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Front Page - Friday, May 24, 2019

Realtors meet in D.C. for Hill visits, presidential address

Last week members of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors joined more than 10,000 Realtors from across the nation in Washington D.C., to further our work with Congress to advance policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to buy, invest, own and sell commercial and residential real estate.

This trip is so satisfying because we are able to see firsthand the importance and impact of advocacy on a state and national level. It reminds me that our business and the rights of property owners must never be taken for granted.

This year, we advocated for several legislative initiatives, including equal protection for the LGBT community under the Fair Housing Act, housing finance reform, national flood insurance program reauthorization and housing affordability and accessibility.

We heard the latest market forecasts from National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, who was the keynote speaker for our 2018 Economic Update Luncheon, co-hosted with the Home Builders of Greater Chattanooga.

While in D.C., we even had the attention of the highest office in the land. Every year, NAR invites the sitting U.S. president to speak to our group, should their schedule allow. The last to address our conference was George W. Bush in 2005.

President Trump addressed Realtors, saying, “Homeownership and what you do as Realtors is a part of Americana. You work hard, you love people, you love this country.”

So why do we take the time to make this visit? 2019 National Association of Realtors President John Smaby put it best: “The day-to-day business dealings of Realtors are directly impacted by the decisions made by our policymakers and regulators, making it vitally important for leaders on Capitol Hill to hear from our members.”

As members of America’s largest trade association, my fellow Realtors and I know the importance of making sure our voices and the voices of homeowners from across the nation are heard.

An app doesn’t advocate for equal protection under the Fair Housing Act. A website doesn’t fight for access to flood insurance. Realtors do.

Realtors fight for homeowners because that’s who we R®.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors® nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Information: www.gcar.net, 423 698-8001.