Report from the Recent NAR Meetings

Published: November 19, 2007

<table class="MsoNormalTable" style="WIDTH: 380.25pt" cellpadding="0" width="507" border="0"><tbody><tr><td style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 2.25pt; PADDING-TOP: 2.25pt"><p class="MsoNormal" style="LINE-HEIGHT: 12pt"><b><font face="Arial" color="#cc0000" size="2"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #cc0000; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Special Report <p /></span></font></b></p></td></tr><!– Itemheader –><tr><td style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 2.25pt; PADDING-TOP: 2.25pt"><p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN-BOTTOM: 2.25pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 12pt"><b><font face="Arial" color="#003399" size="2"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: #003399; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><br />Credit Union Launch Tops NAR Board of Directors Actions <p /></span></font></b></p></td></tr><!– Story –><tr style="HEIGHT: 14.25pt" height="19"><td style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; WIDTH: 375pt; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt; HEIGHT: 14.25pt" width="500" height="19"><p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3.75pt; MARGIN-LEFT: 0in; LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0in; mso-margin-top-alt: 3.75pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The Board of Directors of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® at its meeting Nov. 16, 2007, in <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Las Vegas</place></city>, took actions to keep its members positioned for success into the future. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">REALTORS® Federal Credit Union <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Recognizing the disadvantages that real estate professionals face in credit markets because of their irregular, commission-based income, the board gave NAR the go-ahead to launch a REALTOR®-friendly credit union. The credit union, which will be Internet-based with U.S. call center operations, will use underwriting standards that recognize the irregular cash flow of real estate professionals and will handle loan applications and account transactions on a 24/7 basis. All earnings will flow back to credit union members in the form of beneficial interest rates and dividends. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">To get the process started, the board directed NAR staff to file a credit union charter application with the National Credit Union Administration and provided $10 million in start-up capital. It also authorized $5 million to be available on an as-needed basis to meet regulatory capital contingencies. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Other Board Actions <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">On the legislative front, the board positioned NAR on a number of issues coming to the fore in <state w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Washington</place></state>: <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">1) Declared support for a national affordable housing trust fund that doesn’t take away from other federal, state, and local housing programs or negatively impact real estate prices, transaction fees, or loan costs; <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">2) Supported FHA risk-based pricing with the caveat that the new flexibility not leave traditional FHA borrowers at a disadvantage for financing <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">3) Opposed changes to like-kind exchange tax rules that would make certain types of property ineligible (swapping improved real estate with unimproved agricultural real estate) <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">4) Opposed tax rule changes that would convert the carried interest in a real estate partnership of the general partner from a capital gains rate to an ordinary income rate <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">5) Supported voluntary (rather than mandatory) “visibility” requirements. Visibility refers to making homes accessible to visitors with mobility impairments <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">6) Supported adding wind damage to coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program, among other land use policy changes. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Code of Ethics, Other Rule Changes <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><strong> Amended the NAR Code of Ethics to ensure the “true picture” test in Article 12 applies to electronic communications such as e-mail and text messages, and added a Standard of Practice to ensure that REALTORS® present a true picture in their URLs and domain names. The Code of Ethics changes required passage by the Delegate Body, which approved the measure at its meeting following the Board of Directors. Related changes to model MLS rules were also adopted. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"></strong> In MLS policy changes aimed at upping enforcement, the board authorized REALTOR® MLSs to impose financial penalties of up to $15,000—an increase from $5,000—for violations of MLS rules; authorized REALTOR® MLSs to remove any or all of a participant's listings in cases where the participant fails to report status changes on a timely basis; and adopted measures on the procedures for imposing discipline. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><strong> Renamed the “Standards of Conduct for REALTOR® Associations” the “Professional Practices for REALTOR® Association Leadership” and directed NAR to increase awareness of the practices, which cover ethics and business practices among volunteers and staff leaders. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"></strong> Renamed the “NRDS Criteria for Points of Entry Minimum Standards” the “NRDS Standards and Policies,” and set rules regarding contact information to be included in core NRDS fields. The board also set rules for who can input new and additional member data into the data, and gave state and local NRDS staff four years to bring their databases into compliance with the national database. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Additional board steps <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><strong> Approved $475,617 for five legal cases involving questionable infrastructure improvements required of subdivision developers, an ongoing Internet mapping patent infringement case, the validity of a listing agreement with an incomplete property legal description, an ongoing challenge against a municipality's real estate transaction ordinances, and the legality of excluding exclusive agency listings in MLS feeds to broker and other listing Web sites. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The board referred back to the Nominating Committee for further consideration a proposed package of changes to the procedures for electing national officers. The proposed changes are expected to be considered for a vote at the Board of Directors meeting at the 2008 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings in <state w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Washington</place></state>. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Reports <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">2008 President Richard F. &quot;Dick&quot; Gaylord highlighted the need to reach out to younger practitioners in the industry and showcased NAR’s efforts to recognize younger members through the Young Professionals Network, a newly formed organization that grew out of REALTOR® Magazine’s annual “30 under 30” feature. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The board heard an upbeat report on the financial health of the association, which has now reached 1.4 million members and has $300 million in total assets, $247 million in total equity, and $218 million in its investment portfolio. The association’s only debt, of $25.5 million, is for its <place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Washington</city>, <state w:st="on">D.C.</state></place>, building. That debt is being paid down quickly, said NAR Treasurer Bruce Wolf. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">With 2008 national elections nearing, The REALTORS® Political Action Committee is well positioned with more than $7.2 million in contributions for 2007. The total includes $6.7 million from states—109 percent of the fair share goal—as well as $282,000 from the 160 members of the President’s Circle; $26,000 from NAR’s affiliated societies, institutes, and councils; and $20,000 from NAR staff, said RPAC Fundraising Chair Marbury Little. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Errol Samuelson, president of REALTOR.com, reported to the board on innovations to the REALTOR®-owned site, which today hosts an average of 4.3 million listings a day and sees monthly traffic of about 5 million to 6 million consumers. The site boasts a new interface for the popular Apple iPhone digital device and has rolled out an enhanced Find a Neighborhood search feature that enables consumers to search by the kind of neighborhood they’re looking for, such as “family friendly” or “hip and cool.” The search results provide detailed information through maps, photos, and narrative descriptions posted by residents. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Awards <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The board recognized the 2007 Distinguished Service Award winners, Henry Ray, CRB, CRS®, GRI, of <city w:st="on">Birmingham</city>, <state w:st="on">Ala.</state>, and George Peek, GRI, of <place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Reno</city>, <state w:st="on">Nev.</state></place>, and the William R. Magel Award for outstanding REALTOR® association executive, Benny McMahan, GRI, of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. The 2007 Terry McDermott Community Leadership Award went to Carol Shapiro, Eastern Middlesex (<state w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Mass.</place></state>) Association of REALTORS®. <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span id="ms__id1866" style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Delegate Body Actions <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span id="ms__id1867" style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">In addition to approving the change to Article 12 of the Code of Ethics, the NAR Delegate Body on Friday approved the following amendments to the NAR Constitution: <p /></span></font></p><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: 14.25pt"><font face="Arial" color="#000000" size="2"><span id="ms__id1868" style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"></strong> Increase size of the Executive Committee to allow for two representatives from the Real Estate Services Advisory Board. <strong> Make the Member Mobilization chair a member of the NAR board of directors. </strong> Make the vice chair of the Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Reserves Investment a member of the Finance Committee. <p /></span></font></p></td></tr></tbody></table>


Last modified: November 19, 2007 at 8:26 am | Originally published: November 19, 2007 at 8:26 am
Printed: September 27, 2020