For a number of years, the Michigan Association of REALTORS® has been one of the top Advocacy groups in Lansing. Please share your thoughts on why it is important for our industry to build relationships in the legislature, and for members to keep an eye on what is happening in the political arena.
BRAD:Government very much impacts our market, our economy, and the way our members do business. Whether or not the public might choose to believe that government plays a very large role in their lives on a daily basis, it’s important to have relationships with legislators so they understand the real estate industry, and what it means to own a home or property. In the age of term limits, we have younger members of the legislature who have never owned a home. It’s our job to educate them on the realities of the marketplace and build strong relationships, and a lot of those begin at the local level.
ROB: Reciprocally, experienced REALTOR® members inevitably hold important positions within their local community. They often have the best understanding of the relationship between good government and property values as part of the job that they do. As much as it’s important for REALTORS® to understand how government impacts them, it’s very important that they, as leaders in their local communities, are able to have their voice translated to state government.
How do term limits and the ever-changing political dynamic in the Legislative and Executive branches of government affect our top industry concerns, such as private property rights, and burdensome regulations?
BRAD: It’s a re-education process for somebody every two years in the House, and every four years in the Senate. The fact is that these legislators are here for only a short time, and the institutional knowledge is dramatically reduced and more concentrated in the lobby corps or the staff that has worked in the legislature for a number of years. It’s a constant re-education process because a lot of these folks came to Lansing to address one important issue. Once they get here, while they can address that issue, they begin drinking from a virtual fire hose of information. With term limits comes a chance to build new relationships and to help educate them on our industry issues.
How did the concept of the MAR Policy podcast come about?
BRAD: It was foisted upon us by the communications department (laughs). But we willingly participated because of our own egos and our love of the camera.
In closing, what is the best part of your job?
BRAD: It’s a great organization to work for. The members care deeply about the association and their communities. The people who work for our organization care a lot about our membership. Our overall goal is something that is fairly universal and readily understandable to anyone you talk to – the ownership of real property. Whether they are starting your own business, or purchasing their first home, it’s a concept that everyone strives to achieve. Whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, people get it and understand it.
ROB: The best part of my job is that I get to work with Brad. BRAD: Ditto. I get to work with me, too.
15 ROB: Both parts of that answer are true.
ROB: I’ll never forget the day when I was working as a legislative staffer, there was a bill up on the legalization of ferrets on the same day there was a bill up involving a major tax issue, then came something on guns and another bill reforming welfare. Unless you’ve served, or picked up a House or Senate calendar to look through it, you can’t believe the variety of issues and spectrum of information that our legislative leaders are asked to understand before making an informed vote. From our perspective, you have to be able to fit absolute truth on a 3x5 card, and I like to think we are as good at that as anybody.
For the most up to date information on issues circulating under the Capitol Dome, please check out the MAR Public Policy Podcasts at www.mirealtors.com
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