Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® and ValleyMLS.com leadership and staff attended the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Convention in San Diego, California this month, and has returned with the following recaps. Please revisit this page as it will be added to as more reviews are provided.
Thank you to those who have earned their C2EX Endorsement! Because of your ‘Commitment to Excellence’, HAAR was one of only eight associations of all-sizes nationwide to be recognized as a C2EX Champion in San Diego!
President, Zelda Friedman
LEADING EDGE ADVISORY BOARD
I have been proud to serve on this committee in 2021; its purpose is to provide feedback to the Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee, identifying, analyzing and providing input on emerging issues and the competitive landscape regarding the industry and association.
The topic for discussion was regarding D.E.I. and that included a 3 panel of leaders:
- Jessica Lutz, NAR Vice President of Demographics & Behaviors Insights
- Leslie Frazier SVP of Community and Industry Relations for Virginia REALTORS®
- Ken Fears Senior Policy Representative NAR
The panel covered the ‘State of First-time Homebuyers in the Market’. The discussion regarding many potential buyers are able to buy a house but do not know they can or how to go about buying. So the key point was for education to go out to communities, and for those buyers to know there are loan products out there that can help with down payments and closing costs. And that building wealth in buying a home, is another great incentive for buying. The average age of a first time home buyer is 28-32. A lot of great information from this meeting.
IDEA EXCHANGE COUNCIL FOR BROKERS FORUM
Discussion was regarding technology and how much money is being invested $13 million in real estate tech. And the use of technology by REALTORS is imperative to be successful in this industry. Gary from BombBomb was one of the speakers, he shared the different ways video could be used in marketing and that a broker could use this to do a quick update to their office to welcome new REALTOR or recognize a REALTOR in their office that has accomplished a milestone.
YOUR POST COVID BUSINESS PLAN
Leigh Brown was the speaker for this session. How are you planning your business. All of Leigh’s classes are always fun and informative. She reminded us that we are problem solvers, that we don’t explain exactly what we do, so much more than showing houses, it is up to us to make sure the public understands. And that during a pandemic we were still able to work and help buyers and sellers. And there is a big market now for second homes since the pandemic, either for rental property or second home, now that people can live anywhere and work, gives more people opportunity to own a second home.
FEDERAL ISSUES UPDATE
Shannon McGahn SR Vice President and Bryan Greene Vice President of Policy were the speakers.
They discussed the BUILD BACK BETTER bill, the pros and concerns about the bill. The positives were in the infrastructure portion did include housing. 2021 NAR President Charlie Oppler had a meeting at the White House to discuss raising the debt ceiling.
Housing is listed as critical regarding affordability, accessibility and availability. And incentives to encourage building home that would help with the inventory.
There were concerns also about the bill regarding 1031 Exchange, increase in capital gains and self directed IRA’s. 1031 for now are off the table per Bryan Green.
It was a very good session with lots of information.
A new website for consumers was announced: Competition in Real Estate. Check it out!
LOCAL PRESIDENT / PRESIDENT-ELECT ROUNDTABLE
I was a moderator for this meeting and my assigned table topic was Member Engagement & Communication. It was great to connect with other leaders from all over the country. We all shared ideas how they stay connected with members as well as I shared what HAAR/Valleymls have in place to stay connected with members.
Treasurer, Tamara Fox
The NAR Annual Convention theme was ‘Rise & Shine’, and that was sunny San Diego! The overall feeling of the meeting was happy to be together, as you know it had been since November 2019 since the last NAR meeting before the world shut down.
It was great re-connecting with agents old and new — in person! One of my biggest takeaways was the new website that NAR has released, which shows the value of competition in the marketplace provided by the MLS. Everything I heard from meeting to meeting was to ‘state your value proposition and tell your story’!
I truly believe that NAR is protecting our industry and RPAC is remaining diligent in it’s fight to stay ahead of the issues concerning the real estate industry.
Dr. Jessica Lautz with NAR led one of my favorite sessions where she provided some extremely interesting data. Please see her presentation below!
NAR Governance Updates
The National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors and the NAR Delegate Body met in back-to-back meetings, capping off the REALTORS® Conference and Expo.
The two groups approved nine sweeping changes to NAR governance policy, including new qualifications for NAR volunteer leaders and a newly constituted Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Those recommendations that required a change to the Constitution & Bylaws then came before the NAR Delegate Body.
The recommendations were the work of a multi-year presidential advisory group, appointed in 2018 and charged with creating a more efficient and transparent governance operation for the 1.5 million–member organization.
Directors approved six recommendations of the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee designed to create transparency for consumers and bring consistency in services for brokers nationwide. These policies take effect Jan. 1, though MLSs could implement them earlier if they choose.
Read more about MLS policy at nar.realtor/mls. At nar.realtor, you’ll also find an expanded “MLS Best Practices.” New voluntary practices for MLSs, which didn’t require approval by the Board of Directors, focus on rule enforcement, data, and governance.
Directors also took the following actions:
REALTORS® RELIEF FOUNDATION FUNDRAISING
Approved a budget adjustment request from Treasurer Nancy Lane that NAR provide a second year of fundraising support for the REALTORS® Relief Foundation. Directors funded a successful fundraising campaign in 2021 that met its $8.5 million goal for the year. Since inception, NAR has provided all administrative support for RRF, reflecting NAR’s commitment to the importance of the charitable work carried out by the Foundation. RRF has helped more than 17,000 families in need at the time of a disaster.
DEFINING EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP
Voted to support a clear joint-employer standard that clearly defines the employer-employee relationship, provides predictability in business relationships, and does not result in one business entity bearing employment liability for another business entity’s employees unless it exerts substantial direct and immediate control over those employees. The Business Issues Policy Committee recommended this policy in response to legislation called the “Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act,” which was introduced primarily to provide gig workers with greater rights and protections. The legislation has a few provisions that NAR is monitoring closely, including an expansion of the current joint-employer standard that could impact real estate brokerage franchisors.
NAR CAMPAIGN RULES
Amended the Campaign and Election Rules Manual to include a process for evaluating Eligible Candidates and Elected Officers who no longer meet the required criteria set forth in the manual.
Amended the Campaign and Election Rules Manual to require the President-Elect’s appointees for Vice President of Association Affairs and Vice President of Advocacy to (1) complete an application for NAR Elected Office; (2) meet the required criteria set forth in Section C.1 of the manual; and (3) submit to the same audit and review process as potential candidates for NAR elected office and require the Candidate Audit Work Group to report the results of its review to the President-Elect by March 15. There will be no public announcement of these appointments until this process has been completed.
FEDERAL FINANCE & HOUSING POLICY
Approved a motion supporting suspension of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) anti-flip rule until Dec 31, 2025. Suspending the rule will increase the pool of homes available to FHA borrowers and improve their chances to become homeowners. The board acknowledged concerns regarding protecting the FHA borrower and the finances of FHA as it relates to properties being resold within 90 days. The suspension end date of Dec. 31, 2025, aligns with the belief that the market will have a chance to normalize within the proposed timeframe and the pool of available homes will increase.
Reinforced NAR support for existing law that allows the use of all self-directed retirement vehicles, including but not limited to those that invest in real property. Proposed tax law changes would represent an unjustified overreaction to perceived abuses, the directors said with their vote; such a proposal would financially harm investors who have relied on present law and would harm the real estate sector by removing a significant avenue for investment in real property.
Approved a motion that NAR oppose tax-law enforcement policies that would require banks and other financial institutions to provide certain account-holder information to the Internal Revenue Service. Congress and the Biden administration are reportedly considering such a requirement on financial institutions. Directors said such a requirement, in pursuit of high-income and high-wealth individuals who are suspected of not reporting all their taxable income, is an overreach that would saddle individuals with extra tax-compliance costs, loss of time in responding to fruitless requests, and the risk of loss of privacy and theft of confidential information.
Approved six Legal Action Committee motions, including that the association purchase a Patent Infringement Liability Policy for NAR, REALTOR® association–owned MLSs, and state and local associations and that NAR provide funding in:
- An Iowa case to oppose a plaintiff seeking to expand a listing broker’s responsibilities as “possessor” of a listed property.
- A Missouri case supporting real estate professionals facing accusations that they violated copyright on architectural home design and related technical drawings owned by the plaintiff. Should the plaintiff prevail, real estate professionals nationwide could be threatened with copyright infringement claims over the creation of floorplans in connection with property listings.
- New Jersey REALTORS®’ support of a real estate brokerage’s appeal in a suit in which the plaintiff is claiming salespeople are misclassified as independent contractors. The issue of independent contractor status in the real estate industry is of national concern, and the board agreed with the Legal Action Committee that the case is important to support in order to preserve the ability of real estate professionals to continue to be classified as independent contractors.
Amended the Mandatory Bylaw Provisions for Local Associations to define “good standing” as it relates to REALTOR® association membership, concisely express the privileges and obligations of REALTOR® members, and assist associations by more clearly defining the behaviors that can lead to disciplinary action of a REALTOR® member.
Amended the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual to provide guidance for virtual ethics and
Amended Standard of Practice 12-1 to clearly prohibit members from advertising their services as “free” unless the members will receive no compensation from any source for the services.
Amended NAR’s Local and State Association Ombudsman Services policy to authorize ombudsmen and ethics mediators to hear disputes involving the public trust.