Note: These additional FAQs supplement the full Core Standards FAQs available on nar.realtor and are incorporated into that document.
1.4.a. Will extensions be available to local associations who don't meet the Core Standards by June 30, 1015?
The Organizational Alignment/Core Standards initiative requires compliance by the deadline. (Added 3.9.15)
2.4.2. Can the state associations view the compliance certification forms of local associations who've started to complete - but haven't submitted - the online form in the Compliance Tool?
State associations can view local associations' completed/submitted certification forms, and forms that associations have started to compile that aren't completed (or that haven't been submitted). Additionally, automated notices of submission and approval were added to the Compliance Tool in January, 2015. (Added 12.10.14) (Revised 3.9.15)
2.4.2.a. I'm the state AE. We're trying to help all of our local associations with the Core Standards but two of our local associations are missing from the Compliance Tool. They are listed accurately in the NRDS database. Why don't they appear in the Compliance Tool?
They will appear in the Compliance Tool - once they begin using it. Local Associations do not appear in the Compliance Tool until they begin to complete the certification form (Compliance Tool). State associations may want to contact "missing" local associations and remind them about the June 30 deadline. (Added 3.9.15)
2.11. Can we attach video and audio files to the NAR Online Compliance Tool?
No. The Compliance Tool does not host video or audio files, but consider loading the file on your association's website and then posting a link to it in the Compliance Tool. Or you might load the file on YouTube and then link to it from the Compliance Tool. (Added 3.9.15)
2.12. Must each of the 48 entries in the Compliance Tool be answered?
While many of the items in the Compliance Tool require a response, there are exceptions. For example Section III, Consumer Outreach, includes twenty-five examples of activities that would meet the Core Standards. As discussed in the Compliance Tool - and in FAQ 7.4 - every association needs to conduct four "meaningful engagement activities annually", including 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. Additionally, activities not specifically described in the Compliance Tool can be reported in the Compliance Tool. An "Other" entry has been added to each of the subcategories under Consumer Outreach and associations can explain how they've been the "Voice for Real Estate", and report other activities demonstrating the association's "Community Involvement", its "Advocacy Efforts", and its "Community Investment" involvement. (Added 3.9.15)
3.2.1. After we receive a merger grant, how long do we have to use the money?
There is no deadline for spending grant monies. (Added 3.9.15)
4.2.1. We received a strategic planning grant from NAR; how long do we have to use the funds?
There is no deadline for spending grant monies. (Added 3.9.15)
4.14. Because local associations' strategic plans can't be viewed by other associations (including state associations), how will the state associations know the strategic plans of their local associations have been approved by NAR?
A field has been added to the Compliance Tool for local associations to include the date of approval by NAR. (Added 3.9.15)
5.1.1. Are there RPAC materials available explaining the importance and value of investing in RPAC?
Yes. NAR will customize, design, print and deliver RPAC fundraising brochures for your association. http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/rpac/for-associations/fundraising-programs/rpac-partnership/customized-brochures.html (Added 3.9.15)
5.1.2. Are there grants available from NAR for informing our membership about the value of investing in RPAC?
Yes, RPAC Local and State Fundraising Grants are available to produce and distribute fundraising videos and DVDs, to produce and distribute fundraising materials, and for RPAC messaging at new member orientation. http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/rpac/for-associations/rpac-partnership/ (Added 3.9.15)
5.9. The "Advocacy" section of the Compliance Tool asks associations to demonstrate significant participation in State Calls for Action, and allows supporting documents to be attached. But our state didn't issue a Call for Action. How do we answer?
It should be noted the compliance criteria (#13) the requirement includes an "If applicable" qualifier. If there were no state issued Calls for Action, then no action is required. The state association, which reviews local association compliance certifications, should realize this requirement wouldn't apply during the compliance cycle being reported. If a local association wants to provide information, it could be attached in the field where supporting documentation would otherwise be appended. (Added 3.9.15)
5.10. Our Association (Association A) received a Placemaking grant from NAR. Before the activity was conducted we (Association A) merged into Association B. Then the new Association AB actually conducted the activity. Can the new merged Association AB include it as one of its Advocacy activities even though the grant was made to the former Association A?
Yes. Conducting the activity is what's important. (Added 3.9.15)
7.3. Are there NAR grants that can be used to meet the "Consumer Outreach" Core Standard?
Yes, Diversity, Housing Opportunity, Placemaking and Smart Growth grants are available to fund the Community Involvement, Advocacy and Community Investment activities. http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/for-associations/community-outreach/ (Added 3.9.15)
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. (Added 3.9.15)
7.5. Our association conducted an activity we believe shows how we're the Voice for Real Estate locally, but the activity doesn't appear in the Compliance Tool. Can we use that activity to demonstrate compliance with the Core Standards? And shouldn't that be true for the other three Consumer Outreach subcategories (i.e. Community Involvement, Advocacy Efforts and Community Investment)?
Yes. The twenty-five activities shown in the Compliance Tool were intended as examples of activities that would that would satisfy the Core Standards, not as an exclusive list of compliant activities. But that wasn't clear in the early iterations of the Compliance Tool, so four "Other" entries have been added (one to each of the subcategories (i.e. Being the "Voice for Real Estate", Community Involvement, Advocacy Efforts, and Community Investment) so associations can report activities that demonstrate how, for example, they were the Voice for Real Estate. (Added 3.9.15)
8.7. Section IV - Unification Efforts and Support for the REALTOR® Organization asks for the date of last approval of our association bylaws, MLS rules and MLS Bylaws (if the MLS is incorporated). We submit those documents to NAR periodically, but often at different times. As a result the approval dates vary. Item 40 only allows us to enter one date. What do we do if we have two or more approval dates to report?
Separate fields for associations to use to report the last approval date for association bylaws, MLS rules and MLS bylaws have been added to the Compliance Tool. If the MLS is a committee of the association, simply leave the date of approval for MLS bylaws blank. (Added 3.9.15)
10.1.2.c. What is a Compliance Reporting policy?
This simply refers to the fact that the association has a process in place to ensure that federal, state and other regulatory reports are prepared and filed on a timely basis. (Added 3.9.15)
10.2. What financial reports are necessary to satisfy the Core Standards? Must the report be attached to the compliance certification?
Each association must obtain an auditor's report on an audit, review or compilation. The report itself does not have to be attached to compliance certification (Compliance Tool). The following information is required:
- Date of last financial audit/review/compilation
- Name of the individual or firm conducting the review
- Year end to which the report relates
- If an audit, what type of opinion was received
Definitions of these terms by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants are provided in questions 10.3-10.5.
Important Note: If the required reports for the current cycle will not be available until after June 30, 2015, a copy of the signed CPA engagement letter (as authorized by the NAR Finance Committee and discussed in FAQ 10.2.6) must be attached. (Revised 3.9.15)
10.2.2.a. Are RPAC contributions included in the $50,000 cut-off for using a "CPA's Compilation Report" to satisfy the Core Standards?
No. (Added 3.9.15)