Welcome to another edition of the monthly SCAORcard. Before I begin, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve the membership as CEO. It is a honor to lead such a progressive group of real estate professionals. As the holidays approach, I wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season.
First, Rick Tull, with CPA firm Lank, Johnson and Tull presented the FY 2015 Audit. No major concerns were presented to the BOD; however Mr. Tull did note that SCAOR was in a good financial position with $1.4mm in reserves. Second, a discussion to purchase 4,200 Sentrilock Bluetooth lockboxes for $359,000 was tabled until the January 18 BOD meeting. As CEO, I was asked to review future tax implications and report back to the BOD before an official vote takes place. Third, the BOD voted to join Bright MLS in 2017. Bright MLS is a regional MLS that will combine 36 REALTOR Association shareholders in six states plus the District of Columbia. Monthly MLS fees are anticipated to increase to $35. The official conversion date has not been decided by the BOD; however it appears a late 2017 date will be considered. Please contact me if you would like to know more about Bright MLS.
Lastly, the BOD approved the FY 2017 Operating Budget at $598,500 with $12,000 in reserve expenses. Over 50% of the income, $370,000, is from dues with the remaining 50% of income from a variety of non-dues categories. On the expense side of the Operating Budget education will cost the organization $27,000, Marketing/Public Relations/Website $21,000, and travel to local, regional and national conferences at $35,000. For more information on the SCAOR Operating Budget, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SCAOR office.
Rental Affairs is looking to revise the application process for the Alma Ashley award, updating the Rental checklist to get out to towns in January instead of May. Looking to become more active in the conversation involving VRBO s and preparing for the trade shows in January a.d March.
Public Policy will be gearing up again in January with continued plans for our Road Rally fundraiser and watching and engaging in conversations surrounding the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan as well as the Park Avenue extension project.
Greetings Members and Happy Holidays. I’ve been receiving many questions about the NAR Quadrennial Ethics requirement lately. Please be advised that this is the last quadrennial ethics cycle ending December 31, 2016. Beginning in January the cycle will run on a biannual basis. That means you have to take NAR Ethics between January 2017 and December 2018 to satisfy NAR’s requirement.
SCAOR’s NAR Ethics audit has been completed and if you did not receive an email from me, you are good to go! Those of you that did and sent verification that you took NAR Ethics, thank you. There is still time. If you need to take NAR Ethics please register at the SCAOR Store or give the office a call and we will assist you.
Please remember that if you take your classes from another provider other than SCAOR, SCOAR will not have a record of the class you took. This becomes very important when it comes to the NAR Ethics course. To avoid getting caught up in the next audit, please forward a copy of your certificate to the SCAOR office upon completion and we will be sure to enter it into the system.
SCAOR’s 2017 Professional Development Calendar is almost complete. We have some exciting courses coming your way. So, be on the look out. Details coming soon.
I know some of you like to take your classes online. Please visit SCAOR’s website for valuable savings. This month the CE Shop is offering 40% off, but you have to visit the SCAOR website in order to receive your savings.
New Team functions will be rolling out in the MLS starting December 5th. We have taken the list of teams that we requested by November 21st that were submitted and approved by the Brokers and built the new system. Things will continue to function the same as they have with a small exception, all users will have there own MLS ID’s and will instead work as the Team.
What does this mean?
If you were currently the team head you would change your name from “John Smith” to “Team Awesome”. You no longer will do this and instead will function as an alias of your team. You will then enter yourself as the co-listing agent for tracking in the MLS.
Statistics will now follow your individual career as well as the Teams. If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
2016 is coming to a close and what a year it has been. Our organization has made great strides this year. I would particularly like to thank the Board of Directors, the Committee volunteers and our SCAOR staff for all of the hard work and time they put in to seeing our organization move into the future. The CEO Search Committee worked long and hard recommending our new CEO, Merritt Burke, who is bringing a new vision and ideas. SCAOR will be joining the 80,000 agents of Bright MLS to better serve our clients and afford our members a much larger presence online.
We have had a eventful year and we look forward to continuing to grow our organization with our incoming President Brigit Taylor. Thank you for a great year!
As SCAOR CEO, I am proud to announce that the SCAOR BOD voted on November 17 to join Bright MLS. The vision of Bright MLS is to create the next era MLS that preserves compensation and cooperation, promotes the expansion of an orderly and efficient marketplace, and provides participating brokerage firms greater control of and access to their listing content. Bright MLS is a regional MLS that will have 36 combined REALTOR Association shareholders in six states plus the District of Columbia. The commencement date for the new MLS is January 1, 2017; however SCAOR will convert to Bright MLS in late 2017. The BOD will decide the official conversion date at a future meeting. The next BOD meeting is January 18, 2017 at 9 am.
The benefits to joining Bright MLS are as follows:
More expansive marketplace / no overlapping markets
Innovation with more effective technology
Consumer facing website
One MLS system, fee, set of rules and data feed
Receive products beyond MLS and Public Records
7-day technology support
From a financial standpoint, SCAOR will benefit with a 3-year Contract with the ability to terminate service in each year. SCAOR will be compensated in each year to offset reduced MLS income. Additionally, only founding associations receive the benefits of input into key decisions on rules and policies including listing statuses, data fields and more. Non-founding associations will pay a higher standard fee in the future. The agreed upon monthly MLS will be $35. Broker reward payments are projected but not guaranteed.
To conclude, it is my goal to coordinate an orderly transition from the current MLS to Bright MLS at the end of 2017. More information on the transition and financial considerations will be communicated to members through the weekly communications and the monthly SCAORcard. At this point, it looks as if MLS dues will be prorated for six months on July 1, 2017.