Politics is one of those subjects that most people avoid because of the reactions it can solicit. Some people love politics. I am one of those people, but it doesn’t really matter because the honest truth is this:
If you are going to have a successful and sustained career in real estate, you have no choice but to be involved in politics.
Whether you like it or not, politics affect every aspect of the real estate industry. From environmental issues to taxation on the federal level, water rights to education on the state level, or parks to police on the local level, you must have your finger on the pulse of what is happening politically. It is your job to protect people from and inform them of the things that affect their ability to buy or sell property. Additionally, when something threatens the viability of the industry, it is imperative that you be seen as someone people can trust on these issues because you need to be able to help mobilize voters on these issues.
Now, being aware of what is going on politically in your area doesn’t mean that you have to become a political animal or sit around watching CNN or Fox News all day. If you aren’t someone who is in love with the idea of being political, there are a lot of ways for you to stay abreast of what is going on in your area. On the national level, pay attention to what the NAR, RPAC and the Realtor Party are sending out to members. Sign up for their newsletters. Also, follow the Congressmen and Senators for your market areas on Facebook and Twitter. You can do the same thing on the state level. Almost all of the state real estate associations have a PAC or Political Affairs division. Make sure you know what their positions are on issues. On the local level, you can watch the news or bookmark the local paper(s) and scan headlines. Follow local influencers on social media and see if your local association has a political affairs committee so you can find out what they are up to.
Many people think, unfortunately, that the political doings of their local and state associations are limited to endorsing candidates. You would be surprised at the power of the real estate voice with politicians. Not only are there some 1.3 million Realtors in the US, which makes for a considerable voting block, but the Realtors have incredible influence in their communities. Realtors are, for the most part, go-getters and can be the best friend or worst enemy of a politician when properly motivated.
Make sure that you know what is going on in the political spectrum around you. If you don’t do it now, it may be too late when you finally start to pay attention.