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President Donald J. Trump addressed real estate professionals on Friday afternoon during the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. While most of his speech focused on the economy, Trump also visited many of his rally-themed topics, and also laughed and joked with the crowd throughout his address.

Kicking off his speech noting that he’s taken an ‘eight-year sabbatical’ from his time spent as a real estate mogul, Trump wasted no time diving into the topic at hand, presenting to an enthusiastic crowd at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Trump praised real estate professionals and pointed to them as playing a special role in the American economy—an economy that’s going to continue to grow as we head toward the future, he said.

“There’s truly never been a better time to build and break ground in America,” explained Trump. “People are doing well, and positive things are happening.”

Trump pointed to the six million jobs that have been created since he took office, 120,000 of which have been in real estate, and also cited the 650,000 new construction jobs that have been fashioned, making America “a nation of builders once again.”

All of this is great news for the 1.3 million members who make up NAR, he said.

“Real estate is a great business, and it’s one that never gets out of our blood,” said Trump, who added that there are more people working in our country than ever before, many of whom will go out and buy a house.

While a majority of Trump’s speech was ‘off the cuff,’ he had a lot to say about the opportunity real estate professionals continue to bring to the table on a day-to-day basis.

“As a group, you’re powerful in this business because you have numbers,” explained Trump, “and Americans put their trust in you.”

Trump also talked about the strides that have been made under the Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ) Program that was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage economic growth in distressed communities through tax benefits.

“We’re making investments in distressed communities and have become successful in areas where money was never invested,” said Trump.

As the economy continues to boom, the Trump Administration is taking action on the deregulation front, as well. In addition to scaling back Dodd-Frank last year, a variety of alternatives are being explored to end the conservatorship of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“Fannie and Freddie still dominate the market with no competition from the private sector, which is an urgent problem,” added Trump, who explained that steps are being taken to develop a framework for the modern housing finance system that welcomes the private sector and protects homeownership for generations to come.

“By modernizing housing programs and ensuring more affordable housing, as well as getting rid of regulations, more building will take place at a much quicker pace.”

Capping off a successful week during which real estate professionals from all around the country gathered in D.C. to share their stories with legislators and policymakers about the many ways they can build communities that are accessible to all, 2019 NAR President John Smaby said he was proud of the work that was done.

“Encompassing the stories of our 1.3 million members, our story is dynamic,” said Smaby. “The REALTOR® voice has been heard on Capitol Hill, and today, our story reaches the Oval Office.”

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