Note: These additional FAQs supplement the full Core Standards FAQs available on nar.realtor and are incorporated into that document.
2.3.3. I'm the Association Executive for 3 associations of REALTORS®. When I go into the Compliance Tool, I'm able to access two of the associations, but not the third? What should I do?
The first thing to do is check M1 to be sure your Member ID number is included in the AE field for all three associations. Then go to the Local Association Dashboard in the Compliance Tool for one of the associations you are already accessing. You'll see "If you are the Association Executive for additional Associations add them here." Click on "here" and add the additional association. (Added 4.6.15)
2.13. I'm the state association board services director and I'm responsible for confirming our local associations' compliance with the Core Standards. I understand why we can't review our local associations' strategic plans (we're considered to be competitors), but how do we confirm they have a compliant strategic plan?
All that's required is the state association review the certification information in the Compliance Tool and confirm the local association has entered the date the plan was adopted, and the date NAR approved the plan. Absent either piece of information, the state should not confirm compliance. (Added 4.6.15)
2.14. The AE of one of our smaller associations recently resigned unexpectedly. They have no other staff, and it's unclear when the position will be filled. We're a state association and, when they submit their compliance certification using the Compliance Tool, we will review it to determine if they've met the Core Standards. At this point can state staff help the local association's REALTOR® leadership complete the required certification?
Yes. Keep in mind that in addition to the AE, each association's president and president-elect can access the Compliance Tool, and can enter information for their association. That said, there's no reason why the state association or, for that matter, another local association couldn't provide assistance. (Added 4.6.15)
3.16. I have an insurance question. Recently a smaller association merged with our association. The president of the now-dissolved association is asking whether she and the other officers and directors would be covered under the NAR-provided professional liability insurance if they would be sued related to their leadership roles in the operation of that association.
The former association is covered for claims related to activities prior to and up to the date of the merger. (Added 4.6.15)
5.9.1. Several months ago we emailed (or thought we emailed) a Call for Action to our REALTOR® members. We just learned that due to a technical glitch, the email was never sent. The issue discussed in the Call for Action was decided more than a month ago, so there's no point to sending it now. If neither our state association or NAR issues another Call for Action between now and June 30th, will our charter be revoked?
It's been anticipated since the start of the Organizational Alignment/Core Standards initiative, that the compliance criteria would be applied reasonably and with flexibility. In your circumstances, it's clear your association made a good faith effort to communicate the Call for Action that failed due to an email glitch. You will want to explain to the state association what happened, and what other efforts e.g., publication of the Call for Action on the association's website, in the online newsletter, etc., had been made. An association should not be in the position of losing their charter - or having to defend their charter - because of a computer glitch. (Added 4.6.15)
5.11. Our Association has several REALTOR® members who have been active participants in the Broker Involvement Program for several years. Would attaching that roster to the Compliance Tool demonstrate "advocacy engagement"?
Simply attaching a list of members already participating in the Broker Involvement Program prior to May 17, 2014 would not demonstrate the association's "engagement" in advocacy. But if your association has actively recruited members since May 17, 2014, those recruitment efforts would demonstrate engagement - for the current cycle ending June 30, 2015. Examples of engagement could include, but wouldn't be limited to conducting outreach programs/efforts to recruit new participants, encouraging brokers to sign up at membership meetings, sending recruitment emails to members, or hosting functions specifically focused on Broker Involvement Program recruitment. (Added 4.6.15)
7.4. There are twenty-five activity opportunities listed in the four categories of "Consumer Outreach". Must we do all twenty-five to satisfy the Core Standards?
No. As discussed in the beginning of the "Consumer Outreach" section in the Compliance Tool, every association needs to conduct four "meaningful engagement activities annually". The activities reported must include at least one activity from three of the four subcategories (i.e. Being the "Voice for Real Estate", Community Involvement, Advocacy Efforts, and Community Investment). The fourth activity can then come from any of the four subcategories.
To make this more readily understandable, the following new Note is being added to the Compliance Tool:
Note 2: Numbers15-39 that follow is a non-exclusive list of examples of activities that evidence Compliance with the Core Standards Consumer Outreach criteria. Associations are not expected to conduct all of the activities offered as examples, and the fact that most entries are answered with "no" or are left blank will not affect compliance, provided that at least four (4) compliant activities in at least three (3) of the categories shown above have been conducted.
(Added 3.9.15) (Supplemented 4.6.15)
7.6. If our association makes a financial donation to a local charity from our general funds, would that be an "activity" demonstrating "Community Investment" under the "Consumer Outreach" Core Standard?
No. This section of the Core Standards contemplates associations conducting actual activities such as those offered as examples in the Compliance Tool. Simply writing a check, without there being any actual member involvement in an association-conducted activity, while commendable, would not meet the requirement. (Added 4.6.15)
7.7. If we conduct two different fundraisers for two different charities at two different times of the year, can we use both to demonstrate compliance with the "Community Investment" requirement under "Consumer Outreach"?
Yes, but keep in mind that the association will also need to conduct at least two other activities in at least two different "Consumer Outreach" categories. (Added 4.6.15)
8.8. Where do we send our governing documents i.e., association bylaws, MLS rules, and MLS bylaws (our MLS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the association) for review and approval by NAR?
Please send governing documents by email to NARpolicyQuestions@nar.realtor.
Note: Associations that are shareholders in a regional MLS, and that have adopted a common set of MLS bylaws and/or rules, do not need to submit those documents to NAR if they have already been submitted for review by the regional MLS. (Added 4.6.15)
8.9. Item #40 in the Compliance Tool asks when NAR most recently approved our governing documents. We usually send our association bylaws and our MLS rules to NAR at different times of the year. Consequently, NAR's approval letters for each don't have the same date. Which date do we use to answer #40?
Good question. Separate entries for approval dates for association bylaws, MLS rules, and for MLS bylaws (where applicable) are being added to the Compliance Tool. Thanks for the suggestion. (Added 4.6.15)
10.2.a. FAQ 10.2 says that we don't have to attach the auditor's report on the audit review or compilation, only that we need to report the date of the last financial review/review compilation, the name of the individual or firm that conducted the review, the year-end to which the report relates and, if an audit, the type of opinion that was received. But in the Compliance Tool - at item #48 - there's a space to "attach document". That suggests the financial review or review compilation should be attached. And there isn't a place to enter the four requested items of information.
Good point. In response to your suggestion, enhancements are being made to the Compliance Tool so associations will be able to enter the date of their last financial review/review compilation, the name of the individual or firm that conducted their review, the year-end to which the report relates and, if there was an audit, the type of opinion the association received. It is not necessary to attach the auditor's report. The "attach document" function should be used to attach a CPA engagement letters if applicable to your situation. See FAQ 10.2.6. for information on when CPA engagement letter is appropriate. (Added 4.6.15)