There is power in numbers, or so the saying goes. And at the National Association of Realtors midyear conference in Washington, D.C., last week, there were constant reminders of the massive political might wielded on behalf of the more than 1 million Realtors across the country.
On the lofty ascent from the Metro station’s escalator toward the conference hotel, Realtors were greeted by rows of banner advertisements proclaiming the power of 1 million. Several booths at the conference and trade show were dedicated to the association’s own programs, events and innovations. The sheer volume of the association’s promotional and informational pamphlets, flyers, booklets, guides, directories, magazines, agendas and other assorted paper products could bust the seams on many carry-on bags.
This annual midyear conference, which features a concentrated barrage of lobbying visits with members of Congress and their representatives at Capitol Hill, centers on the activities of the association’s political heavyweights. And in that regard, this year featured more of the same: a legislative and political forum, a dozen briefings for Hill visits, Hill visits, a federal priority issues briefing, a regulatory policy forum, a federal housing policy committee meeting, a legal action committee meeting, and a government affairs directors meeting, and an association directors meeting, to list just a few of the conference events.
About 7,500 Realtors and their guests were expected at the event, and at last count the association estimated that a crowd of about 8,300 attended the weeklong event, and 203 companies were represented at the sold-out conference trade show.
Realtor badges and blue nametags of attendees dotted the landscape throughout the neighborhoods near the conference and the nation’s capital. Realtors were spotted riding the Metro trains, touring the association’s new headquarters building and visiting memorials and Smithsonian museums.
Some of the badges and name tags were decorated with colorful ribbons, pins and lettering that represented various designations, honors and other recognitions that somehow set them apart from the regular lot of rank-and-file Realtors. It’s no secret that Realtors wear many hats these days, as representatives for home buyers and sellers, technologists, marketers and self-promoters.
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