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National Association of REALTORS® News

Friday, May 27 2016 2:40 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Median REALTOR® Age Declines…The median age and years of experience of REALTORS® is decreasing as younger professionals enter the industry, according to the 2016 NAR Member Profile. The typical member reported a median of 10 years of experience in real estate, down from 12 years in last year's report, while the median REALTOR® age decreased from 57 in 2014 to 53 in 2015. News release and Infographic.

  • FHA Proposes Reverse Mort. Program Rule…The FHA has proposed a rule that would strengthen the rules governing Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), also known as reverse mortgages. Among other things, the rule would require counseling before a mortgage contract is signed, cap lifetime interest rate increases on all adjustable rate HECM loans at 5 percent, and reduce the cap on annual interest rate increases on adjustable rate HECMs from 2 percent to 1 percent. More info. For background on reverse mortgages, view a webcast on the topic that NAR hosted in April.

  • Report Examines Online Marketplace Lending…The Treasury Department has released a report detailing the benefits and risks associated with online marketplace lending, an alternative to traditional lending for small businesses looking to raise capital. Learn more and access report.

  • Voice for Real Estate: BOD Decisions…In case you missed it: The latest Voice for Real Estate news video looks at changes to core standards, a new policy on student loan debt, and other decisions made by the NAR Board of Directors at its meeting in Washington a week and a half ago. Access here.

Combined Ark City & Winfield Councils Lunch & Learn

Wednesday, May 25 2016 6:16 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

RSCK General Counsel and Direcotr of Governmental Affairs, Moji Fanimonkun discusses legislative issues and RPAC with the Ark City and Winfield Lunch and Learn attendees on Tuesday, May 24th.

 

The session was hosted by Bonnie Niles (RSCK Director - Ark City) and Megan Pringle (RSCK DIrector - Winfield).  President Patty Sanders and President-Elect Jerry Vadnais spoke to the group about various items that have been in the works this year, as well as a look to the future.  Committee Chairs Nancy Suter (Government Affairs) and Monica Miller (Professional Development) along with RSCK staff members attended and presented various topics. 

CMLS and NAR Announce Cooperative Agreement

Sunday, May 15 2016 6:36 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

Yesterday, Dale Stinton, CEO of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); Rick Harris, Chairman of the MLS Issues and Policy Committee for NAR; and I announced a new cooperative agreement between NAR and CMLS at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington DC. 

This new agreement is the first step in establishing a collaborative relationship between the two organizations and leverages the expertise and experience of our CMLS members. It also demonstrates a commitment by both organizations to better serve our constituencies through collaboration. This will be accomplished along two lines: by inviting the MLS voice into discussions and decisions through NAR committees and advisory boards, and through the creation of specific programs. 

  • On the recommendation of CMLS, NAR will appoint three CMLS specific seats to the NAR MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board.
  • From CMLS nominations, two CMLS members will join the AE Institute Curriculum Advisory Board.
  • After receiving recommendations from CMLS, one CMLS member will hold a seat on the NAR Association Executive Committee.
  • CMLS and NAR have each committed to provide reports to each other’s leadership at meetings held during the year.   
  • A future initiative will be developed to explore and assist with potential MLS collaborations and consolidations. 
  • An annual meeting will be established between CMLS leadership, NAR leadership, and members of the brokerage community. 
  • A joint-proposition “game changers” program will be established to create the next big MLS idea that will lead to a more efficient marketplace. 

These commitments, including greater MLS representation on NAR committees and advisory boards, will provide a foundation of cooperation toward the resolution of the issues that may arise within the real estate industry. The CMLS forward-thinking approach will bring our knowledge and experience to the discussions, our ability to advance the combined interests of our industry will be acted upon, and our desire for open and honest communication will be valued. The committee appointments, specifically, will provide a voice for the MLS industry. 

In the weeks ahead, expect more communication regarding this new cooperative agreement between CMLS and NAR. I am sure you will agree that this is representative of a very exciting time for the MLS community. I see it as a promising opportunity for all of us to come together and do a better job for all our constituents to align the real estate industry toward a better, more efficient marketplace. 

National Association of REALTORS® News

Sunday, May 15 2016 6:24 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

NAR Mid-Year Update...See below for updates from the week at NAR Mid-Year.  

NAR Board Enhances Core Standards, Adopts Policy on Student Loan Debt
The National Association of REALTORS®’ Board of Directors at its May 14 meeting in Washington voted to add several requirements to the Organizational Alignment/Core Standards for REALTOR® associations and adopted a policy that seeks to ease student debt burdens that threaten to make it harder for people to become home buyers.

The board kept NAR dues at $120 for 2017, approved a three-year extension of the $35 special assessment that funds the consumer advertising campaign, and approved creation of a uniform communications platform for NAR's committees, advisory boards, and forums.

Core Standards
Among other changes, for the compliance cycle starting July 1, 2016, associations must do the following:

--Engage in at least two activities per year that demonstrate how the association is the “Voice for Real Estate" in its market, and at least two activities demonstrating the association’s investment in the community.

--Require six hours of professional development for volunteers who carry out responsibilities that would otherwise be handled by paid staff.

--Offer, promote, or provide at least one professional development opportunity for members every year.

--Annually certify that they have conducted an activity promoting REALTOR® safety.

--Provide resources for or access to leadership development education or training for their elected REALTOR® leaders, and document those resources.

--Include a voluntary political action committee or political advocacy fund contribution on their dues statements, unless prohibited by law.

The board decided to transition to a calendar-year compliance cycle for the standards. As a result, the next compliance cycle will last 18 months, from July 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2017. Watch for a complete list of updates at REALTOR.org’s Core Standards page.

MLS policy
With concerns growing over copyright infringement, the board approved changes to the Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy to reflect the importance of MLS users granting the MLS the licenses necessary to store, reproduce, compile and distribute listing information. In addition, the board is taking steps to increase cooperation and information sharing between NAR and the Council of Multiple Listing Services, a professional trade organization for multiple listing services. 

Student loan debt
In response to growing concerns over the impact of student debt on the ability to buy a home, the board adopted a policy that seeks to allow student borrowers to refinance their loans and streamline income-based repayment programs. Additionally, NAR supports proposals that promote student loan simplification, clarity, and education. And NAR will take steps to ensure that mortgage underwriting guidelines related to student loan debt are standardized and do not impair home ownership.

Consumer advertising campaign

The board continued for three years the annual $35 special assessment to fund the consumer advertising campaign. Results of a member survey conducted in April 2016 show that 87% of 
REALTORS® favor NAR's advertising program and 88% of REALTORS® would like to see more NAR advertising that promotes real estate activity and advances the REALTOR® profession.
REALTORS® at the meetings learned about NAR’s partnership with ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” which includes integration into an episode (original air date: May 4) and ads featuring actor Ty Burrell, who portrays REALTOR® Phil Dunphy on the popular show. Burrell, who has won two Emmy awards for his portrayal of Dunphy, will make an appearance at NAR’s annual meeting in Orlando, Nov. 4–7. 

Board elections
The board elected its 2017 first vice president, John Smaby, CRB, GRI, of Edina, Minn., and its 2017-18 treasurer, Tom Riley, CCIM, CRB, of Bedford, N.H. JoAnne Poole of Glen Burnie, Md., also ran for the first vice president position. 

The other 2017 officers are Bill Brown of Oakland, Calif., president; Elizabeth Mendenhall, CIPS, CRB, of Columbia, Mo., president-elect; Mabel Guzman, AHWD, of Chicago, vice president; and Kevin Sears of Springfield, Mass., vice president. 

Committee communications
The board approved a proposal for NAR to acquire a dedicated communications platform for use by NAR committees, advisory groups, advisory boards, forums, and councils. The system will encourage greater dialogue among committee members and provide more security than email and public social networks. Its use will be mandatory.

Homelessness
In response to homelessness and rising housing insecurity, the board adopted a policy urging state and local REALTOR® associations to work with their communities’ stakeholders to develop innovative and proactive strategies to aid citizens experiencing homelessness or facing problems paying for housing.

Association name changes
The board voted to authorize association staff to approve name change applications when the state name is being shortened to the abbreviation for that state.

RPAC
The board approved an increase in the RPAC fundraising goal from $4.77 to $6.36 per member, which would raise $24.5 million for the 2017-18 election cycle.

In addition, the board voted to phase out the Large Firm Involvement Advisory Board because its activities are covered under the REALTOR® Party. 

Grants to REALTOR® associations
The board and Leadership Team approved grants to a number of local and state associations for campaigns and ballot initiatives. For example, NAR is supporting the Puerto Rico Association of REALTORS®’ efforts to repeal a sales tax on real estate services, a Metropolitan Indianapolis Association of REALTORS®’ campaign to pass a ballot resolution to increase funding for public transportation, a Texas Association of REALTORS® effort to lower local property taxes, and a Missouri Association of REALTORS®’ initiative campaign to pass a state constitutional amendment preemptively prohibiting a sales tax on real estate services.

Homebuyer savings accounts
The board voted to support tax-advantaged programs to allow people to save money for home down payments, and encourage more states to implement these types of plans.

Professional standards
To improve Code of Ethics enforcement, the board voted on the following changes to the Standards of Practice, to take effect Jan. 1, 2017:

-- Ensure accountability on the part of terminated or resigned respondents so they may not circumvent their obligations under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics by resigning or otherwise causing membership to terminate prior to an ethics complaint being filed or prior to an ethics hearing being held.

-- Require ethics hearing panels to specify consequences for failure to comply with discipline imposed in ethics cases, thereby increasing the association's ethics enforcement capabilities.

-- Protect a respondent's right to appeal increased discipline imposed by an ethics hearing panel subsequent to Board of Directors review.

-- Provide complainants with additional time, until adjournment of an ethics hearing, to withdraw their complaint should they choose to do so.

-- Expedite delivery of an ethics respondent's reply to the complainant, consistent with parallel provisions in the arbitration section of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

-- Begin the process leading to the selection of an ethics hearing date within five days after a complaint is forwarded for a hearing. While a final hearing date will likely not be selected during this time, involving the parties in a discussion of a time frame greatly reduces requests for continuances closer to the hearing date.

RPR®
The board heard a report from Dale Ross, CEO of REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR®). Ross said Advanced Multi-List Platform™ (AMP™) testing will take place in five markets across the United States by the end of 2016, and multiple listing services in four additional markets will begin in the first quarter of 2017. Separately, Ross said that Project Upstream testing will begin with brokers in several markets later this year.

.REALTOR
Bob Goldberg, president and CEO of the REALTORS® Information Network and a senior vice president of NAR, said the .REALTOR top-level domain (TLD) remains among the fastest-growing TLDs in the history of the Internet. The period for members to claim a free .REALTOR domain, which was to have ended in 2016, has been extended for several more years.  Goldberg added that NAR plans to launch the .realestate top level domain in late 2016.

Realtor.com®
Luke Glass, executive vice president of Move Inc., which operates realtor.com®, said traffic to the website has expanded significantly since News Corp purchased Move. News Corp owns a number of media properties, including The Wall Street Journal.

Recognition
NAR presented Distinguished Service Awards to two REALTORS®: Pat Kaplan, GRI, GREEN, Portland, Ore., and Barbara Lach, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, PMN, of Columbus, Ohio. The award recognizes people who have shown meritorious service to the association for at least 25 years.

In addition, Andrea Bushnell, RCE, CAE, chief executive officer of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, is the recipient of the 2016 William R. Magel Award of Excellence. She will be formally recognized at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference and Expo Orlando, Fla.

Finally, the board passed resolutions honoring longtime REALTORS® Owen V. Hall of Celina, Ohio, and William P. Thomas of Manahawkin, N.J., who passed away recently.

National Association of REALTORS® News

Friday, May 6 2016 3:31 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Hacker Alert: Change Your E-Mail Password Now…Reuters reports that a Russian hacker was able to gain access to hundreds of millions of accounts on the most popular e-mail servers, putting users' names and passwords at risk, and is now selling the stolen information online. Read More

  • Voice for Real Estate 45: Legislative Mtgs., Flood Ins., Scams, Sales…Thousands of REALTORS® are coming to Washington for NAR's Legislative Meetings to attend educational sessions and meet with their members of Congress and their staffs. That's a top story in The Voice for Real Estate for the week May 2, 2016. Other stories: Chances of private insurers getting into flood insurance market just improved, don't send sensitive client info through email, and why home sales look solid for this spring. Watch Video

  • VR Headsets: Real Estate Game Changer?...Virtual reality headsets may help buyers see your listings up close without setting foot in the property. Showing a home in person could become passé.  Read More

  • Celebrating Our Brand Truth…For 100 years, REALTORS® have been differentiating themselves from the pack. Our value proposition is as powerful as ever. Spending time at the mother ship of the National Association of REALTORS® on Michigan Avenue in Chicago is always a treat. Read More