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C.A.R. Region 30 Spring Meeting Reports 2016

posted May 9, 2016, 7:05 PM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated May 9, 2016, 7:09 PM ]

Sarah Heck, PSAR President-Elect, CAR Director

As I mentioned in my C.A.R report from January, during my 2016 directorship, my attendance will focus on leadership training as I am now in the honored role of PSAR, President Elect. C.A.R. offers quite a bit of support for incoming leadership and I have been trying to emulate a sponge by soaking up as much information as possible.

For those of you who don’t know, there are 3 C.A.R. meetings a year. Winter, spring and fall. The winter and fall meeting locations change every year. The spring meetings however, are always held in our States Capitol…Sacramento. During the spring meetings in Sacramento, we have a very special day called Legislative Day. We sometimes refer to this as Leg Day…this is not to be confused with a work out regimen…it is pronounced Ledge Day. On this day, all of the Realtors in attendance (over 2,300 this year) march to the Capitol to meet with our legislators to discuss homeownership and housing issues. It is quite a sight to behold. C.A.R. is a powerful association and our voice is heard loud and clear.

Legislative Day #CARlegday #itsnotaworkout:


My trip this time started with our Legislative Day Event. This event begins with all 800 C.A.R. directors and any additional Realtors in attendance gathering to be address by both C.A.R. leadership and Governor Brown. In total, we had over 2,300 attendees!!! Regardless of your political party or personal opinions, you have to appreciate when Governor Brown speaks. His candid spirit when speaking to the Realtor body is refreshing. He is funny and raw and I always look forward his presentation. After listening to the leadership educate us on what the current legislation topics are, we march to the Capitol for a group picture. After a quick lunch, we all break out into our legislative meetings. We have strict agenda that takes us to the office of different legislators to let them known the Realtor position on current legislation and to ask them to support our position. These conversations with the legislators are facilitated by key contacts. A key contact is someone we bring with us from our region who has a personal relationship with that legislator.


Presidents Breakfast Bright Idea #BBI:
Again referencing my last report, networking is a huge part of these meetings. By engaging in meaningful conversations and creating a rapport with other associations, we are able to get feedback and ideas that can help strengthen our own association. In an effort to facilitate introductions, the current C.A.R. president holds a special breakfast and invites the current president and president elect of each of the local associations. Each time I attend one of these breakfasts, I will try to bring back a “bright idea”. This will be my take away to share with you.

Modes of communication are always a hot topic among leadership. What is the best way to get information to the membership? Phone, email, social media, video??? At PSAR we make an effort to do all of those. However, there is one mode we haven’t utilized and that is text. One of the newer systems Associations across the state have started to implement is an “opt in” text message update system. Via this system, agents would get notifications from their association with updates, reminders, red alters, etc. This is something PSAR will look into and see if it makes sense for our membership body.

Risk Management #keepyourlicense #stay.out.of.jail #hottopic:
This is always one of my favorite meetings to attend. It usually starts off with an affiliate or two giving a presentation, followed by each region representative giving a brief issues report. These reports, although short, are incredibly insightful. They allow C.A.R. leadership to keep their finger on the pulse of issues happening throughout the state. I always find it amazing how some issues seem to be universal and then others very area specific. The icing on the cake at this meeting, is that Gov Hutchinson, CAR Assistant General Council, gives a risk management update at the end of the meeting. You can Gov’s realtor risk management reports at www.car.org. Here is a link to the legal Q & A’s which may be helpful in your day to day business. http://www.car.org/legal/qa/2016revisioins/.

The hot topic this set of meetings was wire fraud and cyber crime. It is rampant in the state right now and we should all be acting with extreme care when coordinating wires and or handling client documents that have personal information on them. Don’t email these items unless you are on a secured server and using encrypted emails. Also, take the time to not only warn your clients about wire fraud, but go the extra step and advise them how to avoid it. Escrow should be sending buyers an initial email with all of their contact info. They will then send a secured email with the wire instructions. Once a buyer gets the wire instructions via secure email, they should refer back to the very first email they got from escrow and call them to do a voice verification. The key to this process is having the client refer back to the very first email they got from escrow and use that phone number to call. We say this because the phone number on the signature line of the email that had the wire instructions could be fake!!!! These wire criminals have become so sophisticated that they have set up call centers to trick buyers. When buyers receive fake wire instructions, there is contact info in the email with signature lines to make it look legit. If the buyer calls the number on the signature line, someone from the fake escrow company answers, does the verification, and they think they are safe to send the wire. This is a big deal you guys. Many escrow companies to not have insurance coverage that will honor wire fraud. Your buyer is at serious risk of losing their entire down payment so we as an industry need to exercise extreme caution.

Making moments count #nosleepforthesocial:
Exhaustion vs. Networking is sometimes an internal battle I have while at these meetings. Networking is a huge part of what we do as your C.A.R. directors. Not just with other AOR members and directors, but also with C.A.R. leadership. It is exciting, rewarding and exhausting! After a long day of back to back meetings, and trying to tend to our personal business on breaks and intermissions, it can be hard to pump yourself up for an evening of socializing…but we do it for the membership…and the wine. During this week of meetings, one of the events your PSAR C.A.R. directors were able to attend was the HAF Casino Night. HAF stands for Housing Affordability Fund. This is a very important committee at C.A.R. HAF affords grants to counties all over the state to help increase housing affordability. PSAR is a big supporter of HAF and we have recently applied to have our county be a reception for a one of their grants. Stay tuned for the results.


Campbell Music

Jeff Campbell, CAR Director,

I am proudly serving my Ninth year as CAR Director for Region 30. My office used to ask why I spend 12 days a year at California business meetings? – as a volunteer! Meaning, I am unpaid to go and work on vocational activities affecting my industry.

If someone is going to design how the real estate is to evolve, why wouldn’t I want to help architect the real estate landscape as I am directly affected by the outcome? I want to have a say in my own future. Self-serving you ask. Why yes it is.

REALTORS wake up each morning unemployed. We are licensed by law to follow rules and deliver a service to clients whom we are sworn to protect through contract and licensure. Do I want a politician, a bureau, a department or any other governmental agency to conjure and draft law on how I must perfect my craft in serving tomorrows homeowners? Do bureaucrats and professional politicians know what is best for property owners and do they understand best practices for Real Estate Professionals? They do not.

Professional full-time REALTORS understand the challenges, the difficulties and the needs of the real estate business and REALTORS are best suited to lead the evolution of real estate practice today and into the future. This is why I find it a privilege to represent Region 30, PSAR at our CAR meetings.

REALTOR RISK MANAGEMENT
REALTORS are subject to Cyber Security Issues. Agents must look at the security of their emails. So much sensitive information is shared on e-mails, agents must study cyber-security to a great degree.


TAXATION
CAR sponsors or is favor of the following Legislative Actions:
1) Tax bills to be more readable,
2) Expand the authorization for property tax basis transfers provided to persons over the age of 55to include each individual member of a married couple who is over the age of 55.
3) Change the Capital Gains Exclusion on a primary residence so that a) the exclusion is indexed for inflation, b) 1997 is used as the base year for calculating the exclusion amount (the year the exclusion was created); and, c) the lower “single tax filer” amount is eliminated and only the higher exclusion amount ($500,000) applies to all primary residences regardless of marital status to the homeowner.

Minerva Garcia, CAR Director

For the second time this year I had the privilege of representing our Region (Region 30) at the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Board of Directors Meetings.  The second meeting of each year is special because it’s always in Sacramento and we start off by attending Legislative day where we unite as an industry, march to the Capitol and discuss Hot Topics that impact home owners and our industry with our legislators.   This is my third year attending Legislative Day and it’s actually how I learned about what the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® stands for and does for REALTORS®.  

For Legislative day (LEG DAY), we discussed three hot topics. 
1) Support on AB2693 (Dababneh), a C.A.R sponsored bill in an effort to protect Buyer’s obtaining financing on homes that have PACE loans.
2) We asked also asked for their support on AB 2760 (Mathis).  C.A.R. is also sponsoring this bill in an effort to statutorily differentiate between a medically necessary companion or support animal and other animals kept as pets.
3) We asked our legislators to oppose SB 1053 (Leno).  The reason why we asked to oppose this bill is because it would mandate every homeowner to participate in the Section 8 Housing program instead of leaving it as a voluntary program for the owner.  

If you’re interested in joining us next year please let me know.  We can apply for grant money from C.A.R specifically for first timers to attend.   Many of your C.A.R Board of Directors are Directors because of Leg Day, Including me. It’s an incredible experience and I highly recommend every Realtor invest their time and attend at least once.
The rest of the week I attended Business Meetings.  This year I am a committee member for 5 committees and Forums. 
1) Professional Standards Committee
2) Business Technology 
3) Land Use and Environmental
4) Global Real Estate Forum
5) Young Professional Network Forum

Professional Standards
For Pro Standards, we had 1 action item.  Action items are items we VOTE on.

1. That C.A.R. adopt the interpreters and translators policy for professional standards proceedings as set forth in the Interpreters and Translators Work Group Issues Briefing Paper, which provides that: (a) an interpreter for a disciplinary hearing must be either a member of the Association or be registered or certified by the Judicial Council of California; and (b) an interpreter for an arbitration hearing must be registered or certified by the Judicial Council of California, and that staff implement such policy through amendments to the California Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual to be effective as of January 1, 2017.

Business Technology Forum
Business Tech is a forum, where they share the newest technology that can be used in the Real Estate Industry. It can be used by Realtors or our clients.  Below are the items that were presented.

1) Netamo: It’s a Weather Station and cost about $179.00
The Weather Station's Indoor Module measures your indoor comfort by providing vital information, alerting you when you need to air out your home to bring down its pollution levels.

2) The Energy Cloud: Features: See your electricity use in real time. Understand what your appliances use. Analyze how you are doing compared to last month. You can access from anywhere. Results: Learn. Conserve. Save.
See why experts say making small changes can result in big benefits for you and the environment.

3) IWAG: INNOVATORS.CAR.ORG What Is It?  The goal is simple: to drive innovation of new products, services, and solutions that will create efficiencies, improve productivity and dynamism, and help REALTORS®, brokerages, and other real estate professionals to do their jobs better, smarter, and more efficiently. C.A.R. wants to partner with you to take your revolutionary business, product, or idea to transform the marketplace to the next level.
Innovators workshop Action Group
INNOVATORS.CAR.ORG
#Iwag

4) Corefact: The Corefact marketing systems help you generate listing leads, build relationships and promote properties. Corefact is a full-service marketing services provider for the real estate and mortgage industries. Our flagship farming program is designed to drive consumers online so agents can interact with and close their best prospects.

5) Online Security. Encryption is a must
Ransomware: A big deal and can happen to anyone.
Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to the infected computer system in some way, and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction.
Even when you step away, Crash Plan is busy at work protecting all your important files. Music, photos and documents are all automatically, continuously protected, so you can get back to whatever life throws your way.

Use Crash Plan to back up automatically and fight against Ransomware

Land Use and Environmental
The Committee is a Policy committee. Its mission is to develop C.A.R.'s land use and environmental policy agenda. It has original jurisdiction to evaluate legislation and regulation in the following issue areas as they relate to real estate: Environmental, Land Use and Zoning, Property Rights, Resources, Subdivision and Development.
These are the action Items voted on.  ALL of the items passed. 
1. That C.A.R “OPPOSE” SB 1000 (Leyva), which adds an Environmental Justice element to general plans.
2. That C.A.R. “FAVOR” AB 1866 (Wilk), which takes unspent High Speed Rail bond dollars and redirects them toward water projects.
3. That C A.R. “OPPOSE” the California Department of Water Resources recommendation mandating reports for irrigated landscapes in excess of 1 acre.
4. That C.A.R. “SUPPORT” AB 2584 (Daly), which expands who has standing to bring legal action against a local government that fails to comply with the Housing Accountability Act.
5. That C.A.R. “OPPOSE” SB 1340 (Wolk), which would require a permit for any installation, replacement, or expansion by 25% or more of automatic irrigation systems for residential landscapes of 10,000 sq. ft. (.23 acre) or greater.
6. That C.A.R. “OPPOSE” the California Department of Water Resources recommendation mandating adherence to water efficient landscape rules for major remodels if the project includes altering of landscapes of more than 500 sq. ft. or a building renovation value exceeding $200,000. 

Global Real Estate Forum
The Global Forum had guest speakers who presented on doing business internationally. The topics were as follow.
Doing Business Internationally or Globally – John Wong, Founder of Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)
Working with Chinese Clients from China and Taiwan – Linda Lee, REALTOR®
Why California? What attracts International Investments to CA? Winnie Davis spoke for Los Angeles. Sharon Mancillas spoke for San Francisco and Linda Yun spoke for Sacramento 

Young Professional Network Forum
At the YPN Forum we discussed the YPN RPAC Pledge. Huh? That’s what I said.  Now that’s a big acronym. The Young Professionals Network, REALTOR® Political Action Fund Pledge.

The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) is the best way a REALTOR® can protect their business. RPAC is the only grassroots and issues mobilizing force that exists to protect and promote the tradition of home ownership and real estate investment.

YPN’s members are at the forefront of this movement.   We know how important it is to continue to invest in and protect our business.  

At this forum, Vice Chair, Nick Solis coached us on spreading the word to our fellow REALTOR® members on what RPAC is and what it means to our industry.  
Each and every committee and forum is filled with information.  I only covered a small portion but if you’re interested in knowing more, I encourage you to visit www.Car.org, go to meetings and events, then to C.A.R Board of Directors and committees to learn more.  I look forward to bringing you more information from our next meetings in the fall.    Until then, I am always available at Minerva@grgsd.com or 619-454-7564.


Nikki Coppa, CAR Director, Chair of CAR's Standard Forms Advisory Committee, Chair Forum on Forms

Three times a year, your Directors attend C.A.R. Business Meetings. We listen, we discuss, we debate, and then we take action on behalf of Realtors® throughout the state of California. Meetings occur simultaneously throughout the first three days, so our Region is spread out to cover our assignments and report back to the group and our members.

The unique thing about the Spring session is that we dedicate an entire day to our enormous advocacy efforts. This day is called “Leg (pronounced ‘ledge’) Day. Associations throughout the state send their Directors and other members to the Capitol in Sacramento to actually experience the C.A.R. advocacy efforts. Often, we have special speakers to kick the day off, and this session truly delivered, as Governor Brown addressed the audience. After our morning briefing, in which experts educate our members on the issues that are most likely to tarnish or infringe upon private property rights. We learn the legislation, then we march as a united group to the Capitol building to meet with our legislators to ask them to please work with the legislation in front of us to pass or defeat those that would infringe upon private property rights. Meeting after meeting is held, until around 5pm, when we all scurry back to a huge ballroom to await the arrival of our legislators for an exclusive capitol reception. Late in the evening, as everything wraps up, we celebrate the REALTOR party, and the tremendous efforts made on behalf of our industry, clients, and communities. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship to have a funded Leg Day experience, please contact myself or PSAR and we can help answer your questions and get you started!

After that very long day, your Directors begin the standard course of business meetings. Each Director has different assignments, and for 2016 mine include the following:
Forum on Forums – Committee Chair
Standard Forms Advisory Committee – Committee Chair
Defense Strategy Advisory Committee - Member
 
Forum on Forms highlights –
This forum used to be a bit dry and only reviewed the form changes. Now, we present the new forms, changed forms, have C.A.R. Legal weigh in with pertinent information, AND showcase new technology enhancements for our members.
Any C.A.R. member can submit a comment or suggestion for any form at any time via email at carforms@car.org. Please take the time to be specific in your concern or request, as ALL comments are considered by the committee. 
The following 8 C.A.R. forms are being revised, for release at the end of June: 
COP – Contingency for Sale of Buyer’s Property
o Language addressing time periods for covenants, contingencies and deposits was inserted on the form. Default is to those times specified in the RPA or other purchase agreement. Optional paragraph allows time periods to be delayed.
CR – Contingency Removal 
o Section II has been updated to reflect the recent change in the SPRP recognizing two potential contingencies; one for seller entering into contract to acquire another property and another for seller closing escrow on another property. 
LRM – Lease/Rental and Ventilation Addendum
o Signature lines were changed so that there are two for tenant and two for landlord.
NSP – Notice to Seller to Perform
o Format was changed to separately identify contingencies from contractual actions.  Two contingencies were specified; one for finding replacement property and one for closing replacement property to be consistent with the SPRP
RCSD-B – Representative Capacity Signature Disclosure –Buyer
o This form was reformatted to make it easier to understand where entity names should be inserted, where signatures should occur and who or what should be identified for each. This new format also permits same form to be used at the time of Buyer Representation Agreement and Purchase Agreement. 
RCSD-S – Representative Capacity Signature Disclosure- Seller
o This form was reformatted to make it easier to understand where entity names should be inserted, where signatures should occur and who or what should be identified for each. This new format also permits same form to be used at the time of Listing Agreement and Purchase Agreement. 
SPRP – Seller’s Purchase of Replacement Property
o There was language change in the form so that the default time for buyer’s performance of covenants, contingencies and now deposits is delayed until seller removes finding replacement property contingency.  Caption in section 1B was changed from Concurrent Close to Close of Replacement Property.
TOA – Text Overflow Addendum
o Language was added to the form to make it clearer that terms in the TOA modify the underlying form, such as the RPA.
The 1 new form being released in June is:  
SALSQ: Seller Agricultural Land Supplementary Questionnaire
o This form supplements the Seller Property Questionnaire with inquiries focused on agricultural and vacant land.
Standard Forms Advisory Committee Report to the Board of Directors-
There were 21 Regional Rep reports given to the Standard Forms Advisory Committee (SFAC).  Many comments had been submitted in advance and over 40 were received at the Forum on Forms. The committee considered extensive comments regarding the Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory and the (Dec 2015) removal of the initials at the bottom of each page. Of the Regional Rep reports, 13 Regions were in favor of keeping the form in its present state (without the initials), while 8 Regions expressed a desire to have the initials reinstated on pages 1-11. Of the members of the Standard Forms Advisory Committee, only three were in favor of reinstating the initials. Given the feedback, the committee determined that no change should be made to the form at this time.   

The removal or revision of the arbitration clause in the Residential Listing Agreement was debated heavily at Forum on Forms, and comments were received from the Regional Reps on the subject. The committee has recommended that the arbitration clause be removed from the RLA, and an advisory statement be inserted, advising the parties of the possibility of agreeing to arbitration of disputes via a separate addendum, such as the new form released in December 2015, C.A.R. Form ARB. 
Two task forces were created at the January meetings in Anaheim.  One was to explore the creation of a team/partnership agreement for the library and the other to evaluate possible consolidation of the forms library. The teams’ task force has received many samples that will help create a new draft for review at the October business meetings.  The forms consolidation task force has reviewed all the forms in the library noting those with minimal use, those that can be consolidated, those that can be eliminated, etc.

Finally, the SFAC reviewed 52 of the 102 comments received.  The balance will be reviewed via a full committee conference call. 

There are always things going on in our communities. Your Directors serve as your voice to notify C.A.R. and get their help or guidance when needed. If you have questions or concerns that you feel should be addressed, you need to let us know so we can take action. Please feel free to email me (nikki@callnikki.com) with concerns you feel need to be addressed at CAR. 

Lupe Soto, Director & Legal Action Fund Trustee

Wednesday, April 27th was an exciting day!   Our association was part of the 2,300 realtors that marched together to the State Capitol to address key legislative issues with our legislators.   Together we make a difference!

Below are 3 Hot Issues that we addressed with our legislators:

1. We asked our legislators for their support on AB2693 (Dababneh).  C.A.R.  Is sponsoring this bill in an effort to protect Buyer’s obtaining financing on homes that have PACE loans, to protect Seller’s option to be able to refinance their homes with an existing PACE loan, and to make sure that PACE programs clearly DISCLOSE the future consequences that the homeowner will have from having a PACE loan on your property.  

At this time, Fannie Mae ad Freddie Mac will not lend a Buyer money on a home that has a PACE loan and Seller’s are no eligible to refinance their homes with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan if they have a PACE loan.  

It is clear that at this time Seller’s are not aware of the future consequences that they will face when they obtain a PACE loan for their solar system.  
This bill is currently in the Assembly.  

2. We asked also asked for their support on AB 2760 (Mathis).  C.A.R. is also sponsoring this bill in an effort to statutorily differentiate between a medically necessary companion or support animal and other animals kept as pets.  The purpose of this bill is to clarify current law.  The current law is not clear on its definition of what qualifies a companion or support animal when a tenant is renting a property.  AB 2760 will help prevent illegitimate claims and allow those that truly have a valid need to be able to have their companion animal to take care of their medical needs.  Currently, anyone can go online and secure a prescription for a companion animal.   This bill will add protection to other tenants and the property by clearly stating what are a trained service animal, support animal and other pets.  At this time, the lack of clarity creates problems for the tenants because the animals/pets my not be property trained which can result in the animal/pet hurting a person that is in the property. Furthermore, this bill will help homeowners avoid unnecessary litigation and higher insurance costs.   This bill is currently in the Assembly.  

3. We asked our legislators to oppose SB 1053 (Leno).  The reason why we asked to oppose this bill is because it requires every homeowner to participate in the Section 8 Housing program instead of leaving it as a a voluntary program for the owner.  
The Section 8 program is not always the best option for the homeowner.  The process can be as long as 60 days to get the application approved which will result in loss of rent and increased cost to meet the Section 8 requirements.  The program also forces the homeowner to enter into a lease that may to his/her best interest.
This bill will clearly interfere with private property rights.  The homeowner should have the freedom to participate or not participate with a government rental subsidy program. This bill is currently in the Senate.