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Thousands of REALTORS® from across the nation are meeting with legislators, regulators and industry leaders this week to advance the issues critical to their businesses, communities and clients as the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo begins.

More than 8,500 REALTORS® and guests from across the country are expected to attend the meetings, which kicks off today in Washington, D.C. and runs through May 14.

“There is a wide range of residential and commercial real estate issues that are of high importance to REALTORS® and are coming to a head right now, so we’ll be using the strength of our combined voices to remind members of Congress to maintain sound real estate markets,” says National Association of REALTORS® President Tom Salomone. “Furthermore, we’ll be setting the stage for next year, after the elections, when House and Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle are expected to move tax reform proposals.”

Conference attendees will hear from industry and political thought leaders, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who will discuss student loan debt, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who will share perspectives on housing finance and student debt; political pollsters Peter Hart and Bill McInturff, who will offer insights into the mood of the country and its impact on  the 2016 presidential and congressional campaigns; investigative journalist and author Bob Woodward, who will share  his thoughts on the presidential elections, and Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner, who will discuss financial and commercial real estate markets. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun will also share residential and commercial real estate market updates and forecasts.

Throughout the week, REALTORS® will also flood Capitol Hill and meet directly with members of Congress and their staff to discuss the legislative and regulatory environment and its effect on residential and commercial real estate. Among the high-profile policy issues that REALTORS® will raise are extending the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, maintaining important real estate tax policies, Federal Housing Administration reforms, and ensuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee fees are not extended, increased and diverted away for unrelated government spending.

Attendees will also be conducting in-person meetings with officials and staff at the White House and more than a half dozen regulatory agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service,  Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others.

For a full meeting schedule, visit realtor.org/legislative.

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