Let Your Voice Be Heard!

By Stephen L. Burger, CPM®, CRX, CSM

Recently, the Institute of Real Estate Management’s Federal Housing Advisory Board descended on Washington, DC. The purpose was to conduct what turned out to be a number of very successful meetings with key agency stakeholders on a number of issues close to the hearts of real estate owners and managers of federally assisted properties.

I was honored to be on that board and help foster a dialog with such Washington insiders as Bryan Hooper, deputy administrator for Multifamily Housing in the Rural Housing Service of the US Department of Agriculture; Priya Jayachandran, deputy assistant secretary in the HUD Office of Multifamily Housing; and Amy Ginger, director of the Office of Housing Voucher Programs at HUD. (You can find further details of this visit on our news page.

The issues were important, complex and wide-ranging. They included--but were certainly not limited to-- implementation of the Violence Against Women Act, plans to re-amortize properties to retain rural rental assistance, updates to the Rural Development 3560.2 handbook and the recently published Civil Money Penalties Final Rule.

A number of victories were realized that day. First and foremost, IREM is--once again--on the record with its stand on all of these issues. As a group, we’ve made our unified voice heard. We also created and in some cases reaffirmed our relationships with the above-named key stakeholders. And on a personal level, each of us contributed to something larger than ourselves. And in doing so, we stay abreast of hot-button topics.

I believe it is every business leader’s imperative to do just that . . . to get involved and support the industry causes that are important to you. That, in fact, is one of the key attributes that lies at the very heart of business leadership . . . the ability and willingness to participate in issues that will carry your industry further.

Some people may find that they don’t have the time for what might seem extra-curricular activities. Therein lies the problem. There is nothing extra-curricular about advocacy. It speaks to the very heart of your business. No one can be coerced to care, but the willingness to sacrifice and contribute to such causes is what advances any industry. As the old saying goes, if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.

Steve Burger, President

As president and COO of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve Burger is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and consistency of management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC coverage map.

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