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REALTORS show the strength of their brand in Tallahassee

REALTORS show the strength of their brand in Tallahassee

Nearly 60 REALTORS® represented the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® during Great American REALTOR® Days in Tallahassee March 29-31. In all, more than 1,000 REALTORS from throughout the state enjoyed the annual Florida Realtors® legislative event, which enabled them to speak with their state representatives and gain a better understanding of how Florida law is created while supporting the REALTOR® Party’s stance on key issues that are important to the real estate industry.

On the bus ride over to Tallahassee March 29, NEFAR’s band of REALTORS® received the best news ever – The Live Local Act, a key piece of legislation that supports affordable housing, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Although news of this Florida Realtors’® triumph came early in the trip, the REALTORS® still had plenty to do to complement the state association’s legislative agenda. After arriving at the hotel, some group members attended the Florida Realtors® Office of Public Policy Open House, while others caught the bus to the FSU Civic Center to be part of the audience during the Florida Realtors® Public Policy Committee meeting, where two NEFAR members – 2023 President Diana Galavis, and Millie Kanyar, a Florida Real Estate Commission member – had seats at the large U-shaped table.

The following day, Government Affairs Director Nancy Garcia and Government Affairs Coordinator Trenity Bridges seamlessly took care of the details so that NEFAR’s Legislative Key Contacts could lead the NEFAR REALTORS in group meetings with Northeast Florida’s state legislators.

Serving as key contacts on the trip were:

  • Missi Howell to Senator Clay Yarborough
  • Millie Kanyar to Senator Tracie Davis
  • Marc Jernigan to Senator Jennifer Bradley
  • Diane Cook to Representative Sam Garrison
  • April Hall-Lloyd to Representative Angie Nixon
  • Diana Galavis to Representative Kimberly Daniels
  • Samantha Heflin to Representative Dean Black
  • Mario Gonzalez to Representative Kiyan Michael
  • Rory Dubin to Representative Jessica Baker
  • Ben Bates to Representative Bobby Payne

Key contact Russell Grooms was unable to attend, so Galavis, Dubin and trip sponsor Jeff Stoneking of Brightway Insurance, led the conversation with Representative Wyman Duggan.

During the meetings with the legislators, NEFAR’s key contacts shared a specially made pamphlet from Florida Realtors® with each government official that succinctly explained the REALTOR® Party position on several key issues that are important to the real estate community.

Among the issues discussed were:

  • Rent Control and Landlord Tenant Law
  • Rising Property Insurance Costs
  • Water Quality and Environmental Funding
  • Business rent tax
  • Private Property rights
  • Condominium reforms
  • REALTOR® License Plate for REALTORS® only with all proceeds supporting homeownership programs in Florida.

Several of the legislators expressed gratitude for the pamphlet and the clarity it brought to the REALTOR® position on these vital issues.

The trip also included a seated luncheon at the Civic Center on Thursday, which was sponsored by Florida Realtors®. Moderating the event was Florida Realtors® President Mike McGraw. Florida Realtors® officers were introduced and several legislative dignitaries spoke from the podium including Kathleen Passidomo, president of the Florida Senate, and Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, whose wife is a REALTOR®.

RPAC Major Investors enjoyed an invitation-only reception at the scenic Governor’s Club on Adam’s Street. After the reception, all GARD participants were invited to eat, drink, and be merry during the famous annual Adam’s Street Block Party, where each participant received a REALTOR® T-shirt. Partiers also had a chance to have their photo taken on the special blue REALTOR®-branded motorcycle which is to become a prize in NAR’s Riding with the Brand sweepstakes.