This past week, I spent a day in the lovely Santa Fe, New Mexico. Twice a year, I represent my local association at the state level as I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Real Estate Association of New Mexico. The Real Estate Association of New Mexico is one of the largest trade associations in the state. It is rewarding to take part in some of the decisions that impact the real estate community.

While it is not a time intensive commitment, it is an important one. Twice a year, state association members from all over New Mexico gather to discuss and vote on real estate related issues. These issues often have an impact on our state and local real estate communities.

Every January, we all meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year, Santa Fe was many things. Santa Fe was very cold this year. It was a brisk 12 degrees when we finally left for the day. The event took place at the La Fonda Hotel, located right on the Santa Fe Plaza. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi sits across the street. If you have never seen this church, the structure is amazing. As someone who can appreciate real estate and beautiful buildings, this is a building you need to see if you are in the area.

Finally, the 2017 New Mexico legislature was in session and is currently in a 60-day session. Because of this, there was a REALTOR® day at the Roundhouse (The State Capitol). This is where REALTORS® could sit in on some of the legislative meetings. It is quite impressive to see what takes place behind the scenes.

REALTORS® spend countless hours volunteering in different capacities to help protect homeownership rights. As REALTORS®, we do not just sell homes, we also are advocates for homeowners. This past October, my colleagues and I went before our local city council to support the passing of a bill to regulate Homeowner Association transfer fees. A statewide bill of the same nature will likely be a hot topic during this year’s legislative session.

Every January, the RANM conference is a time for REALTORS® from the state to gather and discuss issues that affect their local communities. Often, we become wrapped up in our local real estate market. We forget that we are part of a bigger picture on the state or national level.

I see volunteering a lot like voting. You cannot complain if you do not take part. You do not have to participate on a large scale to make a difference. Volunteering can help you better serve your clients and you can also take what you have learned back to your office and colleagues.

I would encourage you to get involved in 2017. Consider volunteering for your local real estate community. Everyone has a voice. Everyone can make a difference.

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