Capitol Hill Meets with Real Estate Industry

CONTACT: Karla Pollack, 609-392-3800


Leaders from Burlington Camden County Association of REALTORS® (BCCAR) joined more than 9,000 REALTORS® from across the country for the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. last month. The meeting officially marked the 100th anniversary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which was founded in May 1908.

The three-day conference included a series of Capitol Hill Visits, workshops, training sessions, and presentations on the latest industry research and market trends.  More than 200 exhibitors participated in the Midyear Trade Expo, which showcased the latest real estate products and services.

Representatives from the BCCAR, which included David Lewis, BCCAR President; Jean Bonilla, BCCAR President-Elect; Peter Rubin, NAR Director; Jack McCormick, NAR Director; Linda Musser, BCCAR Director/NJAR IMPAC Trustee; Diane Streichert, BCCAR Chief Executive Officer,  met with staff from Congressmen Rob Andrews and Jim Saxton’s offices on Capitol Hill to lobby for mortgage reform; home buyer tax credits; affordable and accessible property, casualty and flood insurance; and small business health insurance reform.

“The Hill visits are always a great opportunity to share our concerns with our representatives and policymakers in Washington,” said Diane Streichert, chief executive officer of BCCAR.  “There are so many issues pending in Congress that greatly impact the property owners and the real estate industry. The meetings are an invaluable exchange of ideas to ensure our viewpoint is heard.”

The NAR Midyear Meeting concluded with the election of the 2009 Board of Directors and a full membership-wide vote on several policy priorities and changes, of which the BCCAR delegation took part.   The NAR board elected the following slate of officers for 2009—Charles McMillan of Texas, president; Vicki Cox Golder of Arizona, president-elect; Ron Phipps of Rhode Island, first vice president; and Jim Helsel, Jr. of Pennsylvania, treasurer.

In addition, the membership approved a series of changes including the go-ahead for NAR staff to negotiate with a technology provider to deliver a “proof of concept” working model for a national library/archive of all real estate parcels in the United States. The library is intended to arm REALTORS® with a broker-controlled, member-only accessed, one-stop repository of property information.

The membership also changed Multiple Listed Service (MLS) model rules to enable practitioners to alert one another to potential short sales and put them on notice about the sharing of any reduction in gross listing commission required by a lender.  Discretionary authority to enable participants to offer cooperative compensation as a percentage of the net sale price was also granted to the MLS.

At the conclusion of the meeting, NAR staff revealed enhancements to the association’s official property listing website–—that now allow the number of photos per listing to increase (from one to four) for the basic free listing that are available to all REALTORS®.  Neighborhood and school information for each listing would also now be free.   For the fee-based premium listings, practitioners can now get up to 25 high-definition photos and the addition of videos as part of a listing detail page.

The Legislative Committee is extremely active and will continue this important work on behalf of BCCAR’s 4,000 members.