On The Hill
For those who attended the April 21st Luncheon, there’s no question that this trip was like no other I’ve experienced in my life. To say there was an “opportunity for networking” does not even begin to describe the networking that was actually done! The training provided for Chapter Leaders was more valuable than one could have imagined! Finally, the pièce de résistance, the Capitol Hill Meetings, were like living a dream!
People have told me, for more than 12 years now, “IREM provides a great opportunity for networking”! In addition to networking, when attending an IREM event, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “Your next employer may be in this room”! After attending the IREM Leadership & Legislative Summit a couple weeks ago, I realize how very true those two statements are! I had no clue the contacts I would make at the conference; unlike contacts made thru other conferences, I truly expect to maintain these contacts for the rest of my life (yes, my life, not just my career!). I work for the largest real estate services provider in the world so you would think that it would be easy for me to get help from people around the globe; however, when there isn’t a face behind a name, or a relationship on which trust is built, there’s no incentive to reach out for help from someone you don’t know. Now that I have attended this conference, I have contacts to whom I could easily reach out for help; contacts who work in a variety of fields of real estate management, who are intelligent, business minded, people. There is no doubt in my mind that I could reach out to any of these people and they would be willing to help however they could (which is pretty incredible considering a month ago we’d never met). Now THAT is what I call networking!
The breakout sessions in the days leading up to the Capitol Hill visits offered great education for Chapter Leaders including ideas for growing our Chapters; like having exciting speakers, inviting non-members to events, hosting IYP (Industry Young Partners) events, and having a Facebook page. I learned so much during my few days in DC that, nearly two weeks later, I am still processing what was shared/discussed. I can’t wait to go back for more!
After attending almost three full days of meetings (speakers and discussion groups), it was finally time for our Capitol Hill visits. I have to admit, in the moment, these meetings were a little overwhelming. The purpose of the Capitol Hill meetings was to meet with our Colorado legislators to urge them to take action that will benefit the real estate community in Colorado, which included asking them to:
1. Urge the Federal Reserve and Treasury to limit restrictions and provide greater flexibility to holders of commercial debt. A simple term extension for performing loans could prevent many properties from going into default or foreclosure.
2. Hold a hearing on the proposed new FASB and IASB accounting rules which have significant impact on market liquidity and corporate assets.
3. Pass H.R. 940 which will allow for the development of a covered bond market in the United States.
4. Support S.509, “Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011,” and promote the bill’s purpose, which is to expand small business opportunities the loan threshold amount for credit unions.
5. Not support legislation that would mandate energy upgrades to buildings, but instead to support legislation that would provide tax credits for these upgrades as the credits would allow owners to recoup the expenses associated with the upgrades more quickly.
I spent 2 – 3 weeks a year in the DC area as I was growing up; however, playing “tourist” with your parents and looking at everything “from the outside”, does not even begin to compare to actually meeting with our Colorado Delegates; walking the halls of those incredible, historic, buildings; seeing where our Legislators work; giving opinions on why they should vote a certain way on a specific issues; and, so amazingly, actually being a part of the decision making process! It truly was so very exciting!
For several years now, I have been encouraged to attend the Leadership and Legislative Summit in DC (as well as the IREM Fall Conference); however, financing the trip on my own was more than my pocketbook could handle, or so I thought! If I had known how amazing this trip was going to be, I would have found a way to attend! “AMAZING” doesn’t even begin to describe this experience! I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Man, she really needs to get out more!” but rest assured, I’ve had my fair share of exciting travels (I was even walking around Moscow during the coup in 1991); however, none of my travels has had such an impact on my life (both personally and professionally). As such, I strongly encourage everyone in our industry to attend this conference!
Join us for our Leadership Orientation luncheon on July 21st to learn how to become involved with our Chapter Leadership and get your travel to conferences paid by the Chapter!
Hoping to see you “On the Hill” in 2012!
- Tiffany L. Jackson, CPM
“On The Hill”
By Tiffany L. Jackson, CPM® April 25, 2011