If there’s one thing Americans can agree on right now, it’s how much disagreement there is. Polarization is at an all-time high and Washington seems hopelessly gridlocked by partisans on both sides of the aisle. But one political organization has found a way to build coalitions at the local and state levels that are consistently effecting change on housing issues: the Realtor Party.
The Realtor Party is an extension of the nation’s largest trade association, the National Association of Realtors, which boasts 1.4 million members spread throughout the nation in big cities and small towns. There are more than 1,200 local NAR associations, each with leaders embedded in local communities.
NAR has been mobilizing its members since its founding in 1908 as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, when its objective was “to unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests.” In 1969 NAR formed its political action committee, RPAC, to promote the election of pro-Realtor candidates, and in 2010, it launched the Realtor Party.
Funded by NAR membership dues, the Realtor Party stays close to NAR’s initial mission of exerting influence, describing itself as “the only advocacy group in America that fights exclusively for homeownership, real estate investment, strong communities and the free enterprise system.”