Cady Thomas, the Government Affairs Director for North Carolina, says that her job is to “talk, stock, and stay paranoid,” and that’s exactly what she does. Tune in to learn about “housing affordability,” why it’s so important to stay informed when it comes to legislature, and discover your market is impacted by your involvement. Now, more than ever, realtors need to speak up for the sake of their businesses, their clients, and their communities.
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Time Stamped Show Notes:
- 00:40 – Cady is a GAD (Government Affairs Director) for North Carolina
- 01:05 – She went to D.C. after college and worked on the hill for a couple years before going to law school
- 01:21 – Moved back to Raleigh to do a corporate and capital markets practice, but realized she didn’t like sitting in an office all day
- 01:40 – Started doing a pro bono project where she got to the North Carolina General Assembly lobbying the members; successful in passing a revision to the juvenile justice code
- 01:55 – Found job in lobbying world with realtors 10 years ago
- 02:25 – What was something crazy/unexpected that you learned/seen along the way?
- 03:07 – No metal detectors/badge check in the North Carolina Legislative building
- 03:35 – Friend said, “Cady, half the people in here are packin’…they’ll never put up metal detectors”
- 03:45 – Shows difference between the state and federal legislature
- 03:57 – Shocking: The decisions the state makes and how quickly they can make them affect members 10x greater than at the federal level in everything but taxes
- 04:40 – She learned that she had to read every bill and find out the happenings in every committee because anything could affect real estate
- 04:57 – Why are realtors so blinded to what happens at the state level?
- 05:07 – Most people don’t understand state structure
- 05:41 – Realtors are in the business of making friends – politics isn’t about making friends and realtors don’t want to get involved
- 06:20 – Find the issues that resonate with the brokers because they be passionate about getting involved
- 06:48 – Hoping to get through local issues that affect clients
- 07:02 – Private road maintenance issues and DOT to take over maintenance
- 07:30 – Getting kids to school busses with proper roads
- 08:21 – Having a statewide database of roads that are on transportation’s books is a solution
- 08:40 – Counties already have the information, it’s just a matter of getting it together with technology and keeping it updated with DOT’s records
- 10:05 – As a consumer, what do you think needs to happen in the realtor community to stay ahead of legislative curves in the future?
- 10:21 – Creating relationships with elected officials, running for office, advocating for clients where local governments are coming down harder on property rights
- 10:41 – Counties and cities are taking development ordinances too far, like aesthetic design controls which aren’t powers given by general assembly
- 11:19 – Have passed legislation to combat that, so it is clear
- 11:44 – Being vocal and brave will increase awareness in community and broker community
- 12:11 – Affordable housing is becoming a bigger issue and legislation like aesthetic design control drives up the price further
- 12:30 – If realtors don’t combat bad legislation, it hurts affordable housing
- 13:07 – Housing affordability: Affordable within your means and for your circumstance (near schools, amenities used, etc.)
- 13:46 – “Affordable housing” has negative connotation; “Housing Affordability” better
- 14:30 – Cities are encouraging more assistance-based payers in their developments
- 15:00 – Assistant based payers living in environment with others improve the livelihood of all involved
- 15:48 – How should a realtor find out what their GAD is doing?
- 16:03 – A phone call, an invitation to a staff meeting, a coffee meeting with broker so they can understand their involvement
- 16:48 – Go on website to know who does what and ask questions
- 17:32 – What people think she does vs. what she does
- 17:39 – House of Cards is all fun and games but it’s not typical
- 17:50 – Most legislators came to their position because they want to do what they think is best, they aren’t getting paid a lot
- 18:19 – Legislator tends to be older because they are retired and have the time
- 18:30 – Cady tells people her job is to “talk, stock, and stay paranoid”
- 18:46 – Reach Cady by email or phone number
- 19:18 – Call your local association to find out your local and state Government Affairs Director and get involved to protect your clients
3 Key Points
- State-made decisions hugely impact realtors and their clients – pay attention to them.
- Learn the state structure and get involved.
- Speaking up can protect your clients; ask questions and education yourself on beneficial programs and potentially damaging legislation.