Mario Arriaga
First Group

Mario ArriagaI would like to take a few minutes and let you know why I think the Texas REALTOR® Political Action Committee (TREPAC) is vital to each and everyone of us as REALTOR® professionals.

My numerous years in our profession did not begin with me investing in TREPAC. I only began after someone shared with me what TREPAC was and did for our profession.  I hope these brief comments can help you see the value that I saw and continue to see.

TREPAC is a voluntary contribution by our members to support the issues that impact our real estate business. There is a saying, “If real estate is your profession, then politics is definitely part of your business.” When you make your investment in TREPAC, it gives our profession the ability to be a major force to discuss and have an impact on issues that greatly affect our business. You might ask how this is accomplished.

First, the funds that you invest with TREPAC help elect our local, state and national officials. Secondly, and just as important, it is done with the grassroots efforts that our statewide Realtors® engage with as they have the opportunity to interview and help elect our representatives in government that share the same REALTOR® values that are so important to our business and the clients and customers that we serve.

When we make our investment in TREPAC, it allows us to be at the table to meet with our elected leaders when they are considering the passage of different bills that impact not only our profession, but the pocketbook of the clients and consumers that we work so hard to serve.  It is often said, “If you are not at the table, then you are most probably on the menu.” Over the last several years, your investment in TREPAC has helped our state associations (HAR, TAR and NAR) champion the passage of numerous bills that benefit each and everyone of us. Listed are a few examples of recent successes:

Mixed use tax benefit for exemption for personal vehicles used in business–this has saved each of our members approximately $600 per year in personal property taxes. Passage of  a Texas constitutional amendment prohibiting a transfer tax on the sale of real property. Extension of flood insurance by Congress, which is vital to our clients and customers in our market areas.

Our investment in TREPAC helps us to monitor and comment on numerous ordinances and bills that are proposed during each period that our elected officials convene. With our support and response to Calls for Action, we have the opportunity to let our elected officials know that we are an active and engaged grassroots organization that has a strong voice because we not only represent our members locally, statewide, and nationally, but we represent the private property rights of all citizens.

I believe our profession is blessed to have so many members engaged in the practice of real estate that understand the importance of investing in TREPAC.  I ask you, if you have not yet made your TREPAC investment, do so now and join with the rest of your fellow REALTORS® and protect the profession that is our business.  So don’t forget, you can begin your investment with $45 each year, and I trust that as you see the benefits, you spread the word and increase your investment to even higher levels. Through the years, I have seen the benefit of investing in TREPAC and consider it an insurance policy to protect our profession and private property rights that we all cherish.  To all of you that have made your investment, thank you!

For those of you that will be joining TREPAC, welcome aboard!

Chance Brown | Broker/Owner
Realty ONE Group

chance_brown_7_167When I started my career, I did not invest in TREPAC.  To tell the truth, I was opposed to the PAC because of some of the endorsements it had made over the years.  It wasn’t until I took a trip to Austin with the Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program that my opinion changed. On that trip, I got the opportunity to see the hard work that the TREPAC staff and volunteers put in to protect not only REALTORS®, but our clients as well. What struck me most is that without TREPAC, there would be no one else to stand up for property owners in Texas.There is only one organization that works tirelessly to protect private property rights and empower home ownership in Texas, and that is TREPAC. On the way home from Austin, I became a major investor in the PAC and consider my annual renewal of that commitment to be one of the best investments I make in the future of my business.

René Hightire
George E. Johnson Properties LLC.

rene_hightowerMy contribution to TREPAC is a part of my duty and responsibility to being a REALTOR®, citizen and homeowner.

The responsibility to promote home ownership, protect private property rights, and increase political awareness is something I take seriously and the desire and opportunity to contribute to TREPAC lends to that voice; to be at the table, to be a part of the “menu” per se.

The TREPAC mission is aligned with my goals; through contribution it backs and supports local, state, and national political candidates and elected officials who have a voice, power and proven track record of protecting private-property rights, and those of us who are preserving the American dream of homeownership.

I am proud to be a part of their efforts and contribute since TREPAC supports the vitality of the real estate industry and community.

Shannon Cobb Evans
Vonnie Cobb REALTORS®

s_cobbI had heard of TREPAC from the moment I started my real estate career. TREPAC was kind of a nebulous concept for me. I was busy trying to make a living and not very political. I voted in the presidential and gubernatorial elections, but that was about it. When I saw the list of candidates being supported, some were not my choice nor my party.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I became more involved in committees and leadership at HAR that I realized what a vital role TREPAC plays in protecting our industry and collectively giving us a voice to protect the consumers and our professions.

I took my first bus trip to TAR’S Lobby Day a few years ago and it was a real eye-opener to see the impact hundreds of REALTORS® can make taking issues directly to our elected officials and letting them see the face of a unified group with a common cause.

On the local level, candidates are interviewed and vetted by a bipartisan advisory group for the sole purpose of finding those that support private property rights and other key issues. Countless hours are spent by our volunteer REALTORS® and staff to be sure they get it right.

If all of this still hasn’t sold you on TREPAC, the following should:

  • In 2015, passed a constitutional amendment to ban any tax on real estate transfers and increase the homestead exemption to $25,000.
  • In 2015, directly affecting all Brokers, repealed a $300 fee that taxed Broker for their two-year license

I have now been a major TREPAC investor for several years and encourage all REALTORS® to become involved on some level.

  • Invest monetarily
  • Stay informed
  • Answer Calls to Action

Remember “If real estate is your profession, politics is your business.” See you in Austin!

Ram King
King Realty

ram_kingThe main reason why I feel it is of the upmost importance to invest what you can into TREPAC is that I like knowing that there are constituents in the local, state and national level that have been thoroughly vetted by our leadership at HAR to advocate on behalf of Texas property owners as well as our real estate community. We work extremely hard for every penny we make, and to know that we have friends looking out for our best interests at the political level is invaluable to me. I want to do everything in my power to show them support, and the way I can do this is to invest in TREPAC whenever I can. My recommendation for anyone not already investing is to get involved in the advisory board if possible or reach out to the amazing team at TREPAC so that they can show you where your hard earned money will be going. To me, investing in TREPAC is like investing in my real estate future, and I consider that money well spent.

Currently I have the privilege of being in the Presidents Circle with RPAC. I feel at this level, I have the unique opportunity to contribute REALTOR®-friendly candidates at the federal level. And I am able to really dive into each one of their profiles, do my due diligence, and with information in had I can make a select decision on who I want to specifically support during each election cycle.  I have been investing on a consistent basis for a few years now and feel just as strongly about how important it is now as I did in the beginning. Every day we are out there focused on our clients, trying to protect them and ensure they have a smooth closing. It is equally important that we invest in those that are looking out for our best interest, ensuring that we have a future that we can all benefit from.

Cherie Johnson
TWFG Insurance Services

cherie_johnsonI have been involved with TREPAC as an affiliate HAR member for over 15 years.  I invest both my money and time volunteering every year because I want to support our industry and protect my interests as a Texas property owner. While we have fun at all the events like the GNW Basket Auction and Bowl-a-thon that I am involved with, it is important to remember that TREPAC is fighting for us and our clients. I advise my clients every day on how to insure their homes and lives against loss. TREPAC is the real estate industry’s insurance policy.