Dear CARW Members,
Last week, CARW members attended a conference in Washington DC for the NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) Mid-Year Conference. The purpose of the conference was to bring together members from across the country and communicate the NAR’s legislative agenda in DC. More than 40 people attended from Wisconsin and 8,500 from across the country. I joined fellow CARW members Mike Kleber (Zilber), Ben Adank (SARA Investment Real Estate), Adam Williquette (Anderson Commercial Group) and Tracy Johnson (CARW).
It was my first time attending the conference as Chairman of CARW and my first time in Washington, DC. I had an open mind, knowing that we would have a rigid itinerary and a lot of walking to do. At the opening session, I knew immediately, that our association was part of something bigger than the 650 members who are part of CARW, and quickly got a clear understanding of where my RPAC dollars are going to work. Thousands were gathered for opening remarks and the week’s agenda boasting the strength in the 1.2 million NAR members for our aggressive legislative agenda centering around tax reform.
Our national efforts are continually guided by the powerful WRA team: Tom Larson, Mike Theo, Joe Murray and Cori Lamont work closely with the federal points of contact within the State’s districts to listen to and influence legislators on federal REALTOR issues. Our association has an extremely productive and symbiotic relationship with our State association and the residential brokers, which is unusual in most States.
During our meetings, I also saw how the REALTOR issues rose above the partisanship in Washington. The platform is one that seeks not only tools for economic development, but the opportunity for individuals and businesses to build hopes and businesses. Democrats and Republicans we met with, engaged with the various points and challenged us at times.
Our industry will be greatly impacted with many of the proposed changes in Washington, but the overarching message we received is that they are determined to make progress. Joining the entire Wisconsin delegation, the group focused heavily on tax reform and changes to flood insurance. We advocated to maintain the 1031 Exchange program which legislators universally agreed is an important tool for real estate. We also lobbied on the reauthorization of the EB-5 foreign investment program which will sunset in September if action is not taken.
During the conference we also had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of Xceligent on upcoming changes and developments within the company which you will be hearing more about very soon. We also met with commercial real estate leaders from across the country including Minnesota, Colorado and Las Vegas with whom we can continue to learn from and share best practices with. One session featured NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun sharing the economic outlook for commercial real estate, and another featured a panel discussion with the highly-regarded NAR lobby team.
The conference was a vitally important opportunity to not only build relationships with legislators and our NAR and WRA colleagues, but participate in the process and the power of the NAR which benefits us as individuals and an industry each and every day. I have a new appreciation for the NAR and its commercial focus. I encourage you to take note of the regular NAR features in the CARW Connector, and reach out to me or anyone on the CARW team for more information.
Thank you for your continued service to CARW and your commitment to the industry!
2016/17 CARW Chairman
Click here for more pictures from the conference and our legislative meetings!