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Below is NAR President Tom Salomone's letter outlining key issues to be discussed at the Board of Directors meeting at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference and Expo on Monday, Nov. 7.

Download letter (PDF: 717 KB)


October 26, 2016

Dear Director of the National Association of REALTORS®,

I look forward to welcoming you to the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in my home state, Florida. Thank you for making the time to join us—it’s going to be a great conference!

No doubt, next week will be busy, but it’s going to be exciting—especially for directors. I want to remind you that directors have an important task at hand, one that we cannot take lightly. At the upcoming Board of Directors Meeting on Monday, November 7, we will be voting on a number of issues that impact the strategic direction of our Association. Remember, in your role as a National Director, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of NAR. Your fiduciary duties are owed to NAR, not to a local or state REALTOR® association or Institute, Society or Council that may have selected you to serve.

As Directors, it is our duty to govern the Association; therefore, it is imperative that you come to the meeting equipped to make informed decisions.     

Summarized below you will find important information to help you prepare for next week’s meetings—including a summary of each of the key issues that we anticipate will be presented during the Board of Directors Meeting. Please take the time to review this information carefully.


NAR 360°

Directors are encouraged to attend the NAR 360° program on Thursday, November 3rd at 4:00 pm. in the Orange County Convention Center West, Valencia Ballroom. This forum officially kicks off the REALTORS® Conference & Expo and provides an excellent overview of the issues shaping the future of our industry. 

Directors and Delegates Forum

Directors must attend the Directors and Delegates Forum on Saturday, November 5, at 1:00 pm in the Hyatt Regency, Plaza International G&H. At this meeting, directors will be provided with an overview of recommendations presented by the Leadership Team to modify the composition of the Board of Directors, change the title of the Vice Presidents, and other important items.   

BOD Check-in

BOD Check-in counters will open at 7:30 am, Monday, November 7. At check-in, each director will receive a voting device with a voting smartcard, as well as pertinent meeting materials. As a reminder, director resignations and/or changes to a director name on the Board roster will be accepted by NAR up to 4:00pm, Sunday, November 6.  No changes to the roster will be accepted the morning of the Board meeting.

All directors must be checked in by the time the BOD meeting is called to order promptly at 8:30am.

Key Issues:

Board of Directors Composition

The Board of Directors composition has been in place since its restructure in 2000 without any formal review.  A Presidential Advisory Group was appointed to take a comprehensive look at the composition of the Board to ensure that this governing body continues to properly reflect the membership of the National Association and the real estate industry.

The Leadership Team will present to the Board of Directors recommendations to modify the Board’s composition and to recommend to the Delegate Body related constitutional amendments.

Commitment to Excellence

The Commitment to Excellence Program is being designed to enhance professionalism in REALTORS® by utilizing a multifaceted approach aimed at offering opportunities for continuing education and professional growth and changing consumer expectations, while incentivizing voluntary participation through flexible, positive reinforcement methods. A member’s Commitment to Excellence is a cultural mindset shift, and a lifelong commitment to becoming the best possible professional and providing superior customer service.

View video.

New Public Policy Relating to FHA Appraisals

Currently the Federal Housing Administration requires that an appraisal remain with a property for 120 days. In appreciating markets, this can harm values.  Back in May the Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee passed a motion that “NAR urge FHA to remove the rule that an appraisal sticks with a property for 120-days.” The Real Property Valuation was concerned the motion written could allow for appraisal shopping. To prevent that, the committee amended the statement to say “NAR urges FHA to revise the requirement that an appraisal stays with the property for 120 days and instead stays with the borrower,” which is the policy Federal Financing and Housing will discuss and vote on at the Annual meeting. 

Director may be asked to approve the amendment.

Global Climate Change Policy Updates

The Land Use, Property Rights and Environment Committee will recommend the approval of a number of changes to the current public policy position on global climate change. The proposed changes would update the policy to reflect evolving perspectives on various climate change issues and provide NAR with additional flexibility to address new legislative and regulatory initiatives at the federal government level.

Directors will be asked to approve these policy updates.

Policy Changes Regarding Federal Capital Gain Tax Exclusion on the Sale of Principal Residences

The 2016 Federal Tax Committee will propose policy changes regarding the federal capital gain tax exclusion on the sale of a principal residence. NAR’s current policy calls for the maximum amounts of the exclusion ($250k for single taxpayers; $500k for married filing a joint return) to be indexed for inflation on a prospective basis. Current law does not provide for these amounts to be indexed for inflation.  Some high cost housing markets have experienced such high appreciation that the current law maximum exclusion amounts still leave a very high capital gains tax due for some sellers. 

The Federal Tax Committee’s proposed policy revisions recommend consolidating the $250k maximum exclusion for single taxpayers with the $500k maximum exclusion and requires the $500k maximum exclusion to be indexed prospectively for inflation beginning in 2017. Policy recommendations also include that older sellers (55 and over) who have lived in their home for 10 years may elect to increase the maximum exclusion to $750k, indexed for inflation. 

Directors will be asked to decide whether or not to adopt these policy recommendations.

Equal Housing Opportunity – Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

NAR policy is in support of equal opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation and the NAR Code of Ethics provides that REALTORS® should provide equal professional services on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, the Federal Fair Housing Act does not offer protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The 2016 Diversity Committee will ask directors to support legislation and regulation supporting equal housing opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Rent Control Policy Updates

Rent control, or rent stabilization, has been in use in a few local jurisdictions for decades. However, new rent control proposals, and proposals to strengthen existing ordinances are occurring in some high-cost areas. NAR policy opposes rent control.

To ensure NAR’s position is reflective of today’s market conditions, the State & Local Policy Issues Committee will propose updates to existing policy.

Directors will be asked to approve these recommendations.  

RPAC Fundraising Policy Recommendations

The 2016 RPAC Fundraising Trustees Committee will provide the Board of Directors with recommendations to support a new fundraising goal in partnership with state associations. The recommendations allow for improved clarity between the current “needs based” goal and the overall state fundraising goals annually. 

Directors will be asked to approve the recommendations.

REALTOR® Party Policy Updates

The 2016 RPAC Fundraising Trustees Committee will provide the Board of Directors with recommendations to update existing REALTOR® Party policy. The recommendations pertain to two issues regarding association jurisdiction− REALTOR® Party Resource Use and Candidate Disbursement. 

Recommendations regarding REALTOR® Party Resource Use are devised to ensure State and Local REALTOR® Associations only use resources provided by the NAR REALTOR® Party Program within their association’s territorial jurisdiction as set by NAR.

Recommendations regarding associations jurisdictional purview over Candidate Disbursements ensure that State and Local Associations only make campaign contributions or expenditures within their local or state association territorial jurisdiction, unless consent is given by an association outside of that jurisdiction. 

Directors will be asked to approve the recommendations.


Thank you again for making the time to be with us in Orlando. NAR Directors have a vital role in the management of our Association. Your participation is guiding NAR’s strategic direction, and you are helping to shape the future of our industry. Your involvement makes a difference. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Sig

 

 


Tom Salomone
2016 NAR President