2-15-16 Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 7 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor
In the News
1. Forever Young: New TREC Exec Q&A
2. Tax-Season Tips for Homeowners
3. THANKS for Watching this TED Talk
Member Services
4. **NEW** Manual of TN Real Estate
5. Get Your REALTOR® License Plate Professional Development
6. C.L.U.E. in to Free Webinar
7. MRP Course: A Vital Opportunity
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
8. A Prize Drawing for Clients?
9. Subpoenaed: What to Do?
10. Share Commission with non-TN Broker?
Key Links & Resources
Spring Conference Registration

1. New TREC Exec Malcolm Young Knows His Real Estate—and His Salsa
The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) recently welcomed Malcolm Young as its new Executive Director. A stalwart in our industry, Malcolm has amassed more than 36 years’ experience at every level of the REALTOR® organization, including CEO of the Louisiana AOR (1988-2014) and Executive VP of the Arlington, Tex., BOR (1983-87). He was honored with NAR’s prestigious William R. Magel Award of Excellence in REALTOR® Association Management in 2006, receiving the award from then U.S. President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton as part of the “After the Storm” rebuilding project following Hurricane Katrina. Two weeks into his tenure at TREC, Malcolm was kind enough to carve out time for a conversation with TAR…

Q: Welcome to Tennessee! In light of your depth of experience as a real estate leader, what inspired you to move into this key role on the regulatory side?
Working with the Tennessee Real Estate Commission is an exciting new career path to assure that the performance of licensees in the marketplace is focused on assisting the consumer, not only in being a trusted adviser, but also in understanding the latest rules and regulations implemented to address rapid changes in real estate—to make sure the consumer not only receives valued service in a real estate transaction, but is also protected in the largest transaction they may ever make.

Also, working with consumers and providing a path to housing for all is a passion of mine. Since I left the Louisiana REALTORS® as CEO, I have served as Vice Chair of the Louisiana Housing Corporation in the continuation of rebuilding the lost housing stock in south Louisiana after the devastating storms over 10 years ago.

Q: Coming in new, what do you see as the highest priorities at TREC?
First, Licensing—improving turnaround time for applicants and transfers. This is an exciting time as we embark on transitioning from a paper world at [TREC] to embracing the new online platform (CORE). This should improve the turnaround time for licensees and simplify the process. Second, we are committed to improving our Customer Service aspect. A call center has been developed to expedite questions and answers. Third, Communications—making sure that information is easy, accessible and up to date for licensees and consumers, as well as doing outreach to the licensee community.

Q: What would you say to TAR members about what we might expect from the Commission and the legal aspects of the industry? 
In my short two weeks on the job, I think you can see clarification of Advertising and Promotion guidelines, as well as discussions on Teams. The commissioners, from my viewpoint, are engaged in the real estate industry, understand the challenges, and will provide rules and policies to assist in navigation of a changing marketplace.

Q: Who has been your greatest influence in real estate over the years?
I have to name two: William D. North, former General Counsel and Executive Vice President of [NAR]; and Travis Kessler, current Texas Association of REALTORS® CEO. When I began my career in 1979, Bill North was General Counsel for NAR. At that time, there was a surge of anti-competitive activities in real estate, which caused several class-action lawsuits in which we received intensive education from Mr. North on the right thing to do for associations and for real estate companies. He taught us the importance of credibility in our careers, following the law and policy to the letter, and remembering that the trade associations we represented are the members’ organizations, not ours. Bill and his wife, Carol, have remained friends throughout my career, and I apply those simple lessons on a daily basis.

Travis Kessler and I began our careers as college interns. We both have learned the true meaning of giving back to an industry that has been good to us, the importance of sharing amongst peers, and the understanding that you do not have to reinvent the wheel to provide quality services to members or licensees. (I have already begun to build a network with ARELLO, the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials.)
I see this opportunity with the Tennessee Real Estate Commission as a time to continue to give back to the industry with the knowledge and expertise I have gained over the years in real estate.
Q: Now that you’re in Tennessee, you are among three individuals with ties to our great state who have received one of the 28 Magel awards. What does an honor like that mean to you?
Goosebumps, humbling. Seriously, to be honored by your peers with such an award still leaves me speechless, when all I want to do is inspire other people to get involved and engaged in an industry and give back. I have had certain small goals of myself to always learn and engage in professional development. I feel that was a legacy I provided to NAR. As far as meeting the U.S. Presidents with the honor, I felt that I was doing the right thing in trying to help people who truly had lost everything [in Hurricane Katrina]. The “After the Storm” rebuilding was all about helping people who could not help themselves, and you feel that you made some small impact on their life.
Q: We hear you’re into salsa. Is that the food, the dance, or both?
OK, let’s get one thing straight: I don’t dance! I did turn a hobby of making salsa into a small cottage industry, Malco’s Magnificent Salsa. Cooking is a outlet for me. I was producing the salsa in conjunction with a kitchen incubator program and distributing about 200 jars a week to farmer’s markets and grocery stores. I have been on the ground floor of the “Farm to Table” movement. As my wife and I transition to Tennessee, we have put Malco’s on hold. I hope that when I have time, Malco’s will be a Tennessee Farm to Table product!
Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Live each day to the fullest. Keep moving forward!

2. Tax-Season Tips for Homeowners
This article from NAR’s HouseLogic service provides a few basic, timely tax tips to help homeowners and homebuyers prepare their 2015 returns. Topics include:

  • Mortgage-Interest Deduction
  • Prepaid-Interest Deduction
  • Property-Tax Deduction
  • PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums
  • Vacation-Home Tax Deductions
  • Homebuyer Tax Credit
  • Energy-Efficient Upgrade 

Get the whole scoop at this link.

3. THANKS for Watching this TED Talk
Small things can add up to a big difference. Take it from Dr. Laura Trice, whose “deceptively simple 3-minute TED talk muses on the power of the magic words ‘thank you’—to deepen a friendship, to repair a bond, to make sure another person knows what they mean to you.” Watch her short, power-packed message at this link.

Member Services
4. **NEW** Manual of TN Real Estate
Tennessee licensees may now purchase The Manual of Tennessee Real Estate—2016 Edition, featuring Tennessee Code Annotated and 2015 Supplement, seven years since the last printed, user-friendly version. TREEF, the education arm of TAR, partnered with LexisNexis to make the new manuals possible. The cost is $31.50 each, and **shipping is free** to TAR members (enter promo code 2016TAR at checkout). To order, visit this link. Note: This manual is not affiliated with TREC or the State of Tennessee; it was brought to our members and the public as a service. We hope to offer an updated printed edition every two years.

5. Get Your REALTOR® License Plate
Did you know that Tennessee has a REALTOR® license plate? It’s called “Celebrate Homeownership”. Next time you renew, be sure to order your own REALTOR® plate from your County Clerk’s office. Just show them your membership card*, which includes your NRDS ID# and proof that you’re a REALTOR®. It’s a great way to brand yourself, and part of the proceeds support REALTOR® education through the Tennessee Real Estate Educational Foundation (TREEF). *If you need a membership card, visit this link.

6. C.L.U.E. in to Free Webinar
Kelly Murray, J.D., a Vanderbilt law professor, licensed REALTOR® and instructor, is offering a free webinar this Wednesday (1 p.m. CST) and Thursday (Noon CST). Learn the power of C.L.U.E. Reports and leverage this free tool to help land more listings and prevent closing complications; will include live Q&A with Professor Murray. For a quick video preview, click here. To register for one of the two free webinar options, visit this link.

7. MRP Course: A Vital Opportunity
The Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification course is coming up Thursday, Feb. 25, at TAR in Nashville. Here’s a quick preview from instructor Marshall Sparkman, a U.S. Air Force veteran and loan officer with Summit Funding, about why this eight-hour CE course is so vital. Register for the course here(Login required.) 

Legal & Ethics Hot Line

8. A Prize Drawing for Clients?
QUESTION: I was considering doing a prize drawing with my clients, i.e., the next 10 listings will be given a chance to win a $50 gift card. What are the guidelines? 
You would need to follow the Gifts and Prizes Rule, which allows some types of incentives, as long as the incentive is for the person to do business with you, not their friend or family member.
This falls under TREC Rule 1260-2-.33: (1) A licensee may offer a gift, prize, or other valuable consideration as an inducement to the purchase, listing, or lease of real estate only if the offer is made: (a) Under the sponsorship and with the approval of the firm with whom the licensee is affiliated; and (b) In writing, signed by the licensee, with disclosure of all pertinent details, including but not limited to: 1. accurate specifications of the gift, prize, or other valuable consideration offered; 2. fair market value; 3. the time and place of delivery; and 4. any requirements which must be satisfied by the prospective purchaser or lessor.
Also, please be aware that under state law, these gifts may not take the form of cash or converted into cash (in other words, they cannot trade it in for cash or get cash back). The statute states: “A real estate licensee shall not give or pay cash rebates, cash gifts or cash prizes in conjunction with any real estate transaction. As part of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission’s general rulemaking authority, the Commission may regulate the practices of real estate licensees in regard to gifts, prizes or rebates that are not otherwise prohibited by law.”

9. Subpoenaed: What to Do?

QUESTION: I had a client that breached a contract, and now I am being subpoenaed to provide information on my client. How should I handle this situation?

ANSWER: A subpoena is a court order to appear to testify and/or to produce documents. Therefore, you are required to comply with it or be held in contempt of court. However, your client can request that the subpoena be overruled. If it is not overruled, you are required to produce your files. We suggest that you contact your client and advise them that you have received the subpoena. If you are subpoenaed to testify at a deposition, you may want to have an attorney present to represent your interests. You can check to see if your E&O would provide an attorney for such an issue.

10. Share Commission with non-TN Broker?
QUESTION: I’ve listed a property for sale that is set to close. The relationship is through an agent, not licensed in Tennessee, who has a national Brokerage Services Agreement with the property owner. They have co-brokered with me to list the property. At closing, should the commission be paid to me (given I have the TN license) or can it be paid to the co-broker (without the TN license)?
ANSWER: The commission would have to be paid to the firm that is licensed in Tennessee. Only agents who are licensed in Tennessee can list Tennessee properties for sale. You can pay the out-of-state agent a referral fee for the transaction. 


To check your CE hours: verify.tn.gov/default.aspx
For CE and other courses around TN: tarnet.com/education/
For online CE courses: tarnet.com/education/?target=online-CE-courses/
To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question: tarnet.com/technology-support/legal-ethics-hotline/
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TAR on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689


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