As the coronavirus remains a growing concern in the U.S. and in Tennessee, our leadership would like to assure you that we are prepared, and that we are keeping a close eye on the 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 about the coronavirus 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 its impact on our members and communities.
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 — 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
3/26/20 — Sumner County Stay-at-Home Order Includes Real Estate as an Essential Service: HERE
3/25/20 — Congress Agrees on $2 Trillion Stimulus Package (real estate implications): HERE
3/25/20 — Tips for Supporting Your TN Business During COVID-19: HERE
3/24/20 — City of Franklin Stay-at-Home Order: HERE
3/24/20 — City of Chattanooga Executive Order (Essential Services): HERE
3/24/20 — MAAR/ Memphis update, Real Estate an Essential Service: HERE
3/24/20 — KAAR / Knoxville update on Safer at Home Order: HERE
3/23/20 — Knox County’s Safer at Home Order: HERE
3/23/20 — COVID-19 Guidance for Property Managers (from IREM): HERE
3/23/20 — NAR Message from 2020 President Vince Malta and CEO Bob Goldberg: HERE
3/23/20 — Mortgage Trends in light of COVID-19, Realtor.com: HERE
3/23/20 — FHFA Directs Fannie and Freddie to Allow Appraisal Alternatives: HERE
March 31, 2020:
March 18, 2020:
If you have any questions about TN law, TREC rules, ethical issues etc. related to COVID-19 (or any other issues), please feel free to submit a question to our Legal & Ethics Hotline: HERE
The COVID-19 stimulus package 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
TN Unemployment — Employees FAQs: HERE
TN Unemployment — Self-Employed FAQs: HERE
TN Unemployment — Employers FAQs: HERE
Unemployment Q&A from the TN Dept. of Labor: HERE
Unemployment FAQs from NAR: HERE
Our Residential Forms Committee has approved the new COVID-19 AMENDMENT/ADDENDUM FORM (RF 679) as an addition to the Tennessee REALTORS® forms library. Third-party vendors are in the process of adding the form as well. We will release a tutorial Tuesday, March 24, with more details about the form and its use. It is currently available to members on our Forms on the Fly page. THANKS to our committee members and legal counsel for their work in preparing this important form.
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:
- Office operations
- Resident rent payment options
- Rent enforcement policy & owner involvement
- Repairs / inspections
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 (615) 321-1477 or emailing . Thank you.
Many members have begun using Zoom as a tool for online-video meetings and conference calls. Here are a few resources to help if you are just getting started with Zoom.
Link to Zoom tutorial videos: HERE
How to join a Zoom meeting: HERE
How to schedule a Zoom meeting: HERE
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.
Main General Assembly webpage: HERE
*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.
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. We will keep our membership updated on any further developments. Read the full letter HERE.
Nashville/Davidson County: City of Nashville / Nashville – Health Dept.
Knoxville/Knox County: City of Knoxville
Chattanooga/Hamilton County: City of Chattanooga
Memphis/Shelby County: City of Memphis / Live TV News Updates
Williamson County: WC Office of Public Safety / City of Franklin
Clarksville/Montgomery County: City of Clarksville / Clarksville Now
CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
World Health Organization (WHO) page: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Current Case Statistics: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf
NAR main COVID-19 page: 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.