Browse Tag: National Association of Realtor

Why Establish A Commercial Overlay Board?

NAR Commercial Logo

A recent post here at The Source talked about how to establish a new Commercial Overlay Board connected with your local REALTOR association.  By way of quick review: establishing a COB is the way a local REALTOR® association expresses a specialty in commercial real estate, creating an organization and resources geared away from residential practice and toward the very broad and complex world of commercial practice.

That post generated a good question from Tucson’s Barbi Reuter, Principal / Broker at C&W PICOR, who asked:

This is a good outline of the ‘how’ – I’d love to see the ‘why.’ Could you help us understand the added value a COB can offer the commercial real estate community over organizations and services already in place? Perhaps a follow up post. Thank you!

Follow up we will!

What Does Establishing A Commercial Overlay Board Achieve?

1.  COBs improve the education of residential practitioners. In secondary and tertiary markets, the following scenario is quite common: a residential professional finds herself representing a commercial property by default. A small-town family business property owned by a homebuyer client, for example, might fall to her to represent and move. An owner-occupied commercial property can seem very similar to a resident-occupied home in market-making terms. In both areas, the broker needs to advertise, to show, to negotiate and to close.  But the differences are stark, and risk of legal entanglements and malpractice rises sharply when residential practitioners inherit commercial deals.   The COB is there to offer education programs, seminars, and courses to keep members current on vital issues, better able to serve the public, and meet state-mandated continuing education license requirements.

2. COBs provide dispute resolution. A COB provides the body of commercial practitioner peers needed to enforce the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS®, and to administer mediation and arbitration as they relate to commercial transactions.  By design, various COB committees are active in this regard. Typical meeting agendas of a COB’s Membership Policy and Board Jurisdiction Committee include resolution of name and territory disputes between member associations with due process hearings.   Multi-state arbitration issues are also handled, as is the implementation of Article 14 of NAR’s Code Of Ethics.

3.  Separate identity.  A COB is a free-standing, self-governing, self-sustaining association of REALTORS®. This is opposed to a CS  (Commercial Structure) which  is a commercial group within an already existing parent association and may be allowed representation on the parent Board of Directors. For example, COBs are assigned a separate NRDS (National REALTOR®  Database System) identification number and are represented on the NAR Board of Directors, whereas CSs do not have a separate identity and are represented through their parent association.  This distinction can be valuable when local associations are facing sweeping changes in commercial property markets that demand a professional identity dedicated to and focused exclusively upon the commercial practice be established.

Creating a Commercial Overlay Board gains these and many other things.  For a full listing, NAR members with an NRDS login can check out The Commercial Overlay Board Guide.


Enhanced by Zemanta

CIB: How to Obtain Successful Negotiation Skills

President of Strategic Negotiations International

Many speakers try and give you tips and know-how of negotiations but few have the first-hand, global experiences, that Signature Series speaker Barry Elms can provide. From the Middle East to Midwest from the federal government to General Motors, Barry Elms discusses what his real life negotiations have taught him and will share some of those lessons learned to our Commercial Intelligence Briefing (CIB) listeners.

More on our speaker- Barry Elms, President of Strategic Negotiations International, is acclaimed by many as “America’s business coach in negotiation skills.” In the last 20 years, Barry has given more than 2,000 presentations to corporations and associations worldwide, including the National Association of REALTORS®. Click on the link to listen to this edition of the CIB as well as past recordings.

Earn NAR’s Green Designation

NAR's Green Resource Council websiteWhen the news on climate change includes longtime holdouts surrendering their positions to acknowledge that manmade heat and emissions are contributing in a real way to our climate, it’s probably time to look again at the ways we use energy in our commercial properties.  For years, NAR has been ahead of the curve in our industry’s green research and education with the Green Resource Council, a leading source for facts, tools, education and strategies for going green.

The Green Resource Council and NAR’s Green Designation were established by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® in the spring of 2008 as a response to the increased interest by real estate buyers, sellers and practitioners to go green. With a panel of subject matter experts, the council developed a comprehensive designation program in the summer of 2008. That fall, we launched the pilot course to a live classroom of students.

Since then, NAR’s Green Designation program has taken off. Almost 1,300 students and over 100 instructors completed one of the courses in its first few months, and as of March 2010, over 4,000 individuals have been awarded NAR’s Green Designation and membership to the Green REsource Council.

Green Business Network

Appraisers to Title Companies, the Green Business Network links dozens of industry categories and puts NAR green Designees together with providers to form solutions, Learn more about the Green Business Network and search it here. 

Summer 2012 Commercial Connections: Making Strides In A Jumpy Economy

The cover of the Summer 2012 issue of Commercial ConnectionsThe Summer 2012 issue of NAR’s Commercial Connections magazine is on the shelves.  And by “on the shelves”, I mean “already in the eager hands of thousands of REALTORS®” and “conveniently on the web”. Aside from a very pleasing, summery shade of periwinkle, what’s in this issue? Essential stuff, including:

  • An in-depth piece on SBA 504 Refinancing program for small business capital, by Barbara Vohyrzek
  • Marwyn Evans’ cover story on the mixed messages in the economy contrasted with the enduring nature of commercial property markets
  • Chere Larose-Senne’s breakdown of the new benefits partnership between Xceligent and NAR
  • NAR Research Manager George Ratu’s pointed examination of our pinstriped friends the bankers in “Growth In Commercial Markets Hampered By Lending”
  • And much more.  Browse the new issue right here.
Enhanced by Zemanta

NAR Commercial Practitioners: Call For Brief Survey

Logo of NAR's MVP participation rewards programAttention commercial REALTORS®: From July 16-31st 2012, NAR commercial members are called to participate in a brief survey by NAR’s Research Department.

As part of the NAR’s Member Value Plus (MVP) Program, where REALTORS® earn rewards for participation in actions geared to improve our industry, today’s call is for a brief survey of your business activity and what you see in your marketplace. This survey is an extension of the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey and annual Member Profile, meaning results will of course be shared with members and in other venues.

To participate, you must have a valid NRDS ID number and e-mail address.

The Reward

In exchange for participation, NAR is offering a reward of a free download of the 2012 NAR Member Profile.  What’s in it? Plenty of valuable intelligence and networking:

Who are REALTORS®? Economic, demographic, education, tenure, agency relationship and compensation of REALTORS® are broken down. In addition, this report takes an in-depth look at office affiliation, type of firm, as well as the use of the Internet and technology. This unique tool provides the answers in a user-friendly format, designed to allow easy comparisons with previous studies, using a mix of charts, graphs and tables.

You have until August 31st, 2012 to claim your Reward in the You will receive a promotional code to utilize in the Store to receive your reward via e-mail within 48 hours.n in-depth look at office affiliation, type of firm, as well as the use of the Internet and technology. This unique tool provides the answers in a user-friendly format, designed to allow easy comparisons with previous studies, using a mix of charts, graphs

The Survey
Got your NRDS number handy? Is it before July 31st 2012?  Ready to earn a reward?  Then begin filling out the survey here.
Enhanced by Zemanta

NAR Smart Growth Grants: Get Smart About Commercial Property In Your Community

NAR Database Growth 2007

Smart Growth is important stuff.  The commercial property market and the land use decisions that go with it loom very large in the balance of a community’s economic health.  Growth needs to be managed intelligently to maintain that balance, and that takes experts in commercial property engaging the community at large, shaping that balance among stakeholders.

The range of member benefits to REALTORS® now includes grants in support of Smart Growth efforts in your community.  Each year, the Smart Growth Action Grant Program makes available $120,000 to state and local REALTOR® associations to support engagement with communities toward effecting public policy intelligently.   How do you get started with Smart Growth?  Let’s first look at how it works in multifamily.

Smart Growth in Multifamily

If you’re in the multifamily market, download and read NAR’s White Paper on Short-Term Rental Housing Restrictions.  Commissioned by NAR and conducted by Robinson & Cole, LLP, this report discusses three often-used regulation techniques and provides commercial real estate practitioners with ways to counter them in the public policy discussion.  In addition, the report highlights “best practices” approaches to short-term rental housing that can guide engagement with local government.

Explore the Smart Growth Action Grants

Raising the profile of commercial REALTORS® in the conversation about land use is a main goal of NAR’s Smart Growth Action Grants. Members of state and local REALTORS® associations can take advantage of three levels of support, ranging from sponsorship of educational programs and speakers to seed funding that enables a local association’s initial efforts to guide their community’s Smart Growth, to support in-depth projects with multiple funding sources, including Charettes.

What’s a Charette?

Think of a Charette as a extended sit-down with all of the community stakeholders.  Property owners, commercial practitioners, government, volunteers, and others are invited to a multi-day collaborative process over the issues of land use.  As communities develop transit links, population evolutions and other social and economic effects, it makes sense to be the expert voice sounding the call for a huddle about these complex issues. A NAR Smart Growth grant can help make that process a reality in your market.

Commercial practitioners are invited to explore the full range of NAR Smart Growth Program resources, including toolkits for transit, infrastructure and schools.

NAR Commercial’s Bill Armstrong And Bob Goldberg On The New NAR Commercial Member Benefits


NAR VP of Marketing Bob Goldberg

Today’s NAR Commercial podcast by NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong is loaded with new developments and member benefits for NAR Commercial REALTORS®.  Bill sat down with NAR Commercial Senior Vice President of Marketing Bob Goldberg to run down the recent and exciting changes in the marketplace for commercial property listings, research, solutions and more.

Watch the entire video cast here.

Podcast highlights include:

  • Discussion of the competitive landscape shifts and recent commercial property information marketplace mergers, a background against which these new developments are taking place
  • Announcement of, a major new public search benefit under development
  • The role of new NAR Commercial benefits partner Xceligent in providing better, faster and less expensive research and information solutions for commercial practitioners
  • The role of competition in delivering the highest quality, lowest-priced solutions and products for NAR Commercial members
  • The future of ePropertyData and along with NAR Commercial’s new offerings
If there’s one thing we can count on in commercial property, it’s change. Stay tuned right here at The Source blog and our Twitter account for the latest developments in this ever-evolving market.


NAR Signs Letter Supporting US REIT Act: What’s In The Bill?

English: Capitol Hill

Some commercial real estate advocacy news from the Hill: Hon. Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH) and Hon. Richard E. Neal (D-MA), both co-sponsors of H.R. 5746, also known as the Update And Streamline REIT Act (U.S. REIT ACT)  received a letter from NAR and major trade associations in support of the Congressmen’s bill.

Letter text:

June 11, 2012

The Honorable Patrick J. Tiberi The Honorable Richard E. Neal

United States House of Representatives United States House of Representatives

106 Cannon House Office Building 2208 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representatives Tiberi and Neal:

On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, we are writing to express our support for H.R. 5746, the Update and Streamline REIT Act (U.S. REIT Act), and to thank you for your leadership in co-sponsoring this non-controversial, bipartisan legislation.

In 1960, Congress enacted the original tax provisions that created the opportunity for individual investors to obtain the benefits of large scale, income-producing real estate while diversifying their investment portfolio. Today, REITs are widely held entities that own about $900 billion of commercial real estate properties, amounting to approximately 20% of investment grade commercial real estate in this country. At little or no revenue cost, the U.S. REIT Act would make a number of narrowly targeted, but important, changes to the tax rules applicable to REITs to enable them to operate effectively, keep up with market changes, and remain consistent with the Congressional goal of more than five decades ago of making professionally managed, income producing real estate available to investors from all walks of life.

Commercial real estate is an important contributor to the U.S. economy and impacts the way in which Americans live, work, shop, and carry on business. REITs are a small but significant part of the larger real estate community. We applaud your efforts to keep the rules governing REITs up to date to make it easier for investors to diversify their retirement and savings portfolios, and we fully support H.R. 5746.


American Hotel & Lodging Association

American Land Title Association

American Resort Development Association

American Seniors Housing Association

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International

CCIM Institute

CRE Finance Council

Institute of Real Estate Management

International Council of Shopping Centers

Investment Program Association

Manufactured Housing Institute

NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association

National Apartment Association

National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts

National Association of Realtors

National Multi Housing Council

Realtors Land Institute

Society of Industrial and Office Realtors

The Real Estate Roundtable

So What’s In The Bill?

The U.S. REIT act (full text of the bill here) (detailed summary from here) proposes changes in the law governing the sale of REIT assets, the distribution of dividends and other aspects.  A quick summary follows:

Dealer Sales Safe Harbor Provisions

Under some conditions, REITs can earn a stiff penalty of 100% taxability on the sale of certain assets.  In “prohibited transactions” or “dealer sales” as currently defined, an rental or timber asset meets certain thresholds of capital improvements made to a rental property or a REIT has performed greater than seven sales during that year.  The bill proposes the liberalization of these requirements, making it easier to operate effectively and with the liquidity they need.

The Preferential Dividend

Tthe current rules on distribution of dividends among a REIT’s investors are under proposed change.  The change is proposed in the wake of the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act, signed into law in 2010.  In that law, mutual fund preferential dividend distribution rules were liberalized; the U.S. REIT act seeks similar loosening and related changes.

More: Income and Asset Tests, Duplicative Taxation

Also up for change is the formula allowing what ratios of asset classes REITs may hold, as well as a change in accounting rule that seeks to avoid the current potential for double taxation.

Check out the entire summary from here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

NAR’s Bill Armstrong On Commercial Issues

Photo of the 2012 Realtor Rally in Washington DC
Realtor Rally 2012: Are you in there? Let us know!

NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong’s latest podcast is (as always) worth a listen.  Summing up the month’s developments in the wake of the Realtor Rally and the specific effects to the commercial market of NAR’s legislative outreach, Bill mentions some new interactive opportunities for members:

  • At, there’s an awesome 360-degree photograph of the thousands of Realtors gathered in Washington in May at NAR’s RealtorⓇ Rally.  If you were among the 14 thousand+ in attendance at this historic event and defining moment for our industry, you can find yourself in the photo and tag yourself, and share the tag on Facebook or Twitter.  Just head over to and let us know You Were There!
  • The Rally gathered press coverage from over 25 major media outlets, Congress people attended from districts all over the country, and Congress heard us loud and clear on the following specific commercial RE issues:
  • Further extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Floods are not just a coastal issue; flood disasters have been declared in all fifty states, and commercial properties are affected no less than residential. During NAR’s visit to the Hill, the Senate was urged to take up a five-year NFIP reauthorization measure.
  • Liquidity in the multifamily property market was addressed by NAR asking our reps to expand small business lending, and to create a covered bond market.  Expanding access to credit is critical to allowing our economy to once again thrive.
  • Bill also gave us a shout-out here at The Source and announced the new partnership between NAR and Xeligent to provide the technology behind – delivering expanded public search capability and market information beyond what is available today.

Check out Bill’s whole podcast here.




A Quick Look At The Latest NAR Commercial Benefits And Updates

The new Realtor.Org

Let’s take a look at the latest in NAR Commercial member benefits, online resources and advocacy.

NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong’s Latest Podcast

Titled “Advocacy and Advantage”, in his latest podcast Bill outlines NAR’s Commercial’s latest efforts on Capitol Hill.  Advocacy in Congress has focused on new legislation to allow credit unions to increase lending caps.  As we’ve gone over several times here at The Source, credit availability is the biggest sticking point holding back a full recovery in the CRE industry.  NAR support for increase of lending caps has led to promises of a vote very soon.   Also on NAR’s advocacy docket is support for legislation to create a covered bond market Already in successful use in Canada and Europe, covered bonds would increase credit to the CRE industry by allowing banks to issue pools of high-quality assets backed by both the bank’s promise to repay as well as by the assets pledged as collateral.  Listen to the latest from Bill at the podcast here.

The New Realtor.Org

Members have a lot to like in NAR’s new website at Realtor.Org.  Not just a facelift, this is a ground-up rethinking of how to deliver member benefit, which is of special interest to commercial members.  While the residential and commercial issues in our industry overlap somewhat, it’s a constant challenge to satisfy the interests of individual members and their disparate backgrounds.  The new website addresses this nicely by allowing members to customize it to fit their own needs.  Cool!

New NAR Rewards Program: MVP

Not only can commercial practitioners customize the kind of news they wish to receive, they can earn rewards while doing it.  To encourage commercial members to take action on the issues that affect the commercial property industry, NAR has rolled out the Member Value Plus program, or MVP.  To learn more, check out the what, how, when and why at

REALTOR Rally To Protect The American Dream and Midyear Expo

Make your voice heard on May 17th in Washington at the REALTOR® Rally To Protect The American Dram.  The site has been moved to the base of the Washington Monument – get all the details at the REALTOR® Rally website.  And we hope to see you at the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo also in DC May 14-19th.