NAR Looks to Influence Politics

This week the National Association of Realtors (NAR) launched two initiatives to ensure that Realtors’ point of view will be heard loud and clear whenever key votes are taken at all levels of government.

NAR is already a political heavyweight with more than a million members and is now planning to bring to bear even more political weight.

As part of a broader consumer outreach strategy, NAR plans to engage consumers directly through emails and browser ads that introduce the association as an ally in homeownership. The group has also launched an innovative political-campaign school to help elect members to office on the local, state and national levels.

The email undertaking is massive, involving messages sent directly from the Realtors group to about 82 million current and aspiring homeowners. The sheer number of emails is so large that NAR estimates it will take up to six weeks to send each round of emails.

But the results could be very important.

“When it comes times for homeowners to weigh in they will be informed, up to speed and engaged. Getting an agent to call his lawmakers isn’t working anymore. But when a story falls and voters push a button, it can affect a lot of political pressure,” the report said.

Launched nationally this spring, the political-campaign school initiative is designed to teach Realtors how to run successful political campaigns at the local, state and national levels.

Although Gerald Allen, the Realtors group’s managing director of campaign services, says the group’s Candidate Training Academy “is fundamentally focused on the process of winning campaigns, not issues,” the program is clearly aimed at protecting the things Realtors hold dear — first and foremost, the real estate profession.

What do you think about these initiatives? Will you take advantage of either of them?