All politics is local. All properties are local. Doesn’t that mean that all real estate is political?
Maybe not, but the spheres and relationships that define the two often mean they are interconnected and overlap. The decisions of county or municipal decision makers have an outsized effect on housing markets, small businesses, and many other factors that influence a real estate business. Along with an informed vote, deeper involvement in these decisions is the best way to ensure that your interests are represented in the place that matters most to you: your country, your neighborhood and your city.
Here are three ways to make sure you are aware of and involved in your local political landscape:
Almost all libraries and community centers are looking for people who want to spend a few hours a month sprucing up, cleaning up, or learning about their city and neighbors. Everything from helping you research the city’s history to interacting with older people not only helps you grow your network, but can also give you valuable insight into the issues most important to your neighbors. . Use these opportunities – which are often flexible and low-pressure – to learn more about prospects, decisions or moves that are currently affecting or may affect your business.
Create your own interest group
Most local leaders (not all) are excited to meet more people who want to get involved. Find an issue or arena that doesn’t yet have a local advocate and become that person, inviting other like-minded people to join you. Whether it’s protecting local wildlife, boosting arts programs, or planning for more transportation options, your local policy makers will be happy to provide resources or advice to a voter who wants to work.
Become a civil servant
Most real estate professionals do not have the ability to take on the responsibilities of a mayor or city manager (although some do). But joining certain boards, councils or commissions often results in a part-time commitment, but also gives a lot of insight and influence in local decisions. Urban planning, parks, local history, environmental preservation, and education are all issues real estate professionals should care about. Since each city has different processes for service, contact a party committee or city clerk to find out what opportunities are available to you.
Although politics can be complex or controversial, even at the local level, not being involved in something that can have such a big influence on your success could inhibit it. Whether you want to devote a lot or just a little energy, ensuring you have a voice in your local government can be a win for you and your customers.
Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s Associate Online Editor. Send him your ideas for real estate news by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.