#AskMarcAnything | As business owners, we are always looking for ways to build more business opportunities. Typically this is done in the form of advertising your product or services through print media, digital advertising, etc. However we tend to forget the power of networking in person. The face-to-face interaction that allows us to build direct connections with other businesses and consumers. Here are my $0.02 on the power of networking.
Realtor Action Fund
What is It?
Thirty-five percent of all legislation introduced in the State Capitol impacts real estate, this equals approximately 2,000 bills every year. To defeat these onerous proposals, the Contra Costa Association of REALTORS®, California Association of REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS® have professional staff working on the behalf of more than one million REALTORS® nationwide. Your local, state, and national REALTOR® Associations are the only entities that represent that interests of REALTORS®, homeowners, and private property rights.
Political representation is essential for REALTORS® ability to conduct your business as you want to without further government intervention. One of the important avenues to facilitate this representation is to invest in the REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF).
Why is this Important?
This money supports candidates and issues that share our value of private property rights, and oppose things like point-of-sale. These investments directly help your ability to do business, and protect your pocketbook. Three examples of RAF investments working for you:
1. Locally, Rent Control, Mediation Programs, Excessive Fees by Cities, Extensive Inspection Requirements
2. Statewide, C.A.R. defeated a budget item that would have required all independent contractors (that’s you!) to pay an additional 3% on top of normal quarterly withholdings. CAR continues to fight against cities that are considering rent control restrictions. CAR continues to fight a sales tax on service industry, meaning commissions, inspections, evictions, appraisals, etc.
3. Nationally, NAR has been active in protecting the National Flood Insurance Program, which is so vital in areas like Sacramento. They also work to preserve the mortgage interest deduction. For example, in the most recent tax reform, MID is capped at $10k. Not ideal but because of Realtor lobby efforts, we were able to keep $10k instead of it being entirely eliminated as originally planned. Continue to fight switch from independent contractors to employees, big for brokers.
What you Can Do To Help
As a Realtor you can get involved. Donate what you can to the Realtor Action Fund. When you receive your yearly billing as a Realtor, donate the minimum cost of doing business of $48. The True cost of doing business is higher around $148. If you’re willing, doing at the higher levels of $500 or $1000. This is for one entire year. The Young Professionals Network also has a pledge. The 10 for 10 Pledge where you donate $1,000 per year for the next 10 years.
It’s your industry and you need to provide the support needed to keep the industry moving. Yes change is inevitable and many times change is good. But change is good when it comes from within the industry and the consumers themselves. When politicians step in, change can come from a good place or from hidden motivations that hurt the industry. Stay involved, keep yourself educated and as an industry we can guarantee positive change continues.