BRR Endorses Gem County Candidates

After thoughtful consideration of candidate interviews and questionnaire responses, Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is pleased to announce the following candidate endorsements for the upcoming Primary Election in Gem County.

Gem County Assessor — Hollie Ann Strang

Gem County Clerk — Shelly Tilton

Gem County Treasurer — Megan Keene

Boise Regional REALTORS® recently expanded association benefits such as issue and political advocacy to REALTORS® in Gem County.

“Each year, we endorse and support qualified candidates who understand the housing industry and recognize the importance of investing in our communities,” said Gary Salisbury, 2018 President of Boise Regional REALTORS® and senior sales consultant with Equity Northwest Real Estate.

Elections will be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. For information on the candidates, registration, and where to vote, please visit or  Visit BRR’s website to see BRR’s Ada County endorsements. For information requests regarding these endorsements, please contact Soren Dorius, BRR Director of Government Affairs, at 208-947-7237 or

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Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), is a 501(c)6 trade association, representing more than 4,500 real estate professionals throughout the Boise Region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation.

Q1 2018 Advocacy Update

BRR friends,

We’ve had a great start to the year with our local advocacy efforts, and we’d like to share some highlights with you!

BRR Supports Local Schools graphicIn an effort to address the needs of our rapidly growing community, we endorsed and supported the proposed local school bonds in West Ada School District and Emmett Independent School District. We helped campaign on behalf of these districts by utilizing funds from our Corporate Ally Program, as well as NAR’s Issues Mobilization grant money that we were awarded.

Thanks to BRR’s campaign efforts, the West Ada School District bond received the two-thirds majority of “Yes” votes needed and narrowly passed! This means the district can build new schools and expand existing schools, addressing the needs of families moving into the area.

Due to a recent merger between BRR and the Emmett Valley Association of REALTORS®, Gem County is now part of our local advocacy jurisdiction. Emmett was unsuccessful in passing their bond, but our efforts didn’t go unnoticed or without positive impact. Supporting and campaigning on behalf of the Emmett Independent School District bond allowed us to make new friends and prove our commitment to the growth of their community.

We’ve also hosted successful fundraising events for our REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC), raising over $80,000 so far this year. These events are incredibly important for our national, state, and local advocacy efforts. Case in point, BRR’s Public Policy Committee is currently in the process of interviewing candidates for countywide elected official positions in Ada and Gem counties, in order to identify and endorse REALTOR® Champions who will receive RPAC support in their campaigns. REALTOR® Champions are those who are committed to key issues that are impacting the housing industry and our fast-growing community.RPAC VIP Reception March 2018

Two recent recipients of BRR’s endorsement and RPAC dollars, Boise City Council members TJ Thomson and Holly Woodings, joined us for our RPAC VIP Reception last month. It was great opportunity to learn about issues the city is working on, and for those elected officials to hear about our industry directly from REALTORS®.

February 59 Minute Meeting Recap SliderLet’s not forget the quarterly “59 Minute Meeting” forum series, an exclusive event for our members where we get to hear from and discuss various topics of public policy interest with our guest speakers. In February, we hosted Cameron Arial, Director of Meridian Community Development; Clark Krause, Executive Director of Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP); and Bobbi-Jo Meuleman, Director Idaho Department of Commerce, in an incredible discussion on economic growth in our region. This last 59 Minute Meeting was our most highly attended to date, with over 100 attendees! Keep the morning of May 1st open for our next 59 Minute Meeting!

One more thing! Our talented Director of Communications, Cassie Zimmerman, helped us create a fantastic infographic that highlights the tremendous success we experienced last year with our REALTOR® Party community grants. Check it out HERE and feel free to share it with your friends, family, and clients! There has never been a better time to be a member of the Boise Regional REALTORS®!

REALTORS Help Home Buyers, Sellers and Their Communities

These are just a few of the things we’ve been working on over the last few months. We’ve got a lot more coming in the months ahead, that we can’t wait to share with you. If you haven’t already, register your team or sponsor a hole for BRR YPN’s Pub ‘N’ Putt on April 14th, benefitting RPAC, and join us for a fun day of mini golf!

We’ll be sharing live updates from NAR’s annual Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo as we learn about upcoming initiatives and policies, so let us know if you have questions or are interested in learning more.

The goal of our advocacy efforts is always to benefit your business and our community, and we appreciate your support in that. If you have any questions or need assistance, let us know!

Soren & Cameron

Follow up to a Recent KTVB Story

Hello BRR Members,

You may have seen a recent KTVB story about the real estate market. We were happy that they reached out to us for a take on the stats, as we want to be sure we’re helping you tell the story of the market with facts and data.

However, we know they can’t fit everything into a short segment so wanted to provide you with our full talking points and context around some of the quotes used in the story, for your reference and to share with your clients.

  • Based on data back to 2004, we do see inventory at its lowest point with prices at their highest. It’s a function of supply and demand, as we have more people staying in their homes longer with more people move into the area.
  • The most recent market data reflects the start of the spring market and combines existing and new construction together. The median sales price of existing homes is nearly 35% lower than that of new construction.
  • The full context of the quote, “Boise is still a more affordable,” was that Boise is still a more affordable market when compared to nearby higher priced areas, but we are watching prices, wages, and mortgage interest rates to provide local leaders with the information they need to make decisions about how our community will grow.
  • While prices are growing, we do see the rate at which they are growing has been slowing down for the past few years. As mortgage interest rates rise, a more even pace of growth should continue.
  • “Inventory will be something that buyers will have to work through with their REALTORS® to identify the options they do have.” We know there is a lack of inventory especially at the lower price points, but there are still options available.
  • When asked about the perception that the quality or condition of homes under $250,000 were mostly rehabs or needed a lot of work, we shared that “buyers shouldn’t think they’re going to have to sacrifice too much or do a lot of work” just because they are buying in the lower price points. There are well-maintained homes in all areas and all price points.
  • There are homes in both existing and new construction in all prices points, but lower priced new construction is more likely going to be found in western Ada County or in Canyon County, where new developments are coming online.
  • One positive effect of this market for homeowners is the growth in equity they’ve seen over the past few years. For those who do want to move, they may be able to move up in price point or into new construction or have equity to make improvements on their home to make it more suitable to their needs if they are not interested in selling.

We hope this information is helpful for you. If you have questions or need more, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

BRR is committed to fostering conversation around housing affordability and growth, and what’s needed for our communities.  We’ve been encouraged by the discussions we’ve been a part of with related industry groups of developers, builders, and mortgage lenders; local governments, transportation agencies, and economic development groups; and, engaged neighborhood associations and residents who want to preserve our quality of life. BRR will continue to monitor the local real estate market and provide market research in order to inform our members, decision makers, and the public. We will also continue our advocacy efforts in supporting local initiatives that enhance the value, safety, and livability of our region.

If you’d like to be part of the growth and affordability discussion or have ideas on what you’d like to see BRR doing on behalf of you and your clients, please reach out to me directly.


Breanna Vanstrom MBA, RCE
Chief Executive Officer
Boise Regional REALTORS®

BRR Advocacy Update: 2017 in Review

Advocacy Update Year In Review 2017 Slider

BRR had an incredible year with some exciting accomplishments and noteworthy events. I would like to thank the many volunteers, committee members, BRR leadership, and my fellow staff members who have been instrumental in making our advocacy efforts such a huge success. Below are some highlights of what we accomplished in 2017:

Joined Boise State University in a Treasure Valley survey to gather important information on housing, transportation, and quality of life, which we can use to help influence lawmakers.

To the one-third of BRR members who have invested their personal money into RPAC this year, I applaud you for your commitment to your industry and community and thank you for providing us with resources to engage our elected leaders and promote our values and vision for the future. We couldn’t have had these successes without you!

2018 is going to be another great year for Boise Regional REALTORS®, so stay tuned and give us a call if you need anything!

Happy New Year!

Soren Dorius and Cameron Kinzer
Government Affairs Department
Boise Regional REALTORS®

November 2017 Local Election Results

Election results are in! Of the 14 city council candidates BRR endorsed, 10 were successful in their respective races. Thanks to your RPAC investments, BRR’s endorsements went a long way in helping elect officials who value access to homeownership and private property rights.

BRR would like to recognize each of these candidates for the time, money, and energy spent on their well-run campaigns. This was a tough election year, and we were fortunate to have so many well-qualified candidates seeking the opportunity to serve our communities.

Below is a list of BRR’s endorsements with the candidates who won. For a more in-depth review of the election results, please see the Ada County Elections report.


Seat 4: TJ Thomson

Seat 6: Holli Woodings


Seat 2: Joe Borton

Seat 4: Treg Bernt


Seat 3: Michael Keyes

Seat 4: David Hershey


Miranda Gold


Richard Cardoza

Garden City

Elfreda Higgins and Jeff Souza

Once again, thank you to the BRR Public Policy Committee for carefully interviewing all of the candidates and identifying those who would best represent our REALTOR® industry and values.

For more information, please contact BRR’s Director of Government Affairs, Soren Dorius at 208.947.7237

CALL FOR ACTION: Tell Congress to Reform Our Tax Code AND Protect Middle-Class Homeowners


Take Action button

The National Association of REALTORS® has issued a Call for Action for REALTORS® across the country to contact their member of Congress and request they Reform Our Tax Code AND Protect Middle-Class Homeowners. Participating in the Call for Action is easy, and will only take you about 30 seconds.

We can’t let Congress turn tax reform into a tax increase for middle-class homeowners. Consider what effect the points below would have on your tax bill, the tax bill of your clients, and the impact on your business.

  • Homeowners already pay 83% of all federal income taxes. Homeowners should not have to pay more taxes so corporations can pay less.
  • Home-owning families with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 could face average tax hikes of $815 in the year after enactment.
  • Tax reforms under discussion could result in a drop of more than 10% in the value of all homes.
  • NAR rejects repealing or weakening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction.
  • These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities.

We need tax reform, but not at the expense of middle-class homeowners. Let’s take this opportunity to show Congress the strength of our REALTOR® voice and advocacy efforts.

Take Action button

Want to learn more? Check out the articles below for more detail.


BRR Endorses City Council Candidates

Elections were held November 7, 2017. Read about the results here.

Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is pleased to announce the following candidate endorsements for city council races throughout Ada County.


  • Seat 2: Frank Walker
  • Seat 4: TJ Thomson
  • Seat 6: Holli Woodings


  • Seat 2: Joe Borton
  • Seat 4: Treg Bernt
  • Seat 6: Josh Cummings


  • Seat 3: Michael Keyes
  • Seat 4: David Hershey


  • Miranda Gold and Robert Koellisch


  • Richard Cardoza and Paul Schepper

Garden City

  • Elfreda Higgins and Jeff Souza

As real estate professionals, it’s our responsibility to engage in the political process by selecting candidates and supporting issues that protect homeownership access, private property rights, and promote economic growth. BRR’s endorsement process is thoughtful and deliberate in selecting candidates who best represent our industry and homeowners. The Public Policy Committee, comprised of REALTOR® and affiliate members with diverse backgrounds and political party affiliations, interviews candidates and determines the best recommendations for election endorsements.

Elections will be held on November 7, 2017. For information on the candidates, registration, and where to vote, please visit For information requests regarding these endorsements, please contact Soren Dorius, BRR Director of Government Affairs, at 208-947-7237 or

Many thanks to BRR's Public Policy Committee for interviewing the candidates and making recommendations for support. Pictured: Chelsea Hough, Soren Dorius, Phil Mount, Steve Cox, Gail Hartnett, Susan Weaver, Julie DeLorenzo, and Jessica Perreault.

Many thanks to BRR’s Public Policy Committee for interviewing the candidates and making recommendations for support. Pictured top row: Chelsea Hough, Soren Dorius, Phil Mount, Steve Cox. Bottom row: Gail Hartnett, Susan Weaver, Julie DeLorenzo, and Jessica Perreault.

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Boise Regional REALTORS® (or BRR) represents more than 4,300 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region, providing resources to help members conduct their businesses professionally, ethically, and successfully. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, the Intermountain MLS and the Boise Regional REALTORS® Foundation. Visit,, and for more information.

Vote. Act. Invest.

advocacystartswithyouMay is REALTOR® Advocacy Month, an opportunity to recognize the importance of REALTOR® advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. BRR celebrated by focusing on three different ways to be involved in advocacy: vote, act and invest.  Here is a summary of the topics discussed and resources shared by the Boise Regional REALTORS® during REALTOR® Advocacy Month.



May 7 – May 13

Vote - REALTOR Advocacy Month 2017

  • Why is it important for REALTORS® to vote? From the REALTOR® Action Center website: “As a member of the REALTOR® Party, you vote for candidates at the local, state and national levels who support the REALTOR® Party and make the right decisions for your profession and your customers.”
  • REALTORS® get out the vote for pro-real estate ballot issues and candidates with the goal of protecting homeownership. If you’re not registered to vote, register today!
  • BRR members were encouraged to learn about the issues and vote in the local election for the Greater Boise Auditorium District (GBAD) on May 16, 2017.
  • Does your vote as a REALTOR® matter? Local school funding successes are the perfect example why. Thank you for voting YES and supporting local schools!


May 14 – May 20

Act - REALTOR Advocacy Month 2017

      • REALTORS® actively engage in government, and voting in the GBAD election on May 16th was the perfect opportunity to ACT by!
      • YES for Boise Schools thanks Boise Regional REALTOR® members and the REALTOR® Party for taking action by supporting the Boise School District Bond Initiative.

      • Get involved by signing up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. NAR will send you short text messages when you need to act on important real estate issues.


May 21 – May 27

Invest - REALTOR Advocacy Month 2017

      • The REALTOR® Party supports the issues that are important to your business as a REALTOR®, regardless of political party affiliation. Learn more about RPAC.
      • Wondering if RPAC investments make a difference? Ask the YES for Boise Schools campaign! Boise Regional REALTOR® members and the REALTOR® Party supported the Boise School District Bond initiative, which PASSED with a historic majority!
      • Do you have questions about the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC)? Find answers here, or contact BRR Director of Government Affairs Soren Dorius.
      • The financial commitments of RPAC investors allow REALTORS® to have a voice in important local, state, and national issues. Learn more here.
      • What happens when REALTORS® vote, act and invest? Read about REALTOR® Party successes.


2017 REALTORS® Annual Legislative Meetings


This post will be updated daily throughout the meetings.

Recap from Day 5 — May 20, 2017

The NAR Legislative Meetings wrapped up with a Board of Directors meeting.

Day 5 collage

Recap from Day 4 — May 19, 2017

Day 4 of the NAR Legislative meetings was busy for BRR leaders and staff. They attended a number of meetings including the Issues Mobilization Grant Workshop and Forum, Government Affairs Director meeting, a financial planning class, and the Region 12 Caucus in which Julie DeLorenzo presided as the Regional Vice President.

Day 4 collage

Recap from Day 3 — May 18, 2017

BRR leaders and staff spent Day 3 of the NAR Legislative Meetings working in NAR committee meetings, taking a tour of the Capital building, and watching Congress in session. Congressman Simpson presided as Chairman of the session, and they were able to watch every member of Congress cast vote from their front row view!

Day 3 collage


Recap from Day 2 — May 17, 2017

NAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello lead the discussion with expert panelists on tax reform and flood insurance. Chris Wallace of Fox News spoke on “America Under President Trump.” BRR and IR representatives met with Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson and Senator Jim Risch. BRR Vice President Phil Mount discussed government-sponsored enterprise reform with Senator Mike Crapo during their visit today.

Day 2 collage


Recap from Day 1 — May 16, 2017

Dr. Ben Carson spoke at the regulatory issues forum, Roy Wright from FEMA discussed national flood insurance issues, Kit Fitzgerald and Connie Fogle represented Idaho during the NAR Presidents Cup recognition. #NARLegislative #REALTORParty

Day 1 collage


2017 REALTORS® Annual Legislative Meetings — May 10, 2017

Next week, leaders and staff from BRR will be attending the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. The purpose of this important conference is threefold: advocacy, committee service, and networking.

First, for REALTORS® from around the country to share issues important to our industry, communities, and consumers with U.S. Senators and Representatives. Three key issues to be discussed include tax reform, the reauthorization of the national flood insurance program, and ways to protect sustainable homeownership. Talking points for each are available here and will be the basis for meetings that Idaho REALTORS® will be having with Idaho Senators Crapo and Risch, and Representatives Labrador and Simpson while in D.C.

Second, to serve on national committees and workgroups, helping shape policy and initiatives to benefit members. From Idaho, there are 16 REALTORS® who serve on committees, as well as four staff members, including BRR Chief Executive Officer Breanna Vanstrom. You can see a full list of those serving on national committees at (login required).

And third, to network with dedicated real estate professionals from around the country, sharing best practices and bringing new ideas back to our local association. There are structured networking sessions focused on association management, leadership ideas, and brokerage management, as well as the informal networking that happens between sessions, at educational programs, and during the trade show. The Legislative Meetings are open to all REALTORS®, so if you’re not able to attend this year, please consider it for 2018.

Stay up-to-date on the Legislative Meetings by following the NAR Legislative Live Blog.

BRR Advocacy Update | February 2017

Advocacy Update Slider - Feb 2017

BRR Endorses Ada County School Bond/Levy Efforts

Three school districts within Ada County have bonds and/or levies they are putting before voters on March 14th. Among these endorsements are Kuna School District’s $40 million bond measure and $2.5 million supplemental levy; West Ada School District’s $160 million plant facility levy; and Boise School District’s $172.5 million bond initiative.

All of these bonds/levies will help address the rapid growth our region has experienced, ensuring our children have access to safe and modern schools. We encourage all of our members who live in these respective school districts to vote YES on March 14th. Learn more about early and absentee voting, as well as more info on these bonds and levies here.

Widen Chinden Boulevard?

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is proposing some big changes to Chinden Blvd., with the possibility of investing up to $350 million in order to add more lanes and modernize intersections. If you are interested in learning more, consider attending their next open house event:

  • Thursday, March 9th, 4:00-7:00 pm at Thomas Jefferson Charter School, 1209 Adam Smith Ave., Caldwell.

The Idaho Statesman has more information about the proposal which you can learn about here.

59 Minute Meeting Success!

Thanks to the many REALTORS® who joined us for our first 59 Minute Meeting of 2017, held on February 21st at BRR. We heard from our special guests Wendy Johnson (Superintendent of the Kuna School District), Eric Exline (Chief Communication Officer for West Ada School District), and Dr. Don Coberly (Superintendent of the Boise School District). It was a great opportunity to learn more about what is going on in their school districts, as well as how the upcoming bonds and levies will help address school needs in our rapidly expanding communities. Stay tuned for information on our next 59 Minute Meeting, to be held Tuesday, May 23rd at BRR.

RPAC Lounge is returning to our REALTOR® Awards Gala

We are pleased to announce that RPAC will once again be hosting an exclusive lounge area for RPAC investors at our upcoming Gala on Friday, March 10th. For more details on this exclusive VIP lounge experience, please contact Soren Dorius at or call (208) 947-7237.