INS Special Report From the NAR Board of Directors Meeting, May 18, 2019

Board Extends Ad Campaign, Elects Officers

At its May 18, 2019, meeting the board of directors approved a three-year extension of the $35 per member annual special assessment to fund NAR's national ad campaign. The extension will continue the campaign through 2022.

The board also approved the 2020 NAR budget with no dues increase, as well as a Finance Committee recommendation that NAR return to a 50% reserve requirement of gross operating expense (from the current 40%) and that NAR target a 75% reserve. Membership for 2020 is budgeted at 1,340,000, and annual dues remain at $150.

Election of Officers

The directors elected the following candidates for NAR office in 2020:

President–Elect Charles Oppler Franklin Lakes, NJ
First Vice President Leslie Rouda Smith Dallas, TX
RVP: Region 1 Gene Fercodini Wolcott, CT
RVP: Region 2 Drew Fishman Absecon, NJ
RVP: Region 3 Deborah Baisden Virginia Beach, VA
RVP: Region 4 J.D. Rinehart Rock Hill, SC
RVP: Region 5 Pam Powers Greenwood, MS
RVP: Region 6 Greg Hrabcak Westerville, OH
RVP: Region 7 Bruce Bright Brownsburg, IN
RVP: Region 8 Patricia Ohmberger Lincoln, NE
RVP: Region 9 David J. Momper Tulsa, OK
RVP: Region 10 Kaki Roberts Lybbert Denton, TX
RVP: Region 11 David Tina Las Vegas, NV
RVP: Region 12 Angie Tallant Fairbanks, AK
RVP: Region 13 Kevin Brown Oakland, CA

Distinguished Service Award Recipients

PeggyAnn McConnochie, chair of the Distinguished Service Award Council, announced that Kit Hale, managing broker of MKB, REALTORS®, in Roanoke, Va., and Ken Libby, a broker with Stowe Area Realty in Stowe, Vt., have been selected as the 95th and 96th winners of the NAR Distinguished Service Award. They will be recognized at the November NAR Board of Directors meeting in San Francisco.

Other Board Actions

NAR Election Policy

Approved a policy, effective on June 2, 2020, that REALTORS® shall not obtain, or make public, their home state and regional endorsement prior to six months before the beginning of the submission period in which the REALTOR® files application for NAR elected office.

MLS Policy

Revised MLS policy so that REALTOR® association-owned MLSs may charge participants and subscribers who don’t hold primary or secondary membership in the association a different amount than what’s charged to association members, provided that any increase is reasonably related to the actual costs of serving those members.

Access to Financial Services

Passed a policy supporting states’ and residents’ right to create laws aligned with their interests and to allow businesses that are properly registered and legitimate by state standards to have the ability to access banking services. The policy is a response to concerns that many states are legalizing cannabis use, but anyone engaged in transactions with cannabis-related businesses, including real estate professionals and property managers, are at risk of criminal and civil liability under federal law.

Housing Finance

  • Adopted modifications to the association’s Housing Finance Reform Principles. The Trump Administration has made GSE reform a priority, and NAR supports reforms that align with these principles.
  • Approved a policy that NAR supports prohibitions of housing discrimination against veterans provided programs such as VA home loans that are available only to give preference to veterans are not violations of the Fair Housing Act.
  • Approved a policy that NAR opposes the use of excess reserves under the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund for purposes other than reducing and/or eliminating the borrower's mortgage insurance premium and/ or improving the operations of FHA; so long as it does not negatively affect necessary FHA reserves or artificially increase premiums.

Natural Disaster Policy

Supported a national disaster public policy that:

  • Includes post-disaster emergency assistance but emphasizes pre-disaster planning, preparedness, prevention, and the proactive reduction of risk;
  • Promotes the private insurance market to assume more disaster risk but does not crowd out private capital or preempt state insurance regulations or programs;
  • Ensures that property insurance rates align with the true, specific risk of each individual building;
  • Does not impose more than a nominal assessment, surcharge or cross subsidy from some insurance policyholders to others;
  • Encourages communities to adopt higher building codes and ordinances that avoid costly retrofits and damage in high-risk areas;
  • Provides federal assistance for existing high-risk development to mitigate or relocate;
  • Provides for full transparency, state disclosure requirements and accurate hazard mapping so consumers can make informed, responsible risk decisions.

Legal Action

Approved legal action funding on three cases: two involve defense of brokerages classifying agents as independent contractors (one in California and one in New Jersey); one supports a defendant in a copyright action.

Membership Policy & Board Jurisdiction

Amended Contested Application Procedures for Change of Jurisdiction to shorten filing timeframes and implement an electronic hearing process.

Professional Standards

Approved a change to Standard of Practice 1-7 that clarifies that the practice of providing a timely written affirmation to the cooperating broker is a tool to reassure buyers and cooperating brokers that offers were handled properly. The change is effective Jan. 1, 2020.