By Chris Nichols
I just got back from the 2011 NAR Issues Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico and wanted to share with the YPN Lounge some of the highlights of this wonderful event. This is, by far, one of my most favorite meetings of the year. It was exciting to see a good number of YPN members in attendance.
The meetings kicked off with a welcome by NAR President Ron Phipps, reminding us that “Home Ownership Matters,” with information and statistics relating to his recent testimony at the capitol. Real estate represents 15 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, and touches almost every aspect of our economy.
We then had a fascinating look at the recent election results and how the current polls are trending with Bill McInturff and Peter Hart. They pointed out that this era will be defined by a massive shift in power from the states and institutions to the people and communities. Confidence in Congress is at 9 percent, and it has been a decade since the majority of Americans have felt the country is heading in the right direction. I did find it amusing that one poll found that 29percent think the economy will get better, while 29 percent think it will get worse… anyone got a coin? Another poll found that 21 percent of Americans believe that their home value is increasing, while 18 percent believe it is decreasing.
Bethany McLean, author of “All The Devils Are Here,” spoke to us about the financial collapse and her inside look at the players involved. Her research into this subject matter was very intense and she had amazing things to share with us. I highly recommend you read her book. She did leave us with a glimmer of hope after she shared so much negative information, when she told us that bad business tends to get the spotlight and press, but that there is much more good business outweighing the bad.
The highlight of day one for me was listening to John Ansbach talk about generational diversity. He poised a great question, which was: “How fluent are you with each of the generations?” He also pointed out that the generation gap maybe bigger than we realize and took us on a journey through each of the four generations. His statistics on the number of members of Congress in each generation was very eye opening. One example is that there are only four U.S. Senators from Generation X, the rest are Baby Boomers and Civics. He also pointed out that if you don’t speak Generation Y, you better learn it! It’s not a good business strategy to ignore 80 million people!
The second day we listened to Vince Malta and Dale Stinton talk about building the REALTOR party. Did you know the REALTOR® brand is now worth $4.5 billion in brand value and has a 95 percent recognition value? Stay tuned for more exciting information as NAR decides how to take advantage of the Citizens United vs. FEC ruling as we increase our advocacy of home ownership.
The dueling economist session was entertaining as the debate was heated and quick. It was too hard to take notes and make sense of it all, but let’s just say every economist has a different view and opinion of where we are headed!
Former Senator Trent Lott and former Congressman Paul Kanjorski gave us an inside look at their view of the recent elections, the current Congress, and what they see happening in 2012, with no partisan spin… yeah right! Finally, we wrapped the conference up with an amazing and entertaining discussion between James Carville and Mary Matalin.
I highly recommend you become a President’s Circle member and attend next year’s Issues Conference! It will be held Feb. 9-12, 2012 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Florida.