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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 http://realtorparty.realtor. 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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