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October 18, 2018 CEO Report

DavidFreitagAs we are putting the finishing touches on 2018, I would like to take a moment to review the past month's accomplishments.

On the public policy front, we have been busy with the local candidate interviews to determine their positions on matters as they relate to our industry. I want to thank our legislative committee for the time that they spent in the process. This year for the first time, our Board has conducted interviews in four of our five counties. We have been able to help distribute over $ 28,000 in RPAC support to our endorsed candidates. The following is the list of our local supported candidates;

Ottawa County: Steve Ardnt, State Representative, and Jim Puffenberger, Auditor

Erie County: Steve Ardnt, State Representative, and Steve Shoffner, Commissioner

Huron County: Nathan Manning, State Senate

Sandusky: Jerri Miller, Auditor, and Bill Reineke, State Representative

Seneca: Bill Reineke, State Representative

We also had interviewed Ottawa County Commissioner Candidates, but the committee made no recommendations on that race. We have had great discussions will all of the candidates, and our Board is well known to the local candidates.

In addition to the above activities President Steve, Frank Corder and I attended an event for Senator Randy Gardner in Perrysburg. We were able to have Representative Arndt join us at our table along with Ed Sitter, Federal Political Contact for U.S. Congressman, Bob Latta. We also we able to talk momentarily with the Congressman.

We left the event and headed to Tiffin to meet with State Representative, Bill Reineke along with Ohio REALTORS District 2 VP, Sara Riesen.

I also attended a luncheon with Secretary of State candidate, Frank LaRose hosted by our Board Attorney D J Swearingen.

Our Annual Awards banquet was held on October 9th at the Bellevue Society of the Arts. We had over 100 attend, and this venue seems to be a central location allowing a shorter drive for our Seneca and Sandusky County membership. I want to thank the committee and especially Cameron Deehr for his hard work.

On the Professional Standards front, we continue to work through our caseload. We were able to have a successful mediation to avoid an Arbitration hearing on a case pending. We had one case settled in Toledo, and we still have one pending at Lorain County. We still have two hearings scheduled, with one trying mediation on October 19th. I am recommending to the Directors that we need to adopt several changes to our Professional Standards procedures. The suggested changes are as follows;

  1. Mandatory Mediation for commission disputes.    

The following change will be required to our by-laws;

Board can require REALTORS to mediate otherwise arbitrable disputes pursuant to Article 17. Mediation can resolve disputes, promote amicable resolutions, and reduce the number of cases requiring the more formal and complex arbitration procedures of the Board, thus reducing the time and effort required of Board Members serving on the Professional Standards Committee

Section 2. It shall be the duty and responsibility of every REALTOR® member of this association to abide by the Constitution and Bylaws and the rules and regulations of the association, the Constitution and Bylaws of the State Association, the Constitution and Bylaws of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, and to abide by the Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, including the duty to mediate and arbitrate controversies arising out of real estate transactions as specified by Article 17 of the Code of Ethics, and as further defined and in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of this association, as from time to time amended. (Adopted 11/11)

  1. Adoption of Ethics Mediation Policy for minor ethics violations.
  2. Expansion of working relationship with both Toledo and Lorain Boards Professional Standards Committees. This will allow a larger group to chose panel members.
  1. Adoption of a Citation Policy for minor ethics violations.

Associations adopting this Citation Policy model must also adopt a “Citation Schedule” of potential violations covered, and must specify the fines that apply to those violations. Information about the Ethics Citation Program, including the Citation Schedule, will be provided as part of the information sent to potential complainants considering filing ethics complaints with the association.

Associations adopting this Citation Policy shall establish a Citation Panel, comprised of at least three (3) individuals, who will review complaints to determine eligibility for the citation program and the appropriate citations. It is recommended that the Citation Panel be a subset of the association’s Professional Standards Committee and that the individuals on the Citation Panel have a high level of experience in hearing professional standards cases.

If the Directors and membership approve the above changes, it is recommended that the Board select a Board Mediation Officer. The rationale for this is as follows;

Conducting successful mediation procedures require tact, diplomacy, and a sense of equity. Careful consideration should be given by the Board President (or the Board of Directors of the Board) in selecting the Board’s Mediation Officer. Many Boards will find that one Mediation Officer will be sufficient. However, in large Boards, consideration can be given to appointing a standing panel of two, three, or more Mediation Officers depending upon the number of requests for arbitration normally filed in the course of a year.

Respectfully submitted,

David W Freitag RCE, CEO

August 16, 2018 CEO Report

DavidFreitagIt’s hard to believe that we are more than halfway through 2018! This year seems to have flown by. Since the last Directors meeting We have held several events, and I have attended both NAR and Ohio Realtor meetings. 

We held our annual Put-In-Bay continuing education classes on July 11th and 12th. The attendance this year was increased, and both instructors received excellent reviews. This event is made possible with the sponsorship of First American Title.

Ohio REALTORS held their annual leadership meetings on July 16th and 17th in Columbus. This event is to allow all of the Presidents-Elect a chance to meet each other and to let the Ohio President give her message for the coming year.

On July 31st we held the Bob Strayer Memorial Golf Classic and over $7000 raised for our Foundation. The event continues to be a great event and overall a huge success!
NAR leadership summit was held August 5th thru 7th in Chicago. The key takeaways this year were;

Your Role as Chief Storyteller

Before you can communicate the full value of membership, including education, consumer communications and advocacy, you must be able to tell your own story!

• Surround Yourself with Greatness

Discover how to build a strong, effective organization. Define what makes an effective meeting; get familiar with using “Robert’s Rules of Order”; be able to explain the nuts and bolts of what makes an organization great, and demonstrate how to effectively build a team and recruit members.

• CEO Performance Evaluations/Sexual Harassment Issues

Learn how to define sexual harassment and the implications of the #MeToo movement. Uncover how to protect your association from legal liability; learn the most effective ways to conduct your association’s executive officer performance appraisal, and identify the parameters of a strong review process.

• AE/PE Relationship

Define the roles and responsibilities of the Association Executive Officer and the President. Distinguish who is responsible for running and leading the association.
Commitment to Excellence Program which was announced during the Summit is detailed below.


The Commitment to Excellence Program will develop and enhance eleven competencies that indicate a REALTOR®’s commitment to ethics, advocacy, technology, data privacy, and outstanding customer service. These REALTOR® C2EX Competencies will include the following:

1. Being current and knowledgeable about the laws, regulations, and legislation affecting the real estate disciplines the REALTOR® engages in, and about real estate in their community generally.
2. Understanding the Code of Ethics is a living document, and keeping themselves informed about its duties and obligations on an ongoing basis.
3. Providing equal professional services to all consistent with Article 10 of the Code of Ethics.
4. Advocating for property ownership rights in their community, state, and nation.
5. Acknowledging and valuing that honesty and integrity are fundamental and essential to REALTORS® being known as consumers’ trusted advisors.
6. Becoming and remaining proficient in the use of technology tools to provide the highest levels of service to clients, customers and the public, and facilitating cooperation by sharing accurate, current information with consumers and with other real estate professionals.
7. Keeping up-to-date on laws and regulations governing data privacy and data security, and taking necessary and appropriate steps to safeguard the privacy and integrity of information entrusted to them.
8. Committing themselves to enhance their knowledge and skills in the real estate areas of practice they engage in on an ongoing basis.
9. Providing superior customer service.
10. Appreciating that courtesy, timely communication and cooperation are fundamental to facilitating successful real estate transactions, and to building and maintaining an impeccable professional reputation.
11. As a broker-owner or principal of a real estate company, being committed to creating and maintaining an environment that promotes excellent customer service consistent with these standards.
Website and Application

To encourage professional development in the REALTOR® C2EX Competencies, a website and corresponding mobile application, C2EX Central, will be developed to host the Commitment to Excellence program.

Program Plan

C2EX Central will offer each REALTOR® the opportunity to complete a C2EX Skills Assessment: a comprehensive, cutting-edge skills and personality identification system designed to measure a REALTOR®’s proficiency in the REALTOR® C2EX Competencies.

The C2EX Skills Assessment will produce a REALTOR® C2EX Journey: A self-paced, facilitated path through a personalized education program, specific action steps, and tailored tools and resources based on the results of the C2EX Skills Assessment. This Journey would meet the individual needs of each REALTOR®, and maximize engagement by offering the products and opportunities identified as being of use and interest to a particular REALTOR®.

Each REALTOR®’s C2EX Journey will be unique and will identify the best possible path for that particular individual toward excellence in the REALTOR® C2EX Competencies.
The REALTOR® C2EX Journey will include three components to guide a REALTOR® toward excellence in the REALTOR® C2EX Competencies:

1. C2EX Action Steps will broaden a REALTOR®’s skill development and engagement with their community through a suggested series of activities, such as attending an event or participating in a recommendation and review program. The C2EX Action Steps Tracker is a journal of Action Steps completed by the REALTOR®.

2. C2EX Learning Prospects will offer a specific formal or informal learning opportunity, such as coursework, attending a webinar, or playing a learning game, uniquely designed to enhance a skill or improve a behavior identified in a REALTOR®’s C2EX Skills Assessment. The C2EX Learning Prospect Tracker is a journal of Learning Prospects completed by the REALTOR®.

3. C2EX Tool Bonuses will offer a specific tool or resource offered by NAR or its partners designed to assist a REALTOR® in an aspect of their business identified in the REALTOR®’s C2EX Skills Assessment. The C2EX Tool Bonus Tracker is a journal of Tool Bonuses utilized by the REALTOR®

If a REALTOR® identifies in their C2EX Skills Assessment that they are a broker/manager, they will unlock a special C2EX Broker/Manager Path: a companion REALTOR® C2EX Journey for brokers and managers, offering Action Steps, Learning Prospects, and Tool Bonuses designed to engage their agents in pursuing increased professionalism through the Commitment to Excellence Program.

Once a REALTOR® completes the Action Steps, Learning Prospects, and utilizes the Tool Bonuses in their REALTOR® C2EX Journey for a particular competency, they will be awarded one of the C2EX Excellence Badges: digital insignias provided as recognition of a REALTOR®’s high level of achievement in one of the REALTOR® C2EX Competencies. These success measures will allow REALTOR®’s to promote their progress and receive encouragement along the way.

Achieving C2EX Excellence Badges unlocks new C2EX Action Steps, Learning Prospects, and Tool Bonuses, and moves a REALTOR® one step closer to the REALTOR® C2EX Endorsement: an award given to a REALTOR® for achieving excellence in all the REALTOR® C2EX Competencies. The REALTOR® C2EX Endorsement is a unique market advantage, identifying the REALTOR® as a well-rounded professional committed to providing superior customer service and representing the ideals of the REALTOR® organization.

Once a REALTOR® achieves their REALTOR® C2EX Endorsement, they will be encouraged to complete another C2EX Skills Assessment to unlock new Action Steps, Learning Prospects, and Tool Bonuses, and receive a brand new, customized C2EX Journey.

Pledge of Performance

The Commitment to Excellence Program will encourage the use of the C2EX Pledge of Performance: An assurance provided by a REALTOR® to their consumers, fellow brokers and agents, and by brokers/managers to their agents, detailing their commitment to professional excellence through the Commitment to Excellence Program.

Transaction Feedback

The National Association of REALTORS® will develop the C2EX Transaction Feedback program: an internal, peer to peer recognition system encouraging brokers and agents to identify their colleagues who choose to participate in the recognition system and excel in their transactions. The rating portion of the system would create aggregated ratings of all a participant’s transactions, and could only be accessed by a participant and their broker.

Broker/Manager Involvement

The National Association of REALTORS® will encourage meaningful broker/manager involvement in and support of the Commitment to Excellence program by creating a viable, measurable program that is recognized as a distinct market advantage by REALTORS® and consumers alike, creating firm C2EX Endorsement programs, and positioning participation in the program as the highest level of service excellence.

Consumer Advertising

The Consumer Communications Committee will be asked to consider how to promote the Commitment to Excellence program and identify the benefits of working with a REALTOR® C2EX Endorsement recipient to consumers.

The National Association of REALTORS® will promote the value of local and state ombudsman programs as a means of effectively addressing and proactively resolving peer to peer disputes among members.

 Respectfully submitted,

David W Freitag RCE, CEO

May 24, 2018 CEO Reports

DavidFreitagSpring has finally arrived, and I hope that all of our members are busy listing and showing properties to clients. At the Board, we are working on planning for our summer activities. I will give you a brief overview of some the events and meeting that we are coming.

From May 14th thru the 18th, I attended the 2018 NAR Spring Legislative meetings in Washington D.C. The Federal Legislative & Political Forum was the opening session. This forum provides a preview of significant issues confronting the real estate industry.

 William Brock Long, Administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was the first speaker. His remarks covered a broad range of disaster and emergency management topics -- from the National Flood Insurance Reauthorization to Federal Disaster Relief, Rebuilding Assistance and Mitigation in the aftermath of the record-breaking 2017 hurricane season.

 Trish Regan, of FOX Business Network, gave her views on the business and stock market climate of the country since President Trump has been in office. She began her remarks with an overview of the 2016 election. Ms. Regan shared the media was told that Hillary was going to win and that the networks would be calling the results by 9 p.m. Her opinion is that the rise in the stock market has been because of the shifting of portfolios due to the pro-business attitude of the administration. She then took questions and answered from the audience.

I along with MLS Chair Sara Riesen met with Rapattoni to go over our system with Staff. One change that we discussed was the device limit on user accounts, and we were able to increase that from 2 to 5 devices per user account. With the increased use of mobile technology, this should be a help to our members.

The Federal Priority Issues Briefing was held on Wednesday before our Capitol Hill visits. NAR Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello (who announced he would retire at the end of this year) and NAR government affairs staff, brief the members in attendance in preparation to swarm Capitol Hill.

The Federal Priority Issues on our 2018 Talking Points include:

1.Net Neutrality

2.Flood Insurance Renewal

3.Tax Policy

4.Equal Access to Housing Opportunities.

While these are the primary issues, many others were discussed in the briefing. Also, and lastly, the printed Talking Points documents were distributed to the members heading to meet their members of Congress and their staff.

At the beginning of the opening general session, 2014 NAR President Steve Brown credited the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), which is an African-American real estate trade organization with leading the charge for fair housing, when NAR was opposed to it in the 1960s.  Said Brown, “Because of NAREB, our hearts and eyes were opened on the issue of fair housing.”  He added, “Not only is it good business; it’s the right thing to do.”

HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson commented that “We need to make sure we learn from the past, so we don’t repeat those mistakes.” Discussing the present day issue of sexual harassment, Dr. Carson spoke about work to protect those who are sometimes forced to endure sexual harassment as part of obtaining housing.  Carson said, “In today’s society, no one should ever have to make the choice between having a roof over their head or tolerating harassment.”

Our Hill visit schedule was as follows;

Wednesday, May 16th

Congressman Bob Gibbs, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman, and Congressman Bob Latta

Thursday, May 17th

Congressman Jim Jordan

Due to scheduling conflicts, we had to move our meeting with Congressman Gibbs to Thursday afternoon.

We were able to meet with all of our legislators except Congresswoman Kaptur, but we did meet with her lead staff person.

Friday I attended the MLS roundtables and was able to share ideas with other MLS administrators.

NAR REALTOR Legislative Meetings – Update

  • • Dues increase of $30 was passed by NAR Board of Directors. NAR 2019 dues will be $150 plus the $35 public awareness assessment for a total of $185.
  • • The proposed 2.5% automatic increase in dues each year beginning in 2020 was removed from the proposal at this time.
  • • The Directors approved NAR obtaining a $38.5 million construction loan and a $15 million revolving line of credit to fund a 10-year Master Vision Plan to renovate the Chicago headquarters building.
  • • Charlie Oppler from New Jersey was elected NAR First Vice President winning over Sherry Meadows from Florida by nine votes.
  • • The California Association will receive Legal Action funding of up to $340,000 in the California Association vs. PDFfiller lawsuit for legal fees and expenses. CAR sued PDFfiller for copyright infringement based on the fact that PDFfiller’s website includes CAR’s copyrighted real estate transaction forms without CAR’s authorization.
  • • The Arizona Association will receive a $2 million grant to assist in their campaign to pass a constitutional amendment that would preclude the eventual imposition of a new sales tax on real estate services. The Oregon Association will receive a $1 million grant to fight a similar issue.
  • • Changes to MLS Policy 7.33 and 7.43 were approved by the Directors. This change provides for commercial members who participate in a Commercial Information Exchange (CIE) the no-cost waiver option that ioffereded to other participants under the new MLS of Choice policy.

Section 9- Enforcement of Rules or Disputes and Section 11- Ownership of MLS Compilation and Copyright of the Model MLS Rules and Regulations were modified.  Additional language added to Section 9 states that by becoming and remaining a participant, they agree to be subject to the rules and regulations and enforcement are at the sole discretion of the Committee (Board of Directors).  Additional language was added regarding complaints of Unauthorized Use of Listing Content.    This new language will be uploaded into My Committee separately. All MLS Rules and Regs should be updated to include this new language.

  • • Professional Standards changes-Effective January 1, 2019 - The Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual will be updated to clarify the role of the respondent’s Broker in Section 13(d) of the manual.

Policy Statement 45 will be amended to give Associations two options if they choose, to publish the names of Code of Ethics violators.

 Section 23 (j) and (n) Action of the Board of Directors will be amended to include the options created if a Board chooses to publish the names of COE violators.

Standards of Practice 1-7 will be amended as follows with the additional instruction and requirement that:

“Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller/landlord, or a written notification that the seller/landlord has waived the obligation to have the offer presented”

Six Case Interpretations will be modernized and enhanced:

Case #5-1, Case #11-11, Case #14-2, Case #15-2, Case #16-9 and Case #16-10

  • • NAR has made available Association Jurisdictional Boundaries Mapping software can be found at The software will display the congressional district, state Senate district and state house district along with the association which has jurisdiction in these districts.

In conclusion, these are just some of the significant discussion and actions that were taken at the NAR Legislative meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

David W Freitag RCE, CEO

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