The National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors and the NAR Delegate Body met in back-to-back meetings Monday, November 14, 2022, capping off NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience. The meetings took place in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 11-13.
The Board of Directors voted to replace the term "handicap" with "disability" in Article 10 of the Code of Ethics, in the Standards of Practice, and in corresponding NAR references to protected classes under fair housing law. This change to the Code was subsequently approved by the NAR Delegate Body and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Directors also recommended to the Delegate Body changing the YPN representative's term on the Finance Committee from three years to two years (an amendment to Article VIII, Section 1 of the NAR Constitution). Since all other members on the Young Professionals Network Advisory Board receive two-year appointments, adjusting this term creates a cohesive structure. This motion was also approved by the Delegate Body and goes into effect in 2023.
Directors approved amendments to the Campaign and Election Rules Manual to:
- Establish a process for considering removal an NAR officer and acting to remove an officer for reasonable cause.
- Require that all elected and appointed officers complete annual sexual harassment and diversity, equity and inclusion training prior to their term of office.
- Include a nepotism policy to prevent conflicts of interest or even the appearance of conflicts of interest.
They sent back to the Association Executives Committee a proposal to form an association innovator program for local associations and REALTOR® association-owned and -operated MLSs.
In other actions, the directors:
Adopted an MLS policy that defines "statewide data share" as delivering MLS data, including offers of compensation, through a common technology interface (e.g., API) to all participants of MLSs that are part of a statewide sharing program. The new policy states that the shared data should not include MLS-only data fields that are viewable only to the listing participant and the respective local MLS. The motion was one of 10 recommendations from the MLS Statewide Data Share Presidential Advisory Group. The other recommendations aren't mandatory and therefore did not require a board vote. The full proposal can be accessed here: MLS Statewide Data Sharing (PDF: 229 KB).
Approved a recommendation that the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) urge industry adoption of a consistent framework for the reconsideration of real estate valuations. Providing a consistent framework will build credibility in the valuation process and enable consumers to raise fair lending concerns without jeopardizing appraiser independence. Directors also approved the committee's recommendation urging that the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) allow a broader range of education and experience alternatives for the required core curriculums for licensed residential real property appraisers and certified residential real property appraisers. The recommendations came from the Real Property Valuation Committee and were developed in cooperation with the Fair Housing Committee.
Approved a recommendation of the Conventional Finance and Policy Committee that the National Association of REALTORS® take a series of actions to support the development and use of down payment assistance programs as a tool to advance homeownership.
Approved a recommendation of the Fair Housing Committee that NAR support section 701(c) of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), which permits the creation of Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) to meet the credit needs of underserved borrowers and communities, and that NAR support SPCPs that meet certain criteria.
Approved a Land Use, Property Rights, and Environment Committee recommendation that NAR change its current policy on water resources to make the policy clearer, more proactive and broader in scope and to allow NAR to engage in a larger number of federal water-related issues, such as conservation, storage and water planning.
Approved a recommendation of the Global Business & Alliances Committee that NAR create a REALTOR® Fund for Global Assistance, which would be charged with supporting a global disaster relief program. The Global Fund would offer housing-focused support for NAR bilateral partners and International REALTOR® Members during times of disasters. REALTORS® Relief Foundation President Michael Ford clarified, in a letter accompanying the recommendation, that the work of RFGA will not overlap with the mission and activities of RRF and its disaster relief activities. RFGA will focus on issues identified by and impacting the bilateral partners, thereby strengthening the bilateral partners within their own countries.
Approved the purchase of a master policy for the professional liability insurance program for NAR, its affiliates, state and local REALTOR® associations, and REALTOR® association-owned multiple listing services from Chubb Group for the 2023 policy year.
Approved the purchase of a patent infringement liability policy for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, its affiliates, its state and local REALTOR® associations, and REALTOR® association-owned multiple listing services to protect those entities in the event of a patent infringement claim.
Approved $30,000 in funding to the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS® in support of an amicus curiae brief filing in support of private property rights in a case involving short-term rentals.
Approved changes to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual to remove the board president from the process of disseminating ethics complaints, responses, and appeal decisions. These amendments strengthen the grievance process by removing any appearance of impropriety.
Amended Standard of Practice 3-9 of the Code of Ethics to replace "the listing broker" with "the seller" to clarify that it's the seller, not the listing broker, who establishes terms related to the marketing and sale of the property.
Reports to the Board
NAR's Strategic Planning Committee presented the 2023-25 Strategic Plan and its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan. The strategic plan is built on these six pillars: leadership and influence, industry outreach, member success, the REALTOR® brand, member experience, and organizational development and performance. The DEI strategic plan is built on these six pillars: executive commitment, membership, culture, advocacy, partners, and communications and marketing management. The plans didn't require board approval under new governance rules.
Igor Balaka and Olena Haidamakha, representative of Ukrainian REALTORS®, a bilateral partner of NAR, appeared onstage to thank NAR and its members for supporting REALTORS® affected by the Russian invasion of their country. Balaka, speaking in Ukranian, said donations by REALTORS® in the U.S. had provided assistance to 241 families in severely affected areas, including colleagues wounded in missile strikes. He thanked NAR for its help "not only in words but actions," and called the association "the most powerful real estate organization in the world." He gave special thanks to President Leslie Rouda Smith and President-elect Kenny Parcell and closed with "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to NAR!"
More than 575,000 REALTORS® invested in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, a 37% participation rate. RPAC raised $45,968,000 at all three levels of the association, 101% of its 2022 goal. It’s at 96% of its 2022 Major Investor goal with 10,484 members and at 177% of its Presidents Circle goal with 1,928 members. RPAC also surpassed its federal disbursements allocation goal, raising more than $11 million at the national level by the end of October.
With record membership, NAR ends the year in a good financial position. Treasurer Nancy Lane reported that the association was at 1,602,573 paid members and expected to reach 1,607,000 paid member by the end of the year. NAR continues to manage expenses prudently and, going forward, will watch for declines in membership and carefully adjust budgets to reflect post-COVID trends and practices.
Directors recognized the 2022 Distinguished Service Award recipients, Cindy Chandler, CCIM, CRE, SRES, AHWD, C2EX, RSPS, of Charlotte, N.C., and Chris McElroy, CIPS, CRS, GRI, AHWD, of Ft. Collin, Colo., as well as the recipient of the 2022 William R. Magel Award for excellence in REALTOR® association management, Tessa Hultz, CIPS, RCE, AE EPRO, AHWD, C2EX, EPRO, of the Long Island Board of REALTORS®.