A Message From Secretary of State, Michele Reagan



Arizona Secretary of State
Michele Reagan


I would have thought the house on the corner of my street would have sold overnight. Yet the,“I’M GOURGEOUS INSIDE” rider has been up for weeks. Every couple of days I’ll see a car or two out front with potential buyers checking out the house with a real estate agent searching for the lockbox hidden behind an overgrown bougainvillea.

My husband and I talk about whether it’s priced too high or speculate what might be wrong with the house, but each time I drive by I’m reminded how important those in real estate are to our economy. Few professions have a better understanding of what’s happening in our communities on a day-to-day basis. These small business people join together to become one of the most impactful private sector occupations in the state.

Many people don’t realize the real estate industry accounts for more than $50 million in economic activity in Arizona. From dinettes to drapes, homeowners also spend money on home improvements for years in the future. Combined with commercial sales, lenders, inspectors and a host of related contractors, there might not be a business that isn’t in some way connected with the profession. The truth is, nearly ten years after the bubble burst those still working in the field are
leading Arizona’s comeback.

Most pros in real estate are aware that Arizona’s economic outlook is positive. Many in the field anticipate the Grand Canyon State to be near the top 10 in housing and top 5 of population increases nationwide in 2017. Some have even predicted that metro Phoenix might even be the top market in the country – beating Los Angles this year.

According to a recent University of Arizona report, the state continues to outpace the nation in job creation. If current trends of increasing income and retail sales continue, the study indicates we can expect modest growth in the near term, which is great news for the more than forty percent of Arizonans who work in a small business.

I believe Arizona’s real estate professionals were among the first to sense something was wrong before the historic economic meltdown. Could anything have been done to prevent the collapse? Perhaps not, but government can do a better job listening to people who help others navigate the most important financial decision they’ll ever make.

Professional organizations such as the National and Arizona Association of Realtors® do a great job representing their members at the state and federal level. But those working in real estate also have the opportunity to engage directly with lawmakers. Their experience helping buyers and sellers navigate the complex process gives them a unique perspective that can help legislators better understand what is really happening on Main Street.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to speak at the Arizona State Women’s Council of REALTORS® Spring Conference and it was great to hear all of the success stories. But it was more important to me to hear the concerns about mortgage interest deductions, federal flood insurance and tax reforms. I listened to worries about rising interest rates and how difficult it is for young people to save for a down payment.

While the uncertainty can cause some level of apprehension, I found the level of optimism inspiring. Their understanding of the issues that affect the real estate market was amazing and I found myself thinking these small business people should get more involved in the legislative process because it is the input of our citizens that helps effect change every day.

Running a small business myself, I understand how difficult it can be to get involved with yet another thing. Holding an open house, working with banks, or pulling comps is obviously more important for those who work in real estate. But if you have a couple of hours I would encourage you to share your thoughts and feedback on the things that influence the industry. Get involved in advocacy groups, attend a “Day at the Capitol,” make a call or maybe send an email or two. As a former legislator myself, I assure you it makes a difference.