Gerald Dunn, Benchmark Title
Public Policy Chair
A contingent of about 25 TREC members attended last month’s biennial RECsTX Lobby Day in Austin on behalf of the organization, meeting with our city’s elected officials and advocating for the issues that most impact the commercial real estate industry in Dallas. What issues did we lobby for this year and why are they important?
We went to Austin with four stated issues:
- Infrastructure – A forward-thinking and flexible approach to planning our state’s transportation and mobility needs
- Tax Policy – A moderate, balanced and stable tax structure that creates the positive business climate necessary for Texas to compete in a world economy
- Economic Development and Responsible Growth – Tools that stimulate the economy and promote responsible and sustainable development without undue regulation
- Protection of Private Property Rights – Preservation of existing protections such as Chapter 245 of the Texas Government Code (Vested Rights) and the Private Real Property Preservation Act (PRPRPA).
What are your primary takeaways from the trip?
Of all the Real Estate Councils that were in attendance, our real estate council had the largest contingent of representatives. What was most impressive to our group was how much our younger members engaged in all the meetings and their expanse of knowledge of the issues were recognized by our North Texas representatives.
What is the relationship like between TREC and the real estate councils from Austin, Houston and San Antonio during the RECsTX Lobby Day?
The relationship is very good. Each city and region that each of the councils represent all operate differently from each other and each have their own unique issues they are trying to solve. Every two weeks, the councils have a standing conference call to discuss their issues and see if there is any way they can help each other.
What sparked your interest in TREC’s public policy efforts and how can our members get involved?
I have had experience in public policy issues from other organizations I have served, but TREC, with its diverse and accomplished membership, is able to take on very complicated and sensitive issues that can have a lasting effect on all of us. Real estate expertise is what ties us together, but all the ways TREC is reaching out to the community can only make you proud to be associated with the organization. There is something for every professional who cares to give back to the city we love. You just need to study all the offerings TREC has for involvement and show up.
TREC’s guiding principle and challenge to its members is to ‘Build the City You’ve Imagined.’ What does that expression mean to you? What kind of lasting impact do you want your commercial real estate career to have on Dallas?
I suffer from Texas Pride. It is always bigger and better in Texas. I believe we have a beautiful city that was built in the middle of the prairie by many incredible, hardworking dreamers. We owe it to them to continue their legacy. My legacy to the real estate business will be all the great relationships I was so fortunate to make and being able to share in – even though in a small way – the successes of the many transactions our team has closed.