2023 Hill Day: The Member Experience

“REALTORS® are changing lives every day. That is who we are.” This was the message from 2023 National Association of REALTORS® President-Elect Tracy Kasper as she rallied up REALTORS® at Hill Day.

Each year, hundreds of REALTORS® from across Washington State gather for Washington REALTORS® Hill Day to discuss housing priorities with legislators.

After two years of meeting virtually, REALTORS® returned to the “Hill” at the State Capitol in Olympia to meet directly with legislators. Over 500 REALTORS® were in attendance this year, including about 75 from Seattle King County REALTORS®.

“Hill Day is the most impactful event we host all year,” said Michele Hunt, 2023 Seattle King County REALTORS® VP of Governmental & Public Affairs. “As REALTORS®, our power is in our numbers and a large turnout of our members at the capitol advocating with one voice takes our legislative agenda to the next level.”

Hill Day is an important event that gives members an opportunity to see the Government Affairs team working hard to ensure that Washington lawmakers understand the challenges that REALTORS® and consumers face in the market. This year, nearly half of the attendees from Seattle King County REALTORS® were attending for the first time.

Several of our members shared about their personal experiences and stories about the impact of Hill Day.

Connections make a difference. In March of 2020, most businesses were closed due to Governor Inslee’s emergency order regarding COVID. Within a few days however, the most critical functions for real estate transactions were allowed to continue by the Governor, due to our outreach efforts. REALTORS®, including past member Van Anderson, spent years cultivating relationships and trust with elected officials. Van was a favorite of Governor Inslee. So it was natural when Van’s son Stuart dropped by the Capitol, the Governor made time for him. Thanks to Van, Stuart and all REALTORS® who build these connections. Those relationships continue to make a difference for our business. Photo courtesy of Stuart Anderson.

REALTORS® Erica Topel and Sabrina Matson, and Affiliate Member Angie Streeter at the State Capitol to meet with Legislators. Photo courtesy of Erica Topel.

“This was my first Hill Day and I will be back. I had never met with my state legislators before. To be able to meet with them with a large group made everything feel more accessible. I was joined by about 75 of my colleagues from around King County. We were a mix of experienced and inexperienced. Teamed up, we took the buses up to the capitol and then walked straight into my legislator’s office to talk about the issues effecting real estate today. I am so excited to be a part of an association that cares about and advocates for housing options for everyone, including Agency Law changes that will protect my clients, and our work to decrease housing costs.”
Erica Topel, first-time Hill Day attendee and 2023 Seattle King County REALTORS® VP of Member Services & Communications
“I can honestly tell you that after attending REALTOR® Hill Day in Olympia, I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. I think brokers really don’t know, or understand, what Seattle King County REALTORS®, folks from other counties, and Washington REALTORS®, are really doing to help our industry and to increase housing opportunities. During the two days in Olympia, I learned so much. Now that I’ve seen what it’s all about, I’m so excited to be involved.  I can tell you this: I will never miss out again on attending REALTOR® Hill Day in Olympia.”
Gina Guajardo, 2023 Seattle King County REALTORS® Director

REALTORS® Dinato Luz, Marissa Beach, Gina Guajardo, Tony Gregg, and SKCR Housing Specialist Sam Pace at the State Capitol to meet with Legislators. Photo courtesy of Michele Hunt and Gina Guajardo.

REALTORS® Samantha Mountain and Genine Wood on the bus to the State Capitol on Hill Day. Photo courtesy of Samantha Mountain.

“Without the encouragement and support of others involved in Seattle King County REALTORS®, I would never have seen the power of the REALTOR® R. Luckily, I was invited to attend Washington REALTORS® Legislative Days (Hill Day). I came back after attending Hill Day bursting with enthusiasm, ready to share my experience with my office. I was shocked when no one knew what I was talking about! More REALTORS® need to experience our day of advocacy so next year they will be joining me! I am extremely proud of my involvement with the REALTOR® Associations, as a Washington REALTORS® Board Member, and a member of the Scholarship Committee at Seattle King County REALTORS®. I am beaming from a great day of REALTOR® rah rah! Hill Day was a great start to my leadership journey, and I am looking forward to the year ahead!”
Samantha Mountain, first-time Hill Day attendee
“Hill Day blew all my expectations out of the water. The political acumen of our lobbyists, the coordination of the group tour to Olympia, speaking with our representatives, and the mere beauty of the Capitol building left me feeling very inspired. I had no idea our REALTOR® associations worked that hard to protect our industry. I can’t wait to go back again and bring even more REALTOR® friends so they can see that our association dues are worth every penny. I’m grateful for the experience. Thank you to all of those who helped organize the event!”
Marissa Beach, 2023 Director and 2023 DEI Chair at Seattle King County REALTORS®

REALTORS® Tony Gregg, Marissa Beach, Gina Guajardo, Dinato Luz, Adam Frazier, and SKCR Housing Specialist Sam Pace meet with Rep. Tina Orwall. Photo courtesy of Rep. Tina Orwall.

Thank you to Seattle King County REALTOR® Members and Affiliates for joining us for a productive day on the Hill during Legislative Days.