2015 LARA President Rick Geaslen attended the NAR Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. for his first time May 11-15 and was inspired by the powerful level of information exchanged on many levels. We asked him to share his Top 3 experiences and this is what he had to say:

“The Round Table Discussions with other REALTOR® association presidents from around the country was one of the most exciting experiences for me. These meetings allowed me to discuss issues with other volunteer leaders and hear insights from boards of all sizes. One thing that intrigued me is those associations with more interaction between the association leadership and sales directors at the member brokerages. I believe we should be incorporating a ‘LARA update’ into sales meetings at our offices. Our CEO Denise Schultz and/or I and other leaders could deliver these updates. Another idea I liked is offering gift cards to the first member that replies that they have read our monthly news bulletin. It’s fun to reward those who are keeping up to date with our activities. We also discussed communicating association news via text messages.”

Rick also enjoyed discussions on RPAC fundraising, including year-end drawings from names of all members who contributed the minimum or ‘fair share’ for that year. “One of the local presidents said he increased
his RPAC funds every year by almost 10-15%,” he shares.

“My third topic was the most interesting to me, because it involved vacation home rentals, which is a hot topic here in the lakes area.” Rick shares. “I talked with numerous local and state association leaders and they had some interesting ideas. Some suggested possibly allowing the county to levy a tax (5%) on all rentals under 30 days and then propose that the county would send 2.5% to a reserve for transportation (i.e. county roads) that may be in need of maintenance. The other 2.5% could possibly go to a not for profit organization (Twin Oaks Shelter for the Homeless, Habitat for Humanity, etc.) Essentially, this would help the community, county, and local property owners because they would not lose their right to rent for under 30 days.”

Rick expressed that he felt extremely honored to represent Lakes Area REALTORS® and Wisconsin property owners at this information-packed conference. He was particularly proud of the Wisconsin REALTORS® leadership and the way they presented to our legislators in D.C. on our behalf. “After this experience I am more optimistic than ever about Wisconsin real estate and where our industry is going!” he says enthusiastically. “When we show up, we show up professionally, and in great numbers. It’s a privilege to witness first-hand how powerful our messages are delivered.” This may have been Rick’s first trip to D.C. for this event, but he says it won’t be his last. (Mark Your Calendar! – Plan to attend the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 9-14 in Washington, D.C.)

LARA Leaders at Capitol in D.C. May, 2015

LARA Leaders at Capitol in D.C. May, 2015