPAC is nonpartisan in the selection of candidates, it supports the REALTOR® Party. Alternatively, if you would prefer investments made to RPAC not go to a candidate, you can choose to invest in RPAC II, which is strictly used only for issues.
In 2022, 48% of our 11,000+ GMAR members invested in RPAC, with 66 of our members stepping up to a Major Investor, someone who invests $1,000 or more annually. While GMAR was able to raise just over $290,000 – 48% of those funds raised, or $124,000, were raised by our 66 Major Investors. Think about that for a minute. “Fair share” per member is determined to be $50 - if every member invested $50 annually in RPAC – whether RPAC I or RPAC II, we would not only hit but surpass the goals and wouldn’t need to rely on .006 of our membership to do the heavy lifting to build and continue to strengthen the relationships with elected officials throughout the country, ultimately helping to protect our industry and our private property rights.
How has RPAC helped your business?
- Defeated proposals to add an additional tax on your commission.
- Prevented banks from operating real estate brokerages.
- Prevented mandatory statewide point of sale septic inspections.
- Created a second principal residence exemption filing date.
- Defending Sort Term Property Rental rights for homeowners.
- Helped to alleviate bans on yard signs in local municipalities.
RPAC is the real estate industry’s insurance to continue to protect your industry. If you have not yet, we encourage you to visit www.gmaronline.com/invest to make your investment today.
Please join us at our Elected Officials Breakfast on April 24 at 9:00 a.m. This is a great opportunity to hear a market update from GMAR President, Nathan Boji, as well as hearing from a panel of experts who will be discussing trends in local development and hear from state officials who will be discussing ongoing actions at the State legislature. Registration is free for all members and available online at GMARonline.com/calendar.