We had a fabulous turnout for the annual business meeting of the Berkshire County Board of REALTORS and the Multiple Listing Service on October 30th at the Country Club of Pittsfield. President, Cortney Dupont, kicked off the meeting by welcoming our awesome Platinum Sponsors, and thanking her leadership team and all volunteers for their service in 2019.
This was an interactive meeting with opportunities to TEXT for more information, or to volunteer for service. This line is still open and we hope, if you were unable to attend the meeting or didn’t take advantage during the meeting that you will do so now! You’ll find texting opportunities throughout, below.
We were thrilled to present two awards at the meeting: The REALTOR of the Year Award went to Barbara Osborne, broker-owner of Ashmere Realty for her many years of continued service on so many local, state and national committees as well as her representation as a state regional rep at the Mass Association this year. Congratulations, Barbara!
This year, the Good Neighbor Award went to Eric Steuernagle, broker-owner of Fairgrounds Real Estate for his tireless work in the community, including coordinating the Breaking Bread Food Pantry dinner and coaching girl’s sports in south Berkshire. Kudos to you, Eric!
The Board voted to start 2020 with award nominations open all year round, and we need your nominations. To recognize someone you admire for any of the following awards, please text AWARDS to 413-931-3773.
Realtor of the Year = an outstanding board volunteer
Good Neighbor = outstanding community giver
Realtor Spirit = professional of high character who supports the industry
Distinguished Service = longtime volunteer who have shaped our industry
Housing Hero = individual (not REALTOR) or organization that created safe, affordable or improved housing
Berkshire Beautification = property owners that have improved their neighborhood / property
Cortney further reported that in January her leadership team and the Multiple Listing Service board of directors met with Matt Cohen, an industry expert, to craft a new strategic plan that includes many improved areas of service to YOU! If you’d like to view a copy of the strategic plan, text PLAN to 413-931-3773.
What a year for the REACT Committee! There are some big changes in the works for 2020, and we want you and your input in one, big ol’ fun filled planning event. First, we will change the name back to REALTOR Community Service, since it is such an apt naming of what it is that we truly do. This year, $7800 was raised during the Battle of the Bartenders, we had amazing volunteers serve at the women’s build for Habitat for Humanity; numerous dicers and slicers who served food through soup kitchens; Thanksgiving Angels who will assist with parking detail during food pick-up; an amazing chili cook off and two $1000 checks secured via the MAR Charitable Foundation grant! What a group!! There will be a roundtable planning meeting where you can recommend our 2020 outreach and fundraising events, nominate and vote on charities to support and develop our annual charitable calendar. It will be fun and it will be important! We’ll have a quick reception to follow. Please join us, and register to attend by texting COMMUNITY to 413-931-3773. Another change to REACT is the creation of a Berkshire Charitable Housing Fund, which will be used to allocate funds to those in urgent need in Berkshire County and for emergency housing issues. Our first fundraising event for this new fund will be…
Music Bingo at the Tavern at the A on November 15th! It’ll be a blast. Come, listen to music, play a little bingo based on song titles, have a few munchies, enjoy your friends, family and fellow REALTORS, and enter into a chance to win the HOUSE OF CASH! (View more details here) Our house of cash roof will be shingled with business cards for those wishing to participate. For a $20 donation, your card will be attached. Please contact Linda to be included. And, to register for the event, text BINGO to 413-931-3773.
It was a great pleasure to hear, from Professional Standards Chair, Katie Soules, that we had limited complaints filed in 2019. However, staff did receive quite a few phone calls from members who had complaints. There seems to be a disconnect with those who have a problem, and those willing to file and go through the process. We’re going to investigate a citation policy that has been approved by the National Association and can be implemented on the local level at the local association’s discretion. The policy would allow someone to file a complaint about a list of common violations, and for the respondent to plead ‘guilty’. While we’re thinking about this policy, consider taking the Professional Standards tribunal training…it’s a win-win. Earn your mandated training, and be able to serve on a hearing panel. Or, just come and learn more about the process. Training will be held at the Board Office on March 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We’ll provide the lunch! To register, text ETHICS to 413-931-3773.
Tom Doyle, Government Affairs chair, stepped up to the mic and gave us a run-down on all that his committee has been up to. There are a lot of volunteers – 27 serving in 45 positions that make up Government Affairs – from town monitor, to state political coordinator – we attend Beacon Hill and Capital Hill to talk about issues. Our association also has, currently, 293 housing heroes who gave to our advocacy efforts through their donations at dues renewal time to RPAC. This includes our four major investors: Anne Meczywor, Debbie Dwyer, Barbara Osborne, and Tom Doyle. Thank you!
We hope that you’ll want to join us as we continue to advocate for property rights in Berkshire County. To learn more about the town monitor program, please feel free to contact Sandy or Tom, or to volunteer, please text MONITOR with your name and town to 413-931-3773.
The contracts and forms committee had a busy year this year too. Mark McIlquham, chair presented an overview of changes made to contacts this year. As you begin to use these forms, or if you have suggestions for changes to others, please feel free to contact us and let us know. If you have changes in mind now, please text CONTRACT with the suggestion to 413-931-3773.
Our CEO, Sandy Carroll spoke about the current Market Watch report and some of the statistics you can find there. For a copy, text MARKET to 413-931-3773. She also provided us with an infographic showing the current state of the association, and asked for input on planning of continuing education and professional development classes. To participate in a brief survey, please text VOTE to 413-931-3773.
Peter West, MLS President, shared with us the highlights of what his board worked on this year. 96% of members who participated in our Membership Survey rated the Flexmls system positively, and 98% rated the MLS organization positively as well. The downside overwhelmingly was the MLS mobile app. This year, the board worked hard to address that issue and presented you with the Homesnap App free of charge in the last month. A commercial network has been created, with two meetings held at the board office this year. Anyone interested is invited to attend when these meetings take place. A new contract was negotiated with Flexmls, and those savings were passed along to you by eliminating listing fees. At the request of many broker-owners, the MLS instituted direct agent billing this year, and created a syndication agreement with Homes.com. And, don’t forget, zipLogix! All three levels of the REALTOR organization, and the MLS, are backing this product. For training, please contact Sue.
After reviewing the rules of procedure for the meeting, and ascertaining that there were no objects, President Cortney opened the meeting for voting issues. A quorum present for voting was confirmed. Katie Soules, secretary/treasurer of the Board of REALTORS Board of Directors presented the proposed 2020 BCBR budget. A motion was made from the floor to accept the budget as presented. This motion received a second – President Cortney asked for discussion, upon hearing none a vote was taken. The 2020 budget passed unanimously.
Churchward Davis, chair of the BCBR nominating committee, presented the 2020 Slate of Officers and Directors.
A motion was made from the floor to accept the slate as presented, and a second was received. President Cortney asked for discussion, upon hearing none a vote was taken. The slate of 2020 officers and directors was approved unanimously.
A quorum present for MLS voting issues was confirmed, and President Peter stepped to the mic to present the proposed 2020 MLS Budget. A motion was made from the floor to accept the budget as presented. This motion received a second – President Peter asked for discussion, upon hearing none a vote was taken. The 2020 MLS budget passed unanimously.
Steve Ray, chair of the MLS nominating committee, presented the 2020 Slate of MLS Officers and Directors. A motion was made from the floor to accept the slate as presented, and a second was received. President Peter asked for discussion, upon hearing none a vote was taken. The slate of 2020 officers and directors was approved unanimously.
And, finally, a hearty congratulations to the winner of the 2020 Membership Raffle, Tammy Christen!