It has been a year of positive change for associations since the Core Standards were implemented in May 2014. Associations have boosted participation in public outreach activities—from charity drives and community beautification to housing fairs and media engagement. They’ve updated their web presence, strengthened financial oversight, and heightened political awareness. Many associations have a strategic plan for the first time and many others have established shared services programs with neighboring boards. As of the end of March, there have been 37 mergers involving 84 associations, and association executives have increased their own expertise through professional development education.
“REALTOR associations have stepped up and accomplished tremendous things in the last year and the organization is stronger for it,” says Jarrod Grasso, CEO of the New Jersey REALTORS® and chair of the AE Committee. “Many who viewed Core Standards as the proverbial mountain to climb just a year ago now realize that they were already providing most, if not all, of the services required to meet the standards.”
All that’s left now for many associations is to certify their Core Standards compliance through the online compliance tool. More than 1,000 associations have started the compliance process and submitted their affidavits and examples, and many have already been certified. The deadline to certify is June 30.
The compliance aspect of the standards is rooted in trust more than proof, as stated in the Core Standards online guidance: “It’s important to keep in mind throughout the process that trust—at all levels of the REALTOR® organization—is essential to successful implementation of this effort. The profession itself exists on trust. Clients and customers trust the REALTORS® they work with. REALTORS® need to—and do—trust each other. Associations rely on the word of their members. Members need to be able to rely on what their association tells them. The representations made via the compliance database will be attested to by each local association’s elected president and president-elect (or equivalent officers) as well as by the association’s chief staff. Except in the most unusual circumstances, their assurance that the information shared via the compliance database is truthful and accurate to the best of their knowledge should be sufficient ‘proof.’”
As with any multistep process, there have been common questions regarding the compliance tool. Here are some tips to help you complete the compliance certification aspect of the standards.
- Only AEs, presidents, and presidents-elect can delegate access to their association’s Core Standards compliance form.
- Although access to the compliance tool form is reserved for certain people, any local or state staff person may, for the purpose of preparation, view a sample of the form here: http://coe.realtor.org/corestand.nsf/samplecore
- Associations are encouraged to print a hard copy of the Core Standards criteria (http://coe.realtor.org/corestand.nsf/samplecore) when preparing to access and use the compliance tool.
- The compliance tool functions on these browsers: Internet Explorer 9 and later, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Some functionality may be lost using older versions of Internet Explorer.
- Changes made in the NRDS system (for example, to the name of the executive officer) will sync overnight and appear in the Core Standards compliance tool the next morning.
- Associations can expedite “governing documents” compliance by adopting the 2015 NAR model governing documents verbatim. If adopted, all that is needed is written confirmation with the date of adoption by the association. Access the NAR Model Bylaws at: nar.realtor/governance/governing-documents/model-bylaws-for-local-boards and Model MLS governing documents at: nar.realtor/policy/mls-policy/model-mls-governing-documents.
- AEs and presidents need to be careful not to log in to nar.realtor (and by extension, the compliance tool) using a NRDS ID number that has been assigned for Point-of-Entry use. Only ID numbers tied to AEs, presidents, and presidents-elect will gain access to the tool.
After June 30, 2015, the annual Core Standards cycle starts again. Find news of changes and updates in the INS e-newsletter, and consult the online Core Standards FAQ document on nar.realtor.