When you join a property management association, you’re not simply part of a club. You’re paying for access to training and networking resources that will help you become a true property management professional. Property managers of all experience levels and portfolio sizes join trade organizations like BOMA, NARPM, NAA, NAR and IREM.
Still, not everyone knows that these organizations play another important role: they’re politically engaged at the federal level. Your standard membership dollars don’t go toward the political action committee (PAC), but many well-established property associations take political donations.
So, what happens when you donate? Where does the money go? How can you find out if their philosophies line up with your own? If you don’t agree with a trade organization’s position, you probably have the opportunity to get involved and change it or leave.
Let’s explore why (and when) you should donate to your trade organization’s political action committees.
What do property management association PACs do?
A PAC is a politically active branch of an organization. When a property management association PAC gets your money, they lobby for causes that association members and leaders feel are beneficial to real estate professionals.
PACs may give money to candidates of one or more political parties. They support candidates for federal office who demonstrate support for the preservation of property rights and property management.
If you give money to a property management association PAC, your donations will support candidates for political office (the United States Senate or House of Representatives).
Whose side are they on?
Generally speaking, property management PACs take a well-researched, bipartisan approach to every topic. They know their members, real estate and property management professionals, come from all over the country, from every imaginable background.
Chances are high that you’ll be able to find an organization, national or regional, that advocates for something that matters to you.
Just remember, political donations are never tax-deductible.
Unlike a PAC, an advocacy fund does not directly support a candidate for office. Instead, your money goes toward the infrastructure around mobilization, lobbying, staffing, administrative costs associated with lobbying, travel costs associated with governmental affairs, etc.
If you give to an advocacy fund, you’re still supporting the political aims of the property management association, but you’re not directing those funds to candidates.
Because advocacy funds do not donate directly to candidates, they can accept corporate contributions.
Common topics addressed by property management PACs
We’re providing this list for informational purposes only. It should not be regarded as comprehensive or complete, nor should this presentation be regarded as advocacy or endorsement of any stance by Yardi Breeze.
Property management associations may develop political positions around the following topics:
- Emotional support animals and service animals
- Legalized marijuana
- Rent control
- Fair housing laws
- Firearm policy
- Disaster insurance
- Property management licensing and certification
- Affordable housing/federally assisted housing
How can you learn more about a PAC’s positions?
The best way to learn about a property management association’s PAC or advocacy fund is to contact the organization’s designated representative. In fact, most are easy to reach by email. Ask for a list of candidates they support (including politicians currently in office), as well as a rundown of the organization’s political agenda.
Disclosure of affiliation
Yardi Breeze is partnered with many property management associations, but this article is not an endorsement of their PACs, endorsed stances and/or political actions. We hope to show you what happens when you donate, so you can decide if donating to a trade organization’s PAC is right for you.
This article was originally published 12/19/2019. It has been updated for relevance.