PRESIDENT'S CORNER: It’s Time to Step Up for Our Industry

Ron Garafalo | September 2019

Hello to all my friends at HGAR.

As summer ends and fall begins, we start thinking about the beauty of the Hudson Valley. Tens of thousands will be visiting our area to view the beauty of the fall foliage, visit our farms and explore all that our region has to offer. We have many Realtor events coming up to keep us busy as well. In addition to working with our clients on what is most likely the biggest purchase or sale they will experience, we have HGAR Member’s Day, NAR’s annual conference in San Francisco and NYSAR’s Triple Play in Atlantic City, NJ.

There are only a few more months for us (HGAR) to reach our RPAC goal. Every year, NAR sets a goal for every association in the country, which is based on the size of their membership. HGAR’s RPAC goals are $219,777 and 3,815 participants. As you probably know, we have about 12,000 members in our great association. As of the end of August, we have contributed $143, 944 with 2,838 members contributing. It is easy to see that we have a way to go to reach our goals.

I believe without reservation, and I know many of you agree, that RPAC—the Realtor’s Political Action Committee—is extremely important to our careers, and to protecting private property rights. It is the only PAC in the country that is organized for Realtors, run by Realtors and exists to promote issues important to Realtors. RPAC provides financial support to lawmakers and candidates who understand private property rights and the real estate industry.

Over the years there have been numerous successes in laws that have been enacted such as the 2% Property Tax Cap, STAR Property Tax Relief, and the increase in FHA limits that RPAC has played a role in. Additionally, RPAC played a role in defeating proposals that would have been detrimental to our industry, such as prohibiting Realtors from practicing real estate outside their home county, requiring sellers within 500 feet of an agricultural district to complete a disclosure form and a proposal to require sprinkler systems in every new construction.

I am not suggesting that we are successful in all the proposals we have supported or all that we are against. However, if we didn’t have a voice in the many issues affecting real estate, we would be much less successful. I sincerely believe every one of our members should make a RPAC contribution. It is that important.

For those 2,838 members that have contributed, I thank you. That means there are almost 10,000 members that have not. I ask those that have not to please contribute today. Twenty or thirty dollars will go a long way in our continued fight to protect our industry and private property rights.

I challenge those that have contributed to speak to one agent in your office and ask them to join you. I ask every sales manager and broker owner to have your next sales meeting be about RPAC and to e-mail your agents about being part of this very important cause.

I have included a link to the form that you can use to contribute: RPAC Pledge Form

Please help us reach our goal and continue to be part of protecting our industry and the clients we represent.

Ron Garafalo
Ron Garafalo is 2019 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc