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GARD Shines Spotlight on Key Real Estate Issues

Gia Arvin, 2024 president of Florida Realtors, said lawmakers recognize existing challenges but are optimistic and sincerely want to work with Realtors.

TALLAHASSEE – A thousand Realtors® took over Tallahassee the past three days, bringing with them the power of the Realtor voice on many key issues including property insurance, condominium transparency, first-time homebuying programs and home-hardening initiatives.

Great American Realtor Days (GARD) happens each year during Florida’s annual legislative session. During the event, Realtors travel to Tallahassee to meet with their state senators and representatives and share stories with them about the issues they are facing in their communities.

“I’ve lost count of the number of Realtors who come to me each year saying how excited they are for the GARD event,” Gia Arvin, 2024 president of Florida Realtors, said. “They know how important it is to sit face-to-face with their lawmakers and share their stories, their ideas and their feedback with the very people who can enact positive change in their areas.” 

The three-day GARD event features keynote addresses by prominent state elected officials, in-person briefings with the Florida Realtors public policy team and a block party in the shadow of the capitol that amplifies an already overwhelming Realtor presence.

“We had a fantastic set of keynote speakers this year in Florida’s Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez and State Senator Jason Pizzo who helped set the stage for the fantastic things happening in Florida as well as the challenges we face,” Arvin said. “But the big takeaway was the optimism they both expressed and their sincere desire to continue to work with Realtors to solve the pressing issues impacting our daily lives.”

More than a hundred legislator visits took place over the course of the event as groups of Realtors met with their local officials in the Capitol building. In those meetings, members urged lawmakers to support bills that would provide additional funding for the successful Hometown Heroes Housing Program, eliminate estoppel certificate fees, make official condominium records more transparent and inject more money into the My Safe Florida home-hardening program. Members also asked lawmakers to continue to support the environment, find ways to reduce property insurance premiums and continue to cut the state’s Business Rent Tax.

“I got to be a part of some of these legislator visits and participated in some for my local association,” Arvin said. “Let me just say that I left the Capitol with a huge sense of pride in seeing my fellow members work so hard on behalf of their profession and the clients they serve.”

© 2024 Florida Realtors®