Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Capitol Investment: IREM Member Shares Rewards & Insights from Her Capitol Hill Visit Days

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Capitol Investment: IREM Member Shares Rewards & Insights from Her Capitol Hill Visit Days

Article excerpt

I don't know about you right at this moment, but I'm contemplating what shoes I'm going to take to Capitol Hill Visit Day with IREM in April! Yes, I really am. And do you know why? Quite simply because it is just that important.

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If you have been to the IREM Leadership and Legislative Summit (LLS) in Washington, D.C., you know about the shoes. And if you haven't been to the Summit and plan to make the visit this year, do put comfortable shoes high on your list of things to pack (and believe me, this applies to all you men, too!).

This spring marks the ninth consecutive year that I have attended our LLS conference. Each year has been decidedly different and has brought new experiences, new learning, new friends and new fun. Don't worry--I am not going to go through all eight years, but let me touch on a few highlights from those trips.

I smile as I remember that first year. Admittedly, I was more than a bit timid on that trek up the Hill. It was during the first year's meetings that it seemed at a moment's notice some of our group announced their departure to catch planes! Oh dear. This meant a fellow member and I had to go on a few appointments by ourselves. And that meant I would have to step up and discuss at least half of our issues on my own. The terror! But the terror soon dissolved: The IREM leadership team had prepared us well, as did Chuck Achilles, IREM Vice President, Legislation and Research, and his team before our day on the Hill.

ROLE OF A LIFETIME

Preparation for Capitol Hill Visit Day starts a few weeks, even months, before it all begins. You will receive the legislative issues, background and our IREM position well before arriving in D.C. You will have time to review everything and perhaps come up with examples that pertain to the issues from your own property management experiences and portfolios. You will also attend a very in-depth and informative briefing session at the conference. During this session everyone is provided with additional insights and details. And, we are allowed time to actually role play and practice discussing the issues. Finally, you meet with your chapter and decide who is going to which appointments and what topics you personally will present at your Hill meetings the very next day.

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So, yes, we are well prepared for when the day arrives (I'm actually getting goose bumps as I write this). Truly, be ready to absorb it all. Just to walk around the Hill is exciting. People are bustling here and there, and you are soon caught up in that highly charged atmosphere.

When you step inside the first building, you quickly realize that it is a place where so many others have walked, hundreds of years before you. It is an awesome, awesome feeling. Throughout the day, take the time to reflect on what has gone on in those halls, on those steps, in those offices and in the various meeting rooms you'll pass by.

When you are waiting for your first appointment, the anticipation of representing IREM, your chapter and your state will almost take your breath away. But, breathe you must, as you introduce yourself and proudly take on the role of an American! You are now part of the process! There is nothing more rewarding than that on the Hill.

SURPRISES AROUND EVERY CORNER

Be aware that anything might happen on your first day. For example, fellow IREM Member Greg Wingate, CPM, and 1 tried to get an appointment with a certain representative but her schedule simply would not allow it. …

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