Rick Padeford, CCIM REcap's his 2019 capitol hill visit

Representing the Central Arizona CCIM Chapter, Rick Padelford, CCIM, attended the NAR Legislative Meetings in Washington D.C. from May 13 – 18, 2019.

A few highlights:

     The week officially started off with the “Federal Legislative and Political Forum:  Behind the Scenes in Today’s Political Environment”.  This session featured the Honorable Terry McAuliffe and the Honorable Haley Barbour sharing insights on all things Washington D.C., State, and local politics as it relates to the real estate industry.  This was great information as both McAuliffe and Barbour are former Governors (Virginia and Mississippi respectively) and former National Party Chairmen (Democratic and Republican).  A few jabs and hooks were thrown but these gentlemen know each other well and were very respectful of opposing views.

     The rest of Tuesday was filled with committee meetings, the Regulatory Issues Forum (mostly relating to Government Sponsored Enterprises, i.e. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), NAR 360 (highlights of key issues facing the industry at large), and the always important, can’t miss, CCIM Cocktail Reception to wrap up the evening!

     Wednesday kicked off early with both the Federal Priority Issues Briefing and the Commercial Leadership Briefing followed by a General Session.  The focus in these briefings was to identify the talking points for meeting with Congressmen, Congresswomen, and Senators in the afternoon (my district was moved to Thursday afternoon because of a scheduling conflict).  CCIM’s focus this year is specific to Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) and extending the timelines beyond 2019 as more rules are put into place.

     Thursday started with the Commercial Leadership Forum on advocacy efforts on hot issues in commercial real estate (again, the focus was on QOZs).  After lunch, I headed to “the hill” for a scheduled visit with Congressman Andy Biggs, who represents my district.  I was pleasantly surprised the Congressman and his staff were well versed in QOZs and are huge advocates.  We then focused on moving QOZs forward and extending the timelines, potentially for many years to come.  Currently the White House and Ben Carson (Director of HUD) have set up five committees to address additional needs with QOZs and with more rules and regulations forthcoming the immediate need is to extend the investment deadlines past the end of this year, as well as the 5, 7 and 10 year target dates.

     We ended up having to reschedule most of Friday because President Trump made an appearance for our afternoon session.  The President made it clear that he’s a “real estate guy” and wanted to talk to his constituents while we were in D.C.  The President actually dedicated time to talk about QOZs and where they going (Ben Carson was also present).  This was a great way to wrap up the week, however, the regional caucuses were moved to Friday evening.  Our caucus (AZ., CO., NV., UT., N.M., WY.) was a state by state update of what’s going on and success stories within local and state governments.

     All in all, this was a busy week in D.C. and it’s great to see CCIM and NAR committed to keeping an eye on and advocating for private property rights for all of us.

NAR Legislative Meeting Recap - 2019

Each year, thousands of REALTORS® from across the country converge on our nation’s Capital for the annual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. Amongst the thousands of individuals that attend, a select few are chosen to directly represent our Arizona membership before our members of Congress.

In Arizona, we have nine United States Congressmen and Congresswomen and two United States Senators. These meetings are led by individuals called Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs). The designated FPCs to each member of Congress leads the assigned attendees in the Hill Visit talking points. This year, the National Association of REALTORS® asked our FPCs and assigned delegates to let our policy makers know “Who We R” and what we care about. Namely:

  • The value that REALTORS® bring to communities;
  • The impact of real estate on the economy and the vital role it plays for consumers; and
  • The importance of property ownership in building safe communities accessible to all.

Some of the key “Who We R” points conveyed to our members of Congress are that REALTORS® adhere to a Code of Ethics that is a pledge of honesty, integrity, professionalism, and community service. Nationally, 70% of REALTORS® volunteer in their communities, 82% donate on average $1,000 to charities annually, 92% have a post-secondary degree, 68% are sales agents; and 20% are brokers.

With a thriving economy, it was important that our meetings addressed the critical driving role real estate plays in the U.S. economy. To start, we shared the fact that real estate accounted for one-fifth of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 and that the Federal Reserve calculated homeowners’ equity to stand at $15.5 trillion in 2018. Prospectively, a typical homeowner’s wealth is estimated to reach $262,500 in 2019 and that 84% of non-homeowners want to own a home in the future. On the commercial front, commercial real estate supported 8.3 million American jobs in 2018 and generated $325.9 billion in salaries and wages, contributing $1.0 trillion to the U.S. GDP.

No visits with our members of Congress would be complete without the discussion of very important policy related issues. For our Arizona members, addressing the need to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program was of utmost importance, as Arizona has the most policies issued under the NFIP for any non-coastal state. Additionally, in each of the meetings the importance of helping the Treasury Department and the Administration with rules on Qualified Opportunity Zones was discussed as this program aims to encourage development and job creation in economically distressed communities. Other areas of importance addressed in each Hill Visit meeting were: Infrastructure, Technology Data Privacy and Security, Access to Health Insurance, Fannie and Freddie Reform, Federal Taxation, and Fair Housing. (Click HERE for more details on each area).

As stated by J.T. Tsighis, Federal Political Coordinator to Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, “All in all, we left the meeting with our Member of Congress’ acknowledgement and support for each and every issue presented.”

In all, the 2019 visits on Capitol Hill were a success. The message that REALTORS® do more than buy and sell homes was heard far and wide. WE stand up for the property owners of today and tomorrow, and that is “Who We R.”