The following best practices are based on feedback from the 2022 Core Standards appeal hearing panels and were delivered at the State AE Forum during the 2022 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings.
The following sanctions were added in 2022, so loss of charter is not the only consequence of noncompliance.
- Require that Core Standards training be conducted within 30 days of the hearing.
- Deny opportunities for NAR grants that are pending approval.
- Impose probationary status for one year.
- Require the association develop a plan for merger, consolidation or dissolution prior to the end of the cycle.
- Publish association’s name in NAR communication channels (e.g., The Hub, AE INS).
- Recommend charter revocation to the NAR Board of Directors.
December 31 is a hard deadline.
- Some states impose an earlier deadline, and this can eliminate conflicts with the holiday season.
- Be sure state association staff is available during the last weeks prior to the deadline to avoid processing delays.
- Ensure that there is back-up for staff, as some associations have limited staff availability during the holiday season.
- While local/commercial associations cannot access the form after the December 31 deadline, states can contact NAR and make a special request for additional access.
Educate and Inform Volunteer Leadership
It is important to inform volunteer leaders of the Core Standards.
- Be sure local/commercial association Presidents and Presidents-elect understand that their role is to support the staff in the Core Standards compliance process, and if there is an AE vacancy, it is their responsibility to ensure compliance.
- Include an overview of Core Standards in new AE orientation sessions and be sure AEs know they need to orient and involve their volunteer leaders in the process.
- Include an overview of Core Standards in leadership orientation programs.
- Direct volunteer leaders to NAR’s new online course, An Introduction to NAR's Core Standards, developed specifically for volunteer leaders.
Audit, Review, Compilation
Be sure volunteer leaders understand the importance of this standard.
- Associations need to plan ahead for this “look back” on the association’s financial picture.
- Associations need to reach out to their CPA early and not wait until the end of the year to request an audit. Associations need to get on the CPA’s schedule early in the year in order to meet the year-end deadline.
State Association Support
States can assist their local associations in the certification process.
- Some state associations ask their local associations to not submit their certification form until the state has had an opportunity to review it and get back to them with areas that may require further attention.
- Throughout the year remind local associations of opportunities that can be applied toward Core Standards and encourage them to upload the activities as they arise, rather than wait until the end of the year.
Tips to Share With Local Associations, Particularly Staffs of One
While most AEs know and understand Core Standards, there is always turnover in the ranks and states need to be sure new AEs and AEs from smaller associations are always apprised. Be sure they know the following:
- Educate and inform the leadership team so they can support the staff team as they work toward compliance each year.
- In the absence of staff, volunteer leaders are responsible for ensuring that the association’s Core Standards Certification Form is submitted by the annual deadline.
- Every AE needs a back-up for Core Standards. If they are the only staff, then the association President needs to assume that role.