Over the past six months, the value of home in our lives has shifted, transforming American society and solidifying REALTORS®’ central role in our lives and in the policy-making decisions that shape our nation.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took its grip on the world, and we began to realize the economic toll it would take on real estate, years of investment and relationship-building on Capitol Hill immediately started to pay dividends, ensuring the 1.4 million members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) would get the support they needed and deserved.
NAR’s advocacy team was front and center at the debate for each of the four federal coronavirus relief bills, securing an unprecedented expansion of traditional unemployment insurance to include independent contractors; loans to help REALTORS® cover business expenses; and a payroll tax delay allowing employers and the self-employed to defer tax payments, among various other relief and recovery measures.
So many of NAR’s policy priorities helped keep America’s REALTORS® afloat during the pandemic and played a key role in safeguarding our economy at a time when things seemed darkest. The REALTOR® message comes through so clearly on Capitol Hill because the issues that matter to real estate matter to our nation.
It’s fair to say that the residential real estate industry would not be pacing America’s economic recovery the way it is today without the support of NAR’s advocacy team. And the unified voice of 1.4 million REALTORS® has helped to stabilize residential real estate despite all the instability around us.
As the worldwide disruption caused by COVID-19 was at its peak, the murder of George Floyd on May 25 made what was already a tumultuous, trying year even more difficult to comprehend.
In response—building off years of investments in the fight to support fair housing—NAR and our members were able to immediately mobilize behind this cause.
In January 2020, NAR began implementing our new “ACT” plan—emphasizing Accountability, Culture Change and Training—designed to ensure REALTORS® are doing everything possible to protect housing rights in America. NAR is also working with our partners to develop a second ACT plan that advocates for housing policy that addresses systemic discrimination and the legacy of housing segregation in America.
But the work, as we have all seen, is far from finished. As an industry, we must continue to work together to promote inclusion and equality.
The viability of our members depends on the free, fair, transparent and efficient transfer of property in America, and we know that fair housing protections are vital to advancing our nation’s progress toward thriving and inclusive neighborhoods and communities. NAR remains committed to ensuring the REALTOR® voice continues to lead our industry in the fight to strengthen and uphold fair housing laws.
As America’s largest trade association, NAR has a powerful voice and a tremendous amount of influence among this nation’s legislators and policymakers. We believe it is our responsibility to do everything we can to fight injustice and to make our world a better place for everyone.
Overall, in spite of everything we’ve had to overcome—in a year defined by unrest and uncertainty—REALTORS® have emerged as a true beacon of hope for America. We have helped lead America’s economy from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to play a leading role in the ongoing fight for racial inclusion and equality. This commitment to our clients, America’s consumers, and to all of the world’s citizens, is who we are. And it is who we will remain.
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.