The year 2023 marks the ninth cycle of the Core Standards. Rolled out in 2014, the Core Standards for local and state REALTOR® associations promote strategic alignment among all entities of the REALTOR® organization and ensure high-quality service for all members. If you’ve logged into the form already this year, you likely noticed that there are no changes to the Core Standards for 2023. For those of you who might be new to the Core Standards process, here are a few helpful tips to remember:
1. Get an early start on your audit, review or compilation.
Audits and reviews can take a fair amount of time to finish, and you don’t want to be cutting it close to the Core Standards deadline if your accounting firm has any sort of delay. Also, remember that a compilation will suffice only for associations with gross revenue of less than $50,000.
2. Be aware of your state’s Core Standards deadline.
While the National Association of REALTORS®’ deadline is Dec. 31 each year, your state association may impose an earlier deadline to give it time to review all submissions.
3. One activity generally cannot count for multiple Core Standards.
Activities can count toward only one Core Standard at a time, with one notable exception: Promoting or conducting a diversity, equity and inclusion activity or a fair housing activity that falls within the Unification Efforts category may also count toward compliance in either the Advocacy or Consumer Outreach category, though not both.
4. It is noted on the form if any proof of an activity is required to satisfy a Core Standard.
Local AEs need to be aware that state associations may request additional information about any Core Standard prior to approval.
While the Core Standards themselves have not changed very much over the course of nine cycles, NAR is committed to soliciting feedback and improving the process for our association staff and leadership. To that end, a work group of the Association Executives Committee—the Reimagine Core Standards Work Group—was formed this year to examine each part of the Core Standards process. The work group sent surveys out to association staff across the nation during the early part of the year, and it is currently gathering data to help guide the path forward for Core Standards in the future. The group hopes to finish its report to the committee before the end of 2023, and members are grateful for the input they have received thus far.
Regularly revisiting the purpose and goals of the Core Standards is an important part of making sure the process remains useful to members and associations without becoming an overwhelming burden for association staff.