2010 NAR Treasurer Jim Helsel speaks to the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance Committee at the 2010 Midyear Meetings.
On Wednesday and Thursday thousands of REALTORS® went up to Capitol Hill to talk with members of Congress about four important issues facing our industry. For the first time ever in the history of our Midyear Legislative Meetings, one of those issues was commercial real estate.
As a commercial practitioner for over 34 years, I’m completely disheartened that our sector is facing so much turmoil. But I’m encouraged that REALTORS® are down on the ground working to resolve the liquidity problems we’re facing.
I want you to know two things about where we are in reviving commercial real estate. One, it’s going to take patience. We’re working hard, and we’re seeing incremental signs of progress. In fact, NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun just reported last week that about 290,000 private sector jobs were created in April. That should increase demand for office space, and that’s fantastic news.
Second, I have to tell you that it’s going to take more than just talking to members of Congress to get our industry back on track. We have to start investing in them.
What do I mean exactly? Well, I spoke to the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance on Wednesday morning and stressed that now is the most important time for commercial practitioners to be investing in RPAC. If we want leaders in Congress who understand and embrace real estate issues, we have to invest in them.
If we don’t take that step, it’s a good bet that the candidates who make it to Washington won’t understand REALTOR® issues or be supportive of them. Everything you need to know about RPAC and investing in REALTOR® Champions can be found at the REALTOR® Action Center. I’ve been investing in RPAC for years, and it’s one of the best moves I’ve made on behalf of my business.
I arrived at the meetings last weekend pumped to talk with members and to work on putting REALTORS® On the Rise in 2010. I’m going into this weekend feeling like we’re doing just that.
Although progress can be slow, I’m not deterred. I work in one of the greatest industries in America. Whether I’m in Washington working on REALTOR® issues or back in Harrisburg working on my own business, I’m committed to taking commercial real estate—and real estate in general—into a future of success. — Jim Helsel, 2010 NAR Treasurer