Core Standards: More Ways to Comply

Carla Rose is the CEO of the Salisbury/Rowan REALTORS®, N.C. Contact her at or 704-636-1811.

As a newer AE, one of my biggest fears  was how my very small association was going to meet the Core Standards requirements every year. That fear mostly subsided when I created a condensed checklist1, which goes with me everywhere. I refer to it regularly, ticking off the items as they’re completed and noting when I have downloaded the documentation on my computer. I review the checklist with my board of directors to keep everyone apprised of where we stand for the current cycle and what activities are coming up next.

As I became more comfortable with the checklist, I realized that I could be missing some great Core Standard opportunities because they fell under the mysterious “other” category, and I never considered what we might be doing already that meets the criteria for “other.”

In the Core Standards online compliance tool, several requirements list an “other” category where you can submit that your not-listed activity meets one of the requirements. Besides showing up under the NAR and state Calls for Action, the “other” category is under REALTOR® Party “Vote-Act-Invest” sections, in the “Being the Voice for Real Estate” section, and the Community Involvement and Investment sections. To ensure that your activities under any of the “other” categories actually do meet the requirement, check with your state asso­ciation first.

NAR provides a link in the compliance tool to the REALTOR® Party Tracker, where you can get some ideas of how to use NAR grants and resources for programs you may not have thought of. 

As noted in the new compliance tool for 2020, there are a few options from years past that are no longer there. This creates a renewed need to share these “other” ideas so that we don’t all continually recreate the wheel. So I reached out on the AEI Year Round Facebook page and took a poll to see how many of us are using “other” initiatives or activities to meet a Core Standard. I was inspired by the number of responses.

REALTOR® Party Vote

Because the REALTOR® Party Vote section has a limited number of options, I was excited to see many associations had found creative alternatives. These included having a member attend the “Choosing REALTOR® Champions” training offered by their state; creating and sending out a personal Get Out the Vote email; and adding voting information or a voter registration link on the association website. Additional options for the Vote section were publicizing voter registration in the member newsletter and the association Facebook page; having staff or a member serve as a voter registrar for the county; or setting up a table at a community event to hand out voter registration information.

REALTOR® Party Act

With the elimination of several options in the REALTOR® Party Act section, a great alternative for associations to consider is an activity that revolves around the 2020 census. NAR is providing reference material for associations to use. Because laws vary from state to state, specifically when it comes to RPAC fundraising and advertising, be sure to get approval on the state level before forging ahead with a new idea or program.

Community Involvement and Investment

“Other” activities in this area included participating in a beach cleanup, which coincided with a state Give Back Day, a downtown beautification project, and a scholarship program. NAR has also added participation in the Food Recovery Network Program, which was launched at Leadership Summit in 2019, as an option. Many associations indicated that they already participate in food recovery on some level by donating leftovers from events to local hunger-fighting nonprofits and eliminating the waste of food.

Although there is not a compiled list of activities or initiatives that fall under the “other” categories by NAR or our state association, they both proved to be valuable resources for ideas. I’ve also seen great information shared via the AEI Year Round Facebook page, the state AE Facebook page, and the AE community on the Hub. So take a chance and look around you for great “other” ideas for fulfilling your Core Standards requirements.

1The condensed Core Standards checklist is available on the REALTOR® Association Resource Exchange (RARE), search “2020 Core Standards Template.”

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