COVID 19 Information & NewsPhil Newman2020-04-21T16:57:03-05:00
As the coronavirus remains a concern in the U.S. and in Tennessee, our leadership is keeping a close eye on developments affecting our members and communities. “Members’ safety and well-being is a top priority,” said 2020 President Hagan Stone. “Our leaders are tracking news closely while working to ensure that members’ needs are met. We have a protocol in place to ensure continuity in our operations and continued service to our Tennessee REALTORS® family.”
Please choose a tab below for more specific information about COVID-19 and resources related to real estate.
4/21/20 — The U.S. Senate passed legislation Tuesday to replenish funding for several coronavirus small-business relief programs championed by NAR and available to REALTORS®. The House is expected to take up the measure later this week. Under the Senate agreement, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will receive $310 billion in new cash, while the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) fund will receive an additional $50 billion. The bill sets aside $60 billion of PPP funding exclusively for small and medium-sized community banks. More details: HERE
4/20/20 — The Tennessean reports: “Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that his stay-at-home order will not be extended past April 30, and that businesses around the state will begin reopening next week. ‘For the good of our state, social distancing must continue, but our economic shutdown cannot,’ Lee said. A governor-appointed, 30-member economic recovery group is working with industry leaders to ensure that some businesses can reopen as early as Monday, April 27.” Full article: HERE.
4/20/20 — REALTOR®-focused Q&A on Unemployment from the TN Dept. of Labor & Workforce Dvmt.: HERE
4/20/20 — The State of Tennessee and Gov. Bill Lee continue to provide timely COVID-19 updates: HERE
4/18/20 — Health insurance coverage resources related to COVID-19: HERE
4/17/20 — Independent Contractor Guidance from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: HERE
4/15/20 — TN Dept. of Labor created a video to help self-employed Tennesseans apply for unemployment: HERE
4/13/20 — *Gov. Bill Lee has extended Tennessee’s “stay-at-home” order through April 30: HERE
4/13/20 — TN Unemployment Claims Website down temporarily as of this morning: HERE
4/11/20 — IRS Self-Employment Tax Center — Definitions, Tips, Resources: HERE
4/10/20 — Updated NAR FAQs on the CARES Act and SBA Loans: HERE
4/9/20 —NAR survey of REALTORS® shows hope for post-pandemic rebound: HERE
4/8/20 — TREC Allows Education Direct to Licensees: The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) announced it will permit classroom delivery of CE courses direct to licensees until May 18, and to any other future date to coincide with Gov. Bill Lee’s orders. TREC will ask that each class be recorded and kept as a file, and that TREC be provided a link in advance of the class to monitor if he chooses. Members: check with your local REALTOR® association for class options.
4/8/20 — Fair Housing Month (April) resources from NAR: HERE
4/7/20 — NAR has established a hotline for members’ questions related to COVID-19: 1-800-874-6500
4/7/20 — NAR Leadership Live, Wed. 4/8, 1-2 pm EDT / 12-1 pm CDT. Tune in on Facebook: HERE
4/6/20 — CARES Act Q&As from NAR on SBA Loans / Paycheck Protection eligibility and how to apply: HERE
4/5/20 — Unemployment FAQs from the Tennessee Dept. of Labor (See Unemployment tab below as well): HERE
4/3/20 — Message to members re: real estate as “essential” & Gov. Lee’s stay-at-home order, from 2020 President Hagan Stone and CEO Angela Shields: HERE
4/3/20 — Gov. Lee’s Order 23 mandating stay-at-home for Tennesseans except for essential services: HERE
4/2/20 — NAR Offers TeleHealthSM to REALTOR members at no cost (*apply by 4/15*): HERE
4/2/20 — Live briefing @ 3 pm CDT today — “Governor Bill Lee says he will sign an executive order requiring all Tennesseans stay home unless carrying out essential activities.” (Real estate will remain an essential service, carried out with precautions acc. to CDC guidelines). Details: HERE
4/1/20 — Unemployment: COVID-19 stimulus package includes up to $600/week in addition to $275 provided by Tennessee; independent contractors are included. More details: HERE
4/1/20 — U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program helps businesses retain workers, maintain payroll or make mortgage lease or utility payments. The SBA still needs to create the rules for the program and relay that information to banks. How it will work & how to apply: HERE
3/31/20 — **TN License News** In light of COVID-19, TREC issued an update that included: “…effective immediately until May 18, 2020, or until further such notice, no license will be suspended for failure to complete continuing education requirements.” More details: HERE
3/30/20 — **Real estate, title services, appraisals deemed “essential services” by Gov. Lee. See page 11/item 24: HERE
3/30/20 — Active & Fit (MVP partner) fitness-center enrollee update: HERE
3/27/20 — Stimulus Package Highlights for REALTORS® and Real Estate Industry: HERE
3/26/20 — NAR’s Right Tools, Right Now site for free/discounted member resources: HERE
3/26/20 — Mayor’s letter in Bradley County (Cleveland TN): HERE
1) COVID-19 AMENDMENT/ADDENDUM (RF 679) — Our Residential Forms Committee approved this new form as an addition to the Tennessee REALTORS® library. It is available to members on our Forms on the Fly page and via third-party forms vendors. THANKS to our committee members and legal counsel for their work in preparing this important form.
*Watch the Addendum tutorial video featuring Chair Joan Smith, attorneys Addison Russell and Todd Sholar, and committee member Ron Poe: HERE* *Read answers to frequently asked questions about the Addendum form HERE*
2) COVID-19 RELEASE (RF 309) — The committee also approved this new form, which is available to members on our Forms on the Fly page and is loading to third-party forms vendors TransactionDesk, Dotloop, Redfin and zipLogix.
*Watch the Release form tutorial video featuring Chair Joan Smith and attorney Addison Russell: HERE
Unemployment in the COVID-19 relief package(see the Unemployment tab as well): The CARES Act includes up to $600/week in unemployment in addition to $275 provided by Tennessee; independent contractors are included. *Beware of scammers contacting you to offer instant approval of unemployment.* More details at the state website: HERE
Payroll Protection Program (PPP) — Small businesses may be eligible for the PPP. Learn more about that program (including a Q&A provided by NAR): HERE
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans — NAR SBA FAQs: HERE
In light of increasing concerns about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Tennessee REALTORS® took the precautionary step of canceling or postponing all previously scheduled events, classes, meetings, and nonessential travel at least through April 17. This decision was based on the announcement from health officials that multiple cases of the virus have been confirmed in Tennessee, and Gov. Bill Lee’s declaration of a state of emergency earlier today. More details HERE.
On March 16, the U.S. and the state of Tennessee issued statements urging groups of 10 or more to avoid direct contact. In light of this decision, we took the step of asking our staff team to work remotely rather than together in the office beginning Tuesday, March 17, for the time being. We want to emphasize that we are still here for our members. We are available via our website, email, phone, and social media. We are working hard to ensure that the needs of Tennessee REALTORS® will continue to be met during this temporary adjustment to our office arrangement. As previously communicated, our leadership and staff will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the situation related to COVID-19 during this period, and be ready to adjust plans as necessary. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us by calling our temporary phone number, (615) 800-8171, or emailing . Thank you.
Governor Bill Lee Executive Order: Gov. Lee issued an extensive executive order March 19 in light of COVID-19. The order includes a temporary extension of license renewals and fulfilling CE requirements from the Dept. of Commerce & Insurance, which includes the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC). We are awaiting confirmation of the exact length of the extension, but this will provide much-needed relief to many of our REALTOR® members when it comes to their license. See item 27 (page 9) in the governor’s full order HERE.
TREC Allows Education Direct to Licensees: The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) announced it will permit classroom delivery of CE courses direct to licensees until May 18, and to any other future date to coincide with Gov. Bill Lee’s orders. TREC will ask that each class be recorded and kept as a file, and that TREC be provided a link in advance of the class to monitor if he chooses. Members: check with your local REALTOR® association for class options.
Our friends at the Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM, home of the CPM® certification) offer a webpage to help property managers navigate issues related to COVID-19. including a “From the Front Lines” video posted 4/2/20 focusing on customer service during this challenging time. Details: HERE
Pandemic Guide for Real Estate Managers (another IREM resource): HERE
Video resources from Marc Cunningham, 2018 Property Manager of the Year, and a frequent CE speaker at REALTOR® events: HERE
Plus: In this new VIDEO, Marc shares his opinion and offers guidance on 5 parts of your business you must address because of Coronavirus including:
*The state House and Senate announced that the Tennessee General Assembly would pass a budget the week of March 16 and then recess until June 1, at which time they plan to consider remaining legislation. A few bills were considered by both chambers—bills deemed ‘essential’ by Leadership, pertaining to statutory obligations and/or funding of the government—and the budget was passed on March 19.
For more about the passage of the budget and other General Assembly news, visit HERE, HERE or HERE.
On March 19, on behalf of our 29,000+ REALTOR® members, we sent a letter to Gov. Bill Lee from 2020 President Hagan Stone requesting that the state declare real estate services as essential under the emergency powers declaration. These services include title searches, permitting, inspections, construction, and especially the transfer and recordation of ownership. The ability to close real estate transactions includes certain requirements and deadlines. The impact, both on the lives and finances of property owners, is substantial and can be avoided if essential services are allowed to continue.
Gov. Lee did include real estate in his Executive Orders as an essential service, for which we are grateful.
NAR Guidance/Ideas on conducting virtual showings: HERE
NAR main COVID-19 page: HERE
NAR Offers TeleHealthSM to Members (*apply by 4/15): HERE
Guidance for Property Owners: HERE
NAR Guide for REALTORS®: HERE
Statement on 2020 NAR Legislative Meetings & Expo: HERE
Guidelines for Employers: HERE
NAR Advocacy and COVID-19: HERE
Realtor.com main COVID-19 page: HERE
Financial Webinars: NAR offers free webinars designed to help REALTORS® understand financial topics on a deeper level. Presenters include subject matter experts who provide tips, planning options, and other valuable info to help you advance your financial journey. Mark your calendar for Friday, March 27, 12:00 pm Central, for “Financial Tips During a Time of Crisis: A Business Survival Guide During a Disaster.” More details: HERE
Tennessee REALTORS® joins NAR and many local associations in strongly discouraging in-person open houses during this time of social distancing. We encourage you to be sure your brokerage/team and fellow agents are in sync about your approach, as you continue to work with clients in creative ways through technology and online marketing tools. As NAR states in its guidance: “Consider how you may continue providing first-class services to clients, while also exemplifying REALTORS® as community leaders by demonstrating care for the health and well-being of clients, colleagues and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19.” Read more HERE.
As Middle Tennessee recovers from the devastating tornado damage suffered March 2, we encourage you to consider donating to NAR’s REALTORS® Relief Foundation (RRF). The RRF distributes 100% of all funds collected to disaster relief causes on an “as-needed” basis. Donate directly to the RRF HERE.
TORNADO RELIEF APPLICATION — *If your primary residence was affected by the tornados in Middle Tennessee on March 2, you may apply for mortgage/rent assistance from NAR’s REALTORS® Relief Foundation (RRF). The RRF will provide up to $1,000 to each qualified applicant, while funds remain available. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020, but do not delay. Please complete the form at THIS LINK and email the completed form to .
Find more disaster-relief resources on our website HERE.
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