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RISMEDIA, June 30, 2009-“Now more than ever before, the real estate industry has become the focal point of congressional leaders,” explains Ed Lawler, director, Broker Involvement Program, National Association of Realtors® (NAR). “Congress understands that economic recovery is dependent on a housing recovery, so it is looking closely at legislation that affects our industry. Realtors have a golden opportunity to help shape the legislation that is being crafted.”

Congress responds to pressure from constituents, and Realtors can generate pressure by sending letters to their senators and representatives.

Broker Involvement Program

One of the best ways of ensuring the Realtor voice is heard is for brokers to rally the support of their agents. NAR has found that when brokers alert agents to key issues, they listen and, most importantly, take action.

“When agents are asked to participate by their broker, the response rate is much higher,” says Carole Horn, NAR’s Member Mobilization liaison. “They trust that their broker understands what is good for their business, so they’re more likely to respond.”

NAR’s new Broker Involvement Program offers a quick and simple tool brokers can use to encourage their agents to participate in Calls for Action (CFAs), a highly effective way to lobby legislators. The program provides brokers’ agents with a direct communication link to their lawmakers. In just seconds, those agents can express their opinions with a prewritten letter-all they have to do is sign and send.

The Broker Involvement Program costs nothing and requires only a small amount of a broker’s time. When he/she enrolls in the program, the broker receives access to an easy-to-use, Web-based function-the Broker Portal. Through the portal, agents receive a special message from their broker inviting them to participate in a CFA.

NAR does the work for the broker, creating a personalized message and CFA with the broker’s name and company logo. With his/her approval, NAR sends the broker’s message to his/her agents, along with the prewritten letter ready for them to sign.

The broker always has the choice of participating in a CFA; and whenever there is a new CFA, NAR will alert him/her by phone and e-mail. The broker’s personal e-mail message and the CFA will be available for review at the Broker Portal. Within two business days, brokers can choose to edit the message to their agents or decline to participate. Otherwise, NAR will automatically send the broker’s message and the CFA to his/her agents.

Strong, United Realtor Voice

NAR has professional lobbyists as well as Realtor volunteers who interact with Congressional leaders; however, the most powerful means of influencing positive legislative outcomes is the voice of NAR’s 1.1 million members.

With your support, NAR can increase response rates to CFAs and bring a stronger, more united Realtor voice to members of Congress.

“Members of Congress need to know where our members stand on issues,” says Horn. “It’s one thing for NAR leaders to visit legislators, but it really reinforces our position when Congressmen understand that our 1.1 million members are also on board.

“Brokers have embraced this program and are very excited about its potential because they understand it’s their opportunity to play a positive role in influencing the future of our industry-and our nation.”