- The board of directors for the National Association of Realtors revoked the charters of 16 Realtor associations.
- The charters were revoked for noncompliance with a NAR mandate known as the "core standards." Any association that failed to comply with the standards by a June 30, 2015 deadline would lose its Realtor charter.
- There have been 84 mergers involving 192 associations since May 2014, and 27 local associations have voluntarily surrendered their charters and dissolved.
SAN DIEGO — The board of directors for the National Association of Realtors revoked the charters of 16 Realtor associations today for noncompliance with a NAR mandate known as the “core standards.”
The core standards, approved by the board in May 2014, are intended to “raise the bar” for Realtor associations by ensuring that even the smallest association is capable of enforcing the Realtor Code of Ethics, playing a political advocacy role, conducting outreach to consumers, maintaining fiscal responsibility, and operating a website promoting member programs, products and services.
The mandate came with teeth. Any association that failed to comply with the standards by a June 30, 2015 deadline would lose its Realtor charter. Any associations threatened with revocation of a charter was also offered an opportunity to appeal the decision.
Some smaller associations had trouble meeting the standards, and the 16 now-defunct associations were among them: The 16 represented a combined total of 358 members, according to NAR.
‘NAR had hoped to have 100-percent compliance’
NAR had hoped to have 100-percent compliance, NAR’s Cliff Niersbach told attendees of the Association Executives Committee meeting Friday at NAR’s annual conference. Niersbach is the trade group’s associate general counsel of board policy and programs.
He and NAR CEO Dale Stinton commended the association executives for their “amazing” work to comply with the standards.
“We took at least one medium step forward for those naysayers that say we don’t stand for professionalism and we don’t stand for best in class, and it’s all because of you, so thank you for that,” Stinton said.
As expected, the core standards were a driving force in mergers and dissolutions in the past year and a half. There were 1,355 local associations when the standards passed. There are now 1,224, according to NAR.
There have been 84 mergers involving 192 associations since May 2014, and 27 local associations have voluntarily surrendered their charters and dissolved.
Funds to help associations comply still available
Niersbach reminded association executives that some of the $20 million NAR set aside to help associations comply with the standards is still available.
Some local associations just got by with the “skin of their teeth” and may be wondering if it might be better to be part of something bigger, he said.
“I am positive the mergers have not ended, and I’m positive we will see another 50 or 60 between now and the end of June when the money runs out,” Niersbach said.
Associations need to have completed a merger by June 30, 2016 in order to receive the funds, he added.
The revoked charters include the following associations:
- Central West Virginia Board of Realtors (West Virginia)
- Clearwater Association of Realtors (Idaho)
- Colby Board of Realtors (Kansas)
- Dickinson County Board of Realtors (Kansas)
- Frankfort Board of Realtors (Indiana)
- Goodland Board of Realtors (Kansas)
- Graham Greenlee Association of Realtors (Arizona)
- Greene County Board of Realtors (Indiana)
- Kodiak Board of Realtors (Alaska)
- Lumberton Board of Realtors (North Carolina)
- Ozark Board of Realtors (Arkansas)
- Perry County Board of Realtors (Ohio)
- Phillips County Board of Realtors (Arkansas)
- Southeastern Kern Board of Realtors (California)
- Tri County Board of Realtors (Kansas)
- Vermont Commercial Investment Board of Realtors (Vermont)
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that Cliff Niersbach is NAR’s associate general counsel of board policy and programs, not vice president.