REALTOR® Party - Game Changer Ideas
The REALTOR® Party Game Changer concept originated in 2011 from the thought that a state or local association may have great, original public policy, advocacy or outreach ideas relating to real estate, but they still may not fall under the tools and services included in the REALTOR® Party Initiative. For that reason, the REALTOR® Party Game Changer Program was established.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) looks for entirely new programs, events, or plans that change the way business is typically conducted, thought about or made. In addition, these Game Changer ideas should be ones that can be replicated with other states and local associations.
Game Changer applications are available to applicants in the fall. Completed applications are due by the last day of the year. Following the deadline, applications are reviewed by a Game Changer Review Group, comprised of state and local association executives and government affairs directors. Winners are determined by vote and are based on idea originality and adherence to outlined criteria (see below). Award amounts are available up to $25,000 per applicant.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Game Changer Application or the process, please contact Kyle Lambert London at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-383-1203.
While selection may be partially subjective, based on the tastes of the Review Group and current trends, all awardees meet REALTOR® Party goals and outlined criteria. The winning ideas come from both state and local REALTOR® associations. NAR would like to congratulate the winners of the 2013 Game Changer Program, and encourages all state and local associations to keep thinking out of the box for ways to enhance their involvement in local political advocacy and community issues.
- California Association of REALTORS®
- Houston Association of REALTORS®
- Illinois Association of REALTORS®
- Indiana Association of REALTORS®
- Inland Valleys Association of REALTORS®
- Minnesota Association of REALTORS®
- Sacramento Association of REALTORS®
- Virginia Association of REALTORS®
At a time when financing is complicated by short sales and strict underwriting standards, a closed transaction faces many hurdles. So the California Association of REALTORS® is establishing a Finance Helpline/Lender Ombudsman program to help REALTORS® navigate the various nuances, procedures and overall difficulties with funding transactions.
This program will provide the platform for all information pertaining to financing the transaction. This includes an all-in-one finance helpline that will help REALTORS® finalize and close transactions, in addition to assistance with escalation and moving short sales through the process.
It will enhance REALTOR® proficiency and knowledge by providing information about buyer eligibility programs, loan qualification guidelines, short sale transactions and financial guidance during escrow and closing, ultimately providing agents the timely assistance they need to more quickly and efficiently close their transaction.
In partnership with the City of Houston, the Houston Association of REALTORS® proposed to launch a mobile app that connects area residents and REALTORS® with the City of Houston government.
“ConnectHOU,” a free mobile device application, will provide GPS location-based, government and community services information. This will include information on elected officials, local neighborhoods and organizations, local associations, civic clubs, as well as city services & news, amenities, public transportation, parks and libraries.
But most important to the real estate industry, the app will link to HAR.com and real estate news and issues important to property owners, and those who hope to be, in the City of Houston.
Ultimately this application will position HAR and REALTORS® as neighborhood advocates having strong relationships with their elected officials and policymakers.
The Illinois Association of REALTORS® has developed and is refining a Political Profile Tool with two, key components.
The first component allows REALTOR® members to login and educate themselves on local issues, as well as acquaint themselves with their political jurisdictions and the particular Government Affairs Director who oversees the particular issue for the state. This tool also contains an interactive map, allowing members to view a variety of working issues across the state.
In addition, this program will be used as a resource for Illinois Government Affairs staff, enabling them to identify local members and their political jurisdictions in order to target just the right people for Calls for Action.
The second part of the plan will be a staff-facing component used solely by Illinois Government Affairs Directors, allowing them to target both legislators and REALTOR® members in select jurisdictions where key issues are pending, making way for quick actions to occur when needed.
The Indiana Association of REALTORS® submitted a proposal to develop the Indiana Real Estate Dashboard, an online advocacy tool that will use real estate market data, along with other economic indicators, to create reports.
These reports, created in conjunction with economists at the Indiana Business Research Center, will not only tell the story of current real estate markets for local, state and federally elected officials, but will allow staff to drill down data to the district level to show elected officials what is happening with real estate in their own localities.
The Dashboard may be used by REALTOR® members, policy makers and IAR staff members to better understand the impact of policy decisions on the real estate market.
Finally, information obtained from this research will be used in educational presentations for member updates as well as to create “leave behind,” collateral material to inform legislators on the state of real estate.
The Inland Valley Association of REALTORS® proposed a development of a Cost of Homeownership Index to measure and track expenses that homeowners face as a result of local taxes, transfer fees, local regulatory mandates, and other policies.
This information will allow local associations to better judge how a new fee, tax, mandate or other cost initiative would affect homeowners or potential homeowners.
The Index will also allow the association to identify how high-cost government initiatives, such as schools and utilities, affect the cost of homeownerships, and as a result, would allow for more focused lobbying efforts.
The Cost of Homeownership Index, developed in partnership with a local university and California Association of REALTORS® Research Department, would be available for all to see and will have the capability to compare cities and regions alike. This three-way partnership will maintain the data and find ways to apply what is learned.
Being that 60% of Minnesota’s legislators are new, The Minnesota Association of REALTORS®, in conjunction with four of its local boards, the Greater Lakes Association of REALTORS®; Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®; Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® and the Southeast Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is establishing a ramped-up legislative Key Contacts Program. The goal is to get in on the ground floor and educate these new legislators on key real estate issues.
This program goes beyond existing “grass-roots” programs and incorporates detailed reporting components, updated redistricting databases and in-depth member-training.
An array of reports and training materials has already been developed and is being provided to those participating in the Key Contact Training.
Key Contact Volunteers who meet high-aiming goals by the participating associations will be recognized.
In response to the City of Sacramento’s required Housing Efficiency Rating at the point-of-sale, the Sacramento Association of REALTORS® developed a pilot coalition to proactively improve energy efficiency in select homes. This ultimately led to removal of the point-of-sale requirement in the adopted version of the city’s plan.
The Sacramento Association of REALTORS®’ “Home Energy Conservation Program” completes basic weatherization and provides savings to owner-occupied, low income homes, at no cost to the owner. This program upgrades homes for $200 per home, while garnering significant greenhouse reductions.
In addition, the University of California, Davis is tracking the greenhouse gas reductions achieved on each of these homes. The positive results this program is demonstrating, further makes the point that weatherization can and should be addressed prior to a point-of-sale retrofit. The Sacramento Association stands as an example for other jurisdictions experiencing point of sale retrofits.
The Virginia Association of REALTORS® proposed the idea of utilizing their existing website, RealtorsChoose.com, and taking it to the next level. RealtorsChoose.com is currently a single-purpose site and only used during election years. VAR will showcase RPAC-endorsed candidates, major investors, and all of VAR’s legislative activities as they take their site to the next level.
VAR would like to add greater functionality to this website and promote more member engagement in the legislative process by:
- Integrating live bill tracking into the site, and tying bills directly to RPAC-endorsed candidates;
- Integrating it with NAR’s Convio system to better promote member calls for action;
- Developing RPAC reporting and awareness capabilities for local associations;
- Developing local REALTOR® supported candidates pages including photos, bios, and links to candidates websites; and
- Providing enhanced news feeds on Virginia’s legislative issues.
By creating a tie between supported political candidates, VAR’s legislative agenda and recognizing RPAC contributors, VAR hopes to help members to “connect the dots” between the elements that help support members’ individual businesses and the entire real estate industry.
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