REALTORS® Continue to Wow

Washington REALTORS President Jerry Martin was featured in The Olympian with a message about the Fair Housing Act, protecting industry standards and the new WR Building in Olympia...
Photo caption: Left to right - Congressman Denny Heck, WR President Jerry Martin, WR CEO Steve Francks, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall and Co-Founder of the Learning Seed Merritt Long.

New building, more victories

As president of Washington REALTORS®, there have been many “Wow!” moments for me this year…I have been utterly amazed by the volunteer and advocacy accomplishments of our Association members and what their passionate efforts mean to our nation, our state and our communities.

One of Washington REALTORS®’ many accomplishments has been the completion of our new, state-of-the-art building on the corner of 14th and Jefferson in Olympia, WA. At the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, elected officials, dignitaries and special guest speakers not only praised the beauty of the facility but also applauded the great work of the REALTOR® organization that is headquartered there.

More than just a beautiful structure near the entrance to our state Capitol, it is an inspiring reminder of what our state Association of nearly 22,000 members represents and the victories we have consistently won to protect home and property owners. Here are just a few from this year.

Protecting Home and Property Owners
At the national level, REALTORS® once again successfully supported an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). REALTORS® in our state were among the more than 129,000 REALTORS® throughout the U.S. who sent letters to members of Congress urging the extension. We were a powerful voice for the many homeowners in more than 20,000 communities nationwide who rely on the NFIP for flood insurance.

Here in Washington state this year, the Legislature passed a measure to fix the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court ruling known as the “Hirst decision” regarding water availability for new private wells. It was a huge victory for property owners, a remedy that the Washington REALTORS® had worked on for more than a year.

Protecting the American Dream of Homeownership
Throughout 2018, our national, state and local Associations have continued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act. We have taken this yearlong occasion to raise awareness of fair housing to help prevent housing discrimination while promoting equal housing opportunities for all.

REALTORS® have also worked to find solutions to the growing housing affordability crisis in our state. In January, more than 400 Washington REALTORS® met with their respective legislators to discuss the real estate market, particularly the low housing inventory and the need for affordable housing opportunities.

We encouraged legislators throughout the legislative session to address the entire spectrum of both urban and rural housing needs from homelessness to improving the supply of all housing types-houses, condominiums and apartments.

Protecting Industry Standards
Real estate brokers who display the REALTOR® “R” logo are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), as well as our state and local Associations.

But, there is much more behind that “R” than simply membership in an organization! Brokers who show the “R” on their lapel, card or website voluntarily agree to abide by a strict Code of Ethics that defines high standards of industry professionalism. 

And so…it is our hope that when you are driving up to the state Capitol Campus in Olympia and pass by our beautiful building, that it will be a reminder of REALTORS®’ professionalism, advocacy and volunteerism. We are proud of our remarkable new building, and even more proud of our work on behalf of those for whom home and property ownership is a big part of their American Dream!

Note: Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®; look for the REALTOR® logo when choosing your broker. It indicates they belong to the National Association of REALTORS® and pledge to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.


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