Leadership advocated on the hill for approval of legislation that will stop Patent Trolls, like the one that preyed on local MLSs and required massive, multi-million dollar settlements ($2,500 from the Berkshire MLS alone) from claiming they had a patent on a “map search for property for sale”. There are hundreds of such trolls in existence, threatening business behavior all over the web, but especially the real estate industry. The NAR Board approved $180,000 in legal assistance to help two real estate companies fight a patent troll’s effort to extract licensing fees from them for their use of certain online search technology. Other brokerages receiving a licensing demand letter are encouraged to let NAR know. All were encouraged to speak about this issue when visiting legislators on the hill. More information on this subject
The leadership also advocated for delayed penalties for TILA / RESPA issues until the beginning of 2016, while implementation of the new mandate is worked out and [link to great powerpoint]
Information was shared about Independent Contractor Status versus Employee – a hot topic at the National level, not just in Massachusetts. [Link to Meeting Powerpoint]
Finally, the leadership reviewed the following legislative issues and talking points to help deliver NAR’s message to Congressman Neal in our visit with him.
- REALTOR® Business Operations Issues (pdf)
- REALTOR® Commercial Real Estate Issues (pdf)
- REALTOR® Housing Finance Issues (pdf)
- REALTOR® Tax Issues (pdf)
Go the the www.REALTORActionCenter.com for ways you can help!