Note: These additional FAQs supplement the full Core Standards FAQs available on nar.realtor and are incorporated into that document.
2.3.2. Our inaugural and installation of officers is soon. Will our soon-to-be former president continue to have access to the Compliance Tool, and when will our new president-elect have access?
Two things need to happen to effect the changes. First, the association's officer information needs to be updated in M1. Once that happens, the next time an authorized user enters - and saves - information in the Compliance Tool, the updates will occur automatically. (Added 12.24.14)
5.5.6. If we choose to write a corporate check in lieu of dues billing, what date - and therefore what membership count - do we use to determine the amount? And, if our membership increases during the year, do we "owe" more money later since the membership went up?
The date used to set the states' National RPAC Fundraising Goals for the 2015-2016 Election Cycle is October 31, 2013 - which is the same date Local Associations should use when determining the amount of their corporate check.
If your membership changes, the amount required via a corporate check will not change. (Revised 12.24.14)
5.5.9. Can contributions invested via dues billing that are mandatory assessments, where state law permits such assessments, count towards RPAC Participation?
Mandatory assessments imposed on members for funds to be provided to RPAC through the NAR PAF do not count towards RPAC Participation. To count towards RPAC Participation via NAR's recognition program, the investment must be voluntary. (Added 12.24.14)
8.3.2. What other professional development programs and courses are available from NAR?
Following are some of the course offerings available from NAR, together with suggested credit hours:
Staff and Volunteer Leadership Development Programs
- Association Executives Institute (AEI) (6 hours)
- REALTOR® Association Management (RAM) Self-Study Course (6 hours for the year of course completion)
- Advanced REALTOR® Association Management (ARAM) Self-Study Course (6 hours for the year of course completion)
- Professional Standards Self-Study Course (6 hours for the year of course completion)
- REALTORS® Excelling in Association Leadership (REAL) Self-Study Course (3 hours for the year of course completion)
- NAR Leadership Summit (3 hours)
- REALTORS® Leadership Program (RLP) Leadership 100 (2 hours)
- REALTORS® Leadership Program (RLP) Leadership 200 (3 hours)
- REALTORS® Leadership Program (RLP) Leadership 300 (3 hours)
- REALTOR® association Certified Executive (RCE) Designation (6 hours for the year the designation is awarded)
- NAR New AE Orientation (6 hours)
Business Specialties Courses
- ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative) (6 hours)
- Green 100: Real Estate for a Sustainable Future (6 hours)
- Green 200: The Science of Green Building (6 hours)
- Green 300: Greening Your Real Estate Business (6 hours)
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) (6 hours)
- BPOR (Broker Price Opinion Resource) (6 hours)
- e-PRO Day 1 (6 hours) (Note: An AE-specific course is offered at AEI but staff can also take the regular version)
- e-PRO Day 2 (6 hours)
- MRP (Military Relocation Professional) (6 hours)
- RSPS (Resort and Second Home Property Specialist) (6 hours)
- SFR (Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource) (6 hours)
- Generation Buy (6 hours)
- New Home Construction and Buyer's Representation (6 hours)
- Real Estate Marketing Reboot (6 hours)
- REO: Responsibilities, Education and Opportunities for Real Estate Professionals (6 hours)
- Successful Buyer Representation in Relocation (6 hours)
- Enhance Your Brand and Protect Your Clients with Data Privacy & Security (3 hours)
- Expanding Housing Opportunities (3 hours)
- RPR: Real Time Data, Market Knowledge, Informed Customers (3 hours)
- At Home With Diversity (6 hours)
- NAR Attorney Seminar (morning session at the annual convention) (3 hours)
- NAR Professional Standards Administrator Seminar (6 hours)
- NAR Advanced Professional Standards Education Seminar (6 hours)
- NAR Mediation/Mediator Training Seminar (6 hours)
- REALTOR® Party Immersion Day Training (at AEI) (6 hours)
Graduate Certificate Program in Real Estate Association Management
- REAM560 - Real Estate Association Management I - Leadership and Governance (6 hours)
- REAM565 - Real Estate Association Management II - Association Financial Management (6 hours)
- REAM570 - Program Development and Accountability in Real Estate Associations (6 hours)
- REAM580 - Issues and Trends in Real Estate (6 hours)
- RE520 - Real Estate Law (6 hours)
- RE540 - Real Estate Finance and Investments (6 hours)
Global and Commercial Courses
Certified International Property Specialist Designation Courses
- Global Real Estate: Local Markets (6 hours)
- Global Real Estate: Transaction Tools (U.S. students) (6 hours)
- The Business of U.S. Real Estate (Non-U.S. students) (6 hours)
- Europe & International Real Estate (6 hours)
- Asia/Pacific & International Real Estate (6 hours)
- The Americas & International Real Estate (6 hours)
- Global Programs for Associations (6 hours)
- Commercial Membership By Design (3 hours)
- Discovering Commercial Real Estate (3 hours)
10.1.1.a. How do I know which policies my Association must adopt to meet the standard?
As each state and local association engages with their auditors to address the Core Standards requirement for an audit, review or compilation, any accompanying review of internal controls will help associations identify gaps in their existing financial policies. Ideally, financial policies are established based on the business activities of the association. Many will be integral parts of the association's internal control structure. For example, an association where staff does not travel to state or national meetings or on other business may not need a staff travel policy. Associations' business activities and structure will drive the decision as to which policies are needed.
While the IRS suggests in Form 990 that every organization have conflict of interest, whistleblower and document retention policies , these are simply suggested best practices, and not NAR requirements.
Auditors are likely to encourage adoption of fraud prevention, budgeting, revenue recognition, investments, and payment policies as the cornerstones of good internal control practices.
Put simply, NAR does not mandate which policies associations must adopt because other factors including the recommendations and advice of auditors, tax professionals, legal counsel and others will help associations identify and adopt the financial policies necessary for their business practices.
Important reminder: Templates for these suggested policies are readily available online at nar.realtor. (Added 12.24.14)
10.1.1.b. Are we required to share our state and/or federal tax returns with the state association or with NAR?
No. Documentation confirming that the required returns have been filed such as a letter from the association's CPA, accountant, tax preparer or the treasurer will satisfy the requirement. (Added 7.3.14) (Renumbered 12.24.14)
10.1.2.a. What is a Financial Information Disclosure policy?
A Financial Information Disclosure policy ideally will be developed by the association's Finance Committee and adopted by the association's Board of Directors. The policy spells out who will have authorized access to the association's financial information, particularly information deemed to be confidential.
For example, full financial statement packages, including balance sheets, income statements and budget reporting might be appropriately available to the association's elected officers, members of the Executive Committee and members of the Board of Directors since those individuals may have a legitimate need for a clear and accurate picture of the association's financial position. Specific, detailed information about revenues, expenses, investment holdings, cash positions, and other matters of financial operations might be necessary for members of the Finance Committee to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. Other members involved in association governance, but not involved in overall financial management decisions, might be given access to information that is directly related to their roles and responsibilities. Such information might include to PAC information, fundraising data, member recruitment/retention information, dues collection information, and similar focused information might be appropriate to share with such members. Members not involved in association leadership or governance might - as a matter of association policy - be afforded a high level of operating summary focusing on the oft-asked question of "where do my dues dollars go?"
The issue of who is entitled to the association's financial information - and what information they are eligible to receive should be determined in advance in the context of a clear, written Financial Information Disclosure policy. Such a policy, providing clarity and consistency in sharing financial information serves the best interests of associations and their members. (Added 12.24.14)
10.1.2.b. Our association commonly files for one or more extensions for filing our state and/or federal tax returns. What do we do if we haven't filed the current year's returns when it's time to demonstrate compliance with the Core Standards?
Documentation confirming filing of the most recent returns (see FAQ 10.1.1.b.) will satisfy the requirement. (Added 7.3.14) (Renumbered 12.24.14)