REALTORS® know what it’s like trying to urge a reluctant client to make a real estate decision that’s clearly in that client’s best interest. They’re often not persuaded by the well-reasoned counsel of their REALTOR® adviser – maybe because they perceive that you have skin in the game. Who knows? Often, though, all it takes someone else – a third party they trust: parent, friend, partner – pointing out the merits of what you’ve been saying all along, and suddenly the fog clears, bells ring, birds sing, and your client does the right thing.

Ironically, an awful lot of REALTORS seem to be that way themselves when it comes to RPAC, conjuring up all manner of reasons – from the sad state of the economy to the distastefulness of politics in general to philosophical differences about the candidates RPAC supports – for not making a measly $20 Fair Share annual investment.

So here, for that crowd, is a third-party perspective on RPAC’s effectiveness – its very real impact on your business.  I’m hoping it pushes a few of you over the edge. (I mean that in the best way.)

It’s a January 21 article from Politico, the online publication about politics for political types.

We link to the full piece below, but the gist is that REALTORS®’ political efforts nationwide in last November’s Congressional elections were not only effective in electing pro-real estate candidates; those efforts are also a harbinger of what post-partisan politics will look like in coming elections: campaign support driven not by party affiliation, but by how well a candidate represents the interests of a particular profession – REALTORS and property owners, say.

Here are some salient excerpts:

A year ago this week, the Supreme Court freed corporate America to fully engage in campaigns, prompting dire predictions that Big Oil, Wal-Mart or even foreign firms would suddenly flood the political marketplace.

That didn’t happen. But at least one industry sector quietly and without controversy became a major player in the 2010 midterms – in a way that some campaign-finance experts believe could be the wave of the future for 2012 and beyond.

The model: the “Realtors’ Party,” the moniker the National Association of Realtors gave to its $6.5 million election effort, which backed a bipartisan slate of 103 pro-Realtor candidates and saw election of 66 of them.

And:

Much of what the Realtors did in 2010 could have been done before the landmark Citizens United ruling – pooling contributions from individual Realtors and targeting pro-Realtor politicians for assistance.

But by 2012, some experts envision a day when industry groups will not only hit up their individual members, but their corporate accounts for campaign cash as well – and then target their spending in ways that have less to do with Democrat or Republican, and more to do with who is pro or con on their big issues.

And this one:

In a post-election boast on its website, the association said: “Because of these ongoing efforts, the next Congress will contain many old friends and new friends who understand real estate issues.”

Those aren’t just feel good messages. The real estate industry had real stakes in the election. It is still in a precarious recovery and will be looking to Washington for continued help with foreclosures, lending and other issues. Most of the candidates it supported sit on the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees the housing industry.

The Realtors’ campaign differed from that of such large trade and business groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in that it was built around one industry and targeted at a subset of candidates with clear records of advocating on housing issues while serving in Congress, a state legislature or on the job.

Now, as an insider, I find those compelling reasons to see RPAC in a new light. It’s sort of what we’ve been saying all along: We’re not about party affiliation we’re not about social issues, we’re about real estate and property ownership, and – at least as last November’s elections go – the proof of our effectiveness in protecting those interests – protecting YOU and your business – is in Politico…er, the pudding.

Maybe you don’t hear bells (or birds), but do the right thing anyway. Invest your fair share. It really does matter.

Here’s link to full story in Politico: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47969.html