Below is NAR President Bill Brown's letter outlining key issues to be discussed at the Board of Directors meeting at the 2017 REALTORS® Conference and Expo on Monday, November 6.
Download letter (PDF: 670 KB)
October 26, 2017
Dear Director of the National Association of REALTORS®,
The National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Team looks forward to welcoming you to the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in our association’s hometown, Chicago. Thank you for making the time to join us in the Windy City− it’s going to be a great conference!
As you may have heard, I recently underwent surgery for a double lung transplant. The good news is that the surgery was successful; the bad news is that I have not yet been cleared to travel. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this year’s convention. In my absence, per the NAR Constitution, President-Elect Elizabeth Mendenhall will serve as chair at the Board of Directors meeting. I am sorry to miss this important meeting, but Elizabeth will do an excellent job presiding.
As directors, you are the heart and soul of NAR; each of you has an important role in governing our great association. At the upcoming Board of Directors Meeting on Monday, November 6, you will be voting on a number of issues that impact the strategic direction of our Association. It is imperative that you come to this meeting well informed and equipped to make decisions.
Summarized below you will find important information to help directors 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.
Directors are encouraged to attend the NAR 360° program on Thursday, November 2nd at 4:00pm at the Sheraton Chicago, Sheraton Ballroom. This forum officially kicks off the REALTORS® Conference & Expo and provides an excellent overview of the issues shaping the future of our industry.
Proposal for New MLS Service Structure
The Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee will discuss revisions to MLS policy eliminating the ability for MLSs to automatically assess MLS dues, fees and charges based on office location; and to also establish a waiver of subscription fees for licensees who do not access or use the service and already subscribe to a different MLS where their principal broker is a Participant. NAR Directors are encouraged to attend this meeting scheduled for Saturday, November 4, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Sheraton Chicago, Sheraton Ballroom. Click here for additional information.
2019 First Vice President Candidates’ Forum
On Saturday, November 4, NAR will hold a Candidates’ Forum from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel, Sheraton Chicago Ballroom 8 - 10. Eligible Candidates for 2019 First Vice President, Sherri Meadows, Florida, and Charlie Oppler, New Jersey, will share their vision for the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR Directors are encouraged to attend this forum. The election for 2019 NAR Officers will take place at the May 2018 Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C.
BOD Check-in counters will open at 7:30 am, Monday, November 6. At check-in, each director will receive a voting smartcard and all meeting documents. As a reminder, director resignations and/or changes to a director name on the Board roster will be accepted by NAR up to 4:00 pm, Sunday, November 5th. 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 8:30 am and should participate until the meeting adjourns.
New Policy Relating to the Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership
Increasingly, corrupt foreign and domestic interests are using anonymous shell companies to launder money via real estate purchases. There are currently no federal laws requiring the identities of the “beneficial owners”, and law enforcement agencies are encountering obstacles in the enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) laws.
The Business Issues Policy Committee will ask the Board of Directors to approve a recommendation that NAR support the disclosure of beneficial ownership of business entities at the time those entities are registered with the states, with appropriate consideration given to address legitimate business privacy concerns.
Funding Research to Develop NAR Policy on a National Disaster Insurance Program
The Insurance Committee will recommend that NAR fund actuarial research to evaluate the benefits and costs of creating a federal insurance fund for all natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and tornados. This research would be used to guide the development of NAR policy on a federal “all perils” disaster insurance program.
Directors will be asked to approve the recommendation that NAR fund actuarial research to guide the development of NAR policy on a national disaster insurance program.
New Policy Regarding Advocacy Action and Territorial Jurisdiction
There is no existing NAR policy regarding REALTOR® associations taking advocacy action outside of their territorial jurisdiction. The lack of any defined policy has created confusion on how to best use available advocacy resources.
The RPAC Trustees Fundraising Committee will ask directors to approve two recommendations addressing territorial jurisdictions. The first recommendation relates to how local and state associations can apply for and receive NAR REALTOR® Party funds. The second recommendation relates to the use of any advocacy funding by a state or local association.
Non-NRDS Member Data Standardization - RESO’s 2018 Data Dictionary
A RESO workgroup, including participants from NAR, Rappatoni, RAMCO, and other interested parties, was established to develop standardized non-NRDS data about members, to include in RESO’s current data dictionary- widely used by the MLS industry.
The Data Strategies Committee will ask Directors to approve a recommendation that NAR, along with state and local associations, use RESO’s 2018 data dictionary release, which includes member data fields not included in the NRDS standard- for example, committee service, advocacy, event attendance, etc. Benefits of this recommendation include better performance through more easily shared data, potential cost savings for associations and enhanced innovation.
Thank you again for your active participation at next week’s Board of Directors Meeting. Your contributions help drive revolution to keep REALTORS® essential to the transaction.
It has been an honor to serve as your 2017 President. Thank you.
William E. Brown
2017 NAR President