As thousands of Realtors flock to the nation’s capital for the annual National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, there’s an array of topics on each attendee’s mind. Inman will be on the scene all week chatting with Realtors about the issues that are most important to the industry, including the unpopular dues hike.
The Fair Housing Act, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, will be a keystone discussion point all week. The conference will include a Wednesday speech from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, but even with Carson speaking on the topic, Todd Pierceall with the North Carolina-based Blue Real Estate Group is concerned about the Trump administration’s attitude toward the Act.
“How ironic that it’s the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and that’s what we’re pushing this week,” Pierceall said. “It’s interesting to see how things are going to play out.”
On the mind of Jenni Ruiz, a board member with Mibor Realtors Association, is best practices for “coming soon,” real estate listings.
She told Inman that she’s most looking forward to, “Sitting with our board and doing some brainstorming at night.”
Austin-based Realtor Mark Minchew plans on attending several meetings with his Congressional Representatives and Senators to get them to understand something he feels is very important.
“We just want more people to be able to buy a home with fewer restrictions,” he said.
He’s also hoping to speak with his representatives about equity when it comes to cover the cost of insurance for homeowners in hazard areas.
“We think that everyone here in the United States should be able to help take the plight when a Category 5 hurricane hits,” he said. “So we just want everybody to share in the cost and not have extremely high floor insurance premiums because they live in coastal areas.”
Joe Chittaphong with the Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors is attending the conference for only the second time this year, but his wife has been coming for over a decade.
“We like the trade shows, the new technologies and ideas from different areas,” Chittaphong told Inman. “[We like to] check out ideas to help grow our business.”
Dave Costner, the owner of North Carolina real estate appraisal company D.M. Costner & Associates, said the no. 1 topic on his mind is how to make property affordable again.
He’s also concerned over some changes coming to the appraisal industry. The Appraisal Qualifications Board — an organization with Congressional power to set industry standards — recently eliminated the requirement for appraisers to have a college degree.
Costner said there are fewer and fewer appraisers these days, but he’s not sure making the change is the right move.
“We’re not entirely against [the changes], but we don’t want to dilute the industry either,” he said.