NAR Window to the Law: Video and Audio Surveillance Issues

Modern technology increasingly robs us of our privacy. Our phones are tracking our movements in the physical world. Software tracks our activities as we travel around the internet. Banks and credit cards companies are compiling our transaction history. And now, cameras are everywhere, recording our movements in public places and even in our own home.

NAR Window to the Law video featuring Finley Maxson, NAR Senior Counsel discusses what brokers and agents need to know about using audio or video recording devices in listed properties. Click here to watch the video.

Other resources:

NAR Window to the Law: Video and Audio Surveillance Issues transcript

NAR Video and Audio Surveillance State Law Survey

VAR Legal Hotline video: Recording During Showings

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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A closer look at Rural Housing

Next week, REALTORS® around the state will join elected officials and industry partners to focus on rural housing trends and needs. Partnering with Housing Virginia, a statewide affordable housing advocate chaired by VAR Past President Kit Hale, five local associations will co-host public forums to examine statistics about the rural housing landscape and to welcome discussion about how to improve housing options in rural communities. Research and outcomes of these conversations will be reported at the Governor’s Housing Conference in November, contributing to an action plan to improve housing options and the lives of rural residents.

Each event is free and open to all members and community stakeholders. To attend, register directly through the links below:

July 14th at the Martinsville, Henry & Patrick Counties Association of REALTORS®

July 15th at the Southwest Virginia Association of REALTORS®

July 28th at the Greater Piedmont Area Association of REALTORS®

August 11th at the Chesapeake Bay and Rivers Association of REALTORS®

For more information on this Virginia Association of REALTORS® Community Outreach series, contact Jenny Wortham at Jenny@VARealtor.com.

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New VAR Legal Hotline video: Antitrust

Legal video Antitrust (Erin)

Click here to watch the video.

VAR Staff Counsel, Erin Barton covers why antitrust laws are important to your business; best risk management practices to avoid a potential violation; and what to do if you find yourself in a situation where you think an antitrust violation might be occurring.

Antitrust is based on a set of federal laws that tries to protect consumers by preventing competitors from coming together to restrain trade, fix prices, and/or boycott lawful business practices or businesses.  These laws are especially important to REALTORS® because the real estate industry has been specifically scrutinized as we are a group of competitors who work together and cooperate on a daily basis. Intent to commit a violation is not necessary to run afoul of antitrust laws and the penalties are severe.

Antitrust laws focus on communications and agreements between competitors – people in different companies – not coworkers. Do not talk about your firm’s business practices with competitors. Specifically, agents should avoid discussing individual firm policies, such as commissions, cooperating broker fees, and duration of brokerage agreements with anyone outside their company. Agents should also refrain from making statements to their clients such as “this is the rate every firm charges” or “no one will show your house if we don’t offer this commission” because this could imply that competitors agreed on those “standards.”

If you find yourself in a situation where it could be implied that competitors are coming together to restrain trade you must loudly dissociate yourself from the conversation. You should state that you are not in agreement, not a part of the action being discussed, and then leave the conversation immediately.

An antitrust investigation or violation is serious. If you are faced with a complaint, you should contact counsel immediately.

Erin is a lawyer and a former REALTOR®. She managed a successful team of REALTORS® and administrative staff while with Keller Williams Realty in Richmond.  She also most recently served as a contract attorney at McGuire Woods; Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle; and, Williams Mullen where she reviewed cases involving antitrust issues, SEC violations, insurance and fraud.

Resource: NAR Field Guide to Antitrust

 

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Honoring heroes with Homes for Our Troops… will YOU give?

There is no greater gift than freedom. In honor of those who have served our nation and preserved our freedom and comforts, Virginia REALTORS® are building a legacy of support for the nationwide organization Homes for Our Troops. Your partnership in this cause is essential.

With our help, Homes for Our Troops builds mortgage-free homes  specially adapted to the needs of severely injured post-9/11 veterans – the men and women who have sustained regional partnercritical wounds in service to us. In the last twelve years, Homes for Our Troops has built over 215 homes and this Saturday, July 9th, we’ll celebrate the completion of yet another home in Virginia. Marine Sergeant Marcus Dandrea, who lost both of his legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan, will receive the keys to his new home in Haymarket.

This means so much to me and my family. We will never have to worry about the financial burden of finding a home that meets my needs…it will make our lives a lot better.”

Have you given to Homes for Our Troops? If so, THANK YOU. If you are not yet a REALTOR® donor to Homes for Our Troops, please consider making a gift now so that we can continue to honor our heroes and help them return to a life of comfort.

Click here to donate. Your gift makes a difference.

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With YOUR help, another hero gets a home

As we approach the celebration of our nation’s freedom this 4th of July, take a minute to listen to Marine Corporal Kevin Blanchard express his thanks to Charlottesville REALTOR® Michael Guthrie on Real Estate Matters news radio. A mortgage-free home, specially suited to Corporal Blanchard’s needs, is a life-changing gift. “Your support will never be forgotten. It will have a very positive effect on me and my family’s life. I hope that one day I am in a position to give back on a similar level.”

In continued partnership with Homes for Our Troops, Virginia REALTORS® – you – have given thousands of dollars to help build specially adapted homes for servicemen and women that were severely injured in service to our nation. Have you given to this year’s cause? Even one dollar can make a difference in continuing to offer homes and restore comfort to our heroes.

Each year, Virginia REALTORS® have pledged $50,000 to Homes for Our Troops to ensure that homes are built for the heroes in our communities. We need your help to meet this goal so that homes continue to be built for our heroes.

Click here to give now in honor of their service and in celebration that YOU make homes a reality. 

Color Guard in Nokesville  regional partner

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New VAR Legal Hotline video: Duties to clients vs. customers

Legal video 2016 Duties to Clients vs. Customers

In this video, VAR Deputy General Counsel Blake Hegeman takes part in a discussion with REALTORS® Rebecca and Michael Straley regarding licensee duties to clients vs. customers. It portrays a scenario in which a listing agent is holding an open house for the seller client. During the course of the open house, a buyer asks a the listing agent substantive questions and asks the listing agent to represent the buyer.

The listing agent chooses to solely represent the seller as a client. The buyer is advised that he can hire a REALTOR® from another firm to represent him or the listing agent can treat the buyer as a customer. REALTORS® are allowed to perform ministerial acts (basic administrative functions) for customers.

This video addresses:

• REALTORS® have different duties to clients vs. customers
• A REALTORS® duty to a client is primary but he/she must treat all parties honestly.
• When working with a customer a REALTOR® must not provide advice – only ministerial acts are allowed for a customer – advice is reserved for clients.

Click here to watch the video.

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Who will you call? NVAR members call on their peers to invest in RPAC

On Wednesday, June 22, a group of dedicated Northern Virginia RPAC investors gathered at NVAR headquarters for the Phone A Friend for RPAC phone bank program. Peter Kelley, Director of RPAC Technology & Online Fundraising, NAR, was on-hand to assist with the program and train the volunteers to use the Phone A Friend phone bank system. The application proved simple to set-up and intuitive to use as the phone-bankers quickly jumped into action and began calling fellow REALTORS® in their companies to educate them on the value of RPAC and the REALTOR® Party.

phone bank

During the two hour session calls were made to members asking them to invest in RPAC.  It was not long before the first new investment was announced to celebratory cheers.  At the end of the day new investors had been gained with the promise of more by members who were doing things like driving or going to home inspections. NVAR’s first Phone A Friend for RPAC event can be deemed a great success thanks to the dedication of those NVAR members who made the calls.

Callers enjoyed pizza and camaraderie and had fun throughout the day. Several were energized by the effort, noting that they were going to go out and make more prospect calls because they forgot how easy it can be to talk to people on the phone.

Another Phone A Friend phone bank is being planned for the fall at the NVAR Fairfax Headquarters.

If you’re interested in scheduling a Phone A Friend event at your local association, please contact Kathy Felton, Director of RPAC Development/PFR, VAR.

 

rpac logo

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Congratulations to the 2015 VAR Honor Society Inductees

honor society
Each Spring, we proudly induct several qualified members into our Virginia Association of REALTORS® Honor Society, which recognizes outstanding VAR members who participate in leadership and educational activities within local, state and national REALTOR® organizations.

Applications for the Virginia Association of REALTORS® Honor Society are reviewed by the applicant’s Local Association Executive prior to being submitted to VAR.

Beth Dalton and Nancy Page of the New River Valley Association of REALTORS® with their Honor Society certificates.

Beth Dalton and Nancy Page of the New River Valley Association of REALTORS® with their Honor Society certificates.

To qualify for induction into the Virginia Association of REALTORS® Honor Society, a member must have a minimum of 100 points total, 30 of which must be state association activity and attendance at any professional standards class.

In early June, 93 VAR members were inducted into the Virginia Association of REALTORS® Honor Society for their leadership and educational involvement in 2015. Click here to see the full list of 2015 Inductees. 

Congratulations to all of our 2015 Honor Society Inductees!

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The world according to IKEA: Life at Home Report

IKEA_Life_At_Home_Report_3 COVER GRAPHIC

This is the third consecutive year that IKEA launched the Life at Home report, which looks at the home life of people all over the world. The report digs deeper into what actually makes a home for people. What ingredients form a home? And in this fast changing world we are living in, how is that “home” being redefined or reinvented?

No matter how we define what makes a home – connected to space, things, relationships or place – what’s important is that we reflect on how the changes in the world around us impact our lives at home. IKEA shares some insights on how people of today feel in their homes, what they need from their homes and how they create meaning in their lives at home. But as the world around us changes, so does our life at home.

Click here to download the complete report.

 

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Commercial drone use set to take flight with release of FAA rule

FAA rules released on Tuesday create a clearer pathway for real estate professionals to use drones for commercial purposes, a prospect that National Association of Realtors® President Tom Salomone called a win for the industry.

The FAA’s announcement marks a long-fought victory for for the National Association of Realtors®. Since early 2014, NAR has worked with the FAA and industry partners to integrate drones into the national airspace for commercial use. NAR wrote to the FAAon numerous occasions to weigh in on the final Small UAS Rule, and testified before Congress to support the use of drones in real estate.

Despite eliminating the requirement that operators hold a pilot’s license, anyone looking to fly drones commercially will still have to comply with strict requirements designed to protect people on the ground.

Drones are useful in a number of real estate-related applications, including marketing properties, assisting with appraisals, facilitating insurance claims and overseeing utility work. While many real estate professionals with pilot’s licenses have already put drones to use in these arenas, the new rules are expected to open the door for additional operators to do the same.

The rules for operating an unmanned aircraft depend on why you want to fly.

Other resources
Summary of small unmanned aircraft rule (Part 107)
Drones – Frequently Asked Questions

Sources: National Association of REALTORS® and FAA

 

 

 

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