Get ready to reset, refocus, and get reinvigorated for 2021. As the National Association of REALTORS® prepares for the virtual REALTORS® Conference & Expo that starts next week, association leaders recapped the organization’s accomplishments during this extraordinary year and offered a preview of some of the conference’s hot topics and speakers during a Facebook Live event held Wednesday, Oct. 28. NAR’s governance meetings begin Nov. 2 and run through Nov. 13. Conference sessions, to be held Nov. 16-18, focus on members’ professional growth and business needs. Also, there will be plenty of fun on tap: yoga, cooking demos, a magician, and more.
“You may remember that we were supposed to be in New Orleans for this year’s conference, so the team has sprinkled a bit of New Orleans flavor throughout the programming,” said NAR President Vince Malta during the NAR 360 broadcast.
Among the featured conference speakers is New Orleans native Anthony Mackie, who played Falcon in the “Captain America” and “Avengers” series under the Marvel banner. Also, Malta will have a sit-down chat with singer John Legend to discuss fair housing, social justice, and the role of REALTORS® in these efforts. Legend became embroiled in the issue in June after a viral tweet in which he took the industry to task.
Popular real estate coach Brian Buffini will share his latest sales and marketing strategies to get you through these challenging times. And political observers James Carville and Mary Matalin will surely pull no punches in their much-anticipated election post-mortem.
There’s still time to register at conference.realtor.
Facebook Live viewers got a sneak peek at NAR’s new reality docuseries, “First-Time Buyer,” which highlights the benefits REALTORS® bring to challenging homebuying stories. Beginning Nov. 16, all eight of the 15-minute episodes will be available on the Roku, Facebook Watch, and YouTube platforms and at FirstTimeBuyer.realtor.
NAR will continue to build on its major advocacy wins in 2020, including the full-fiscal-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through Sept. 30, 2021. As part of pandemic relief legislation, NAR’s advocacy team worked successfully to have independent contractors and those earning commission-based income deemed eligible for SBA loans, unemployment assistance, and paid sick and family leave. It was the first time that independent contractors were eligible for stimulus funds.
Legislative priorities in the year ahead include:
Funding for rental and unemployment assistance.
A nationwide remote online notarization law, so online closings can take place in all 50 states.
Liability protections for businesses that reopen following federal and state guidelines.
At the onset of the pandemic, the association quickly focused on ways to provide direct support to members, as NAR CEO Bob Goldberg reminded viewers. “We went into full engagement. So many people were hurting. And all of us wanted to get ahead of it,” he said.
Back on March 26, NAR relaunched Right Tools, Right Now, a tool kit to help members with programs and products to help keep businesses on track— for free or at a significant discount. To date, nearly 450 items have been made available, and close to 250,000 members have taken advantage of these products. REALTORS® have received a combined savings of more than $23 million through the program. In addition, about 32,500 members and their families are receiving telemedicine coverage at a reduced rate of only $7 a month through Members TeleHealth.
Other urgencies arose following the social unrest and community divisions that were amplified over the summer. Deep—and sometimes uncomfortable—discussions about tolerance and respect ensued within NAR’s ranks. The Professional Standards Committee will recommend to the board of directors a new Standard of Practice under Article 10 of the Code of Ethics that would make it a violation of that article for REALTORS® to use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
The committee will also recommend that the Code of Ethics applies to all activities of REALTORS®, not just those related to the real estate business and transactions. “The REALTOR® R has always meant integrity, ethics, and fairness. We must continue to uphold that,” said Committee Chair Matt Difanis during the Facebook Live event.
While the pandemic will keep conference attendees separated by distance, Malta restated the common purpose that keeps REALTORS® connected. “I hope you all know that we are still very much united as a REALTOR® family. NAR remains laser-focused on supporting our members and their businesses,” he said. “Generations of REALTORS® have overcome significant challenges and led their communities to better, more prosperous times. REALTORS® are resilient. And that’s why REALTORS® are the ones who are helping to revive the economy and lead our communities back to prosperity. That’s Who We R!”
Source: REALTOR® Magazine