We have a lofty, important and exciting Strategic Plan and that means we need motivated, knowledgeable volunteers to help guide our ideas to fruition. Together we can work to raise the bar in the industry and refine business in the Berkshires. Please take a few minutes to review the opportunities available. There is something for every interest and skill level and we hope you’ll consider getting involved if you aren’t already – you learn so much, meet new people and do good in the process. Both Steve Ray (Board President) and Mary Jane White (MLS President) will be finalizing their respective committees over the next few weeks. Many have already volunteered, but we always try to make sure each group is a representative balance of our membership so tell us your interests and we’ll do our best! Here is a summary of each group:
The Agency Workgroup is a new group that is being formed to better understand the deficits in agency education and understanding in our marketplace and develop the necessary training programs and materials to bridge the gap of knowledge. We are seeking volunteers that are open-minded, interested in doing independent research and group brainstorming. A grasp of agency law and thoughts for improving business processes is helpful. This group will meet as needed to accomplish their goal.
Contract & Forms Task Force
The Contract & Forms Task Force reviews and recommends revisions for all contracts and forms offered by the Berkshire County Board of REALTORS. We are looking to fill a few spots with volunteers who have a strong attention to detail, love the legal and fiduciary aspect of our real estate forms and has an interest in improving the marketplace for all. The group works to ensure compliance with state law, ease of use in the marketplace and adequate protections for the REALTORS, Seller and Buyers. They solicit and review member suggestions, work with Legal Counsel and FlexMLS. This group will meet approximately every 1-2 months.
Designated REALTOR Training Task Force
The Designated REALTOR Training Task Force works to determine what information, support services and brokerage tools are needed to keep Berkshire real estate businesses safe and successful. This includes training opportunities, development of new resources, networking and regional events. We are seeking to ensure the group is a diverse group of Broker-owners and seek volunteers that can develop ideas to achieve our mission while encouraging and promoting the group’s efforts. The planning group meets quarterly, and additionally all members are expected to attend (one) regional event quarterly, special training classes or programs offered by the group.
Grant Workgroup NEW
The Grant Workgroup is a brand new group seeking volunteers who enjoy working independently to research the various grant opportunities available for our board, our members and our community through identified venues. The volunteers will also work together to develop the solicitation tools to generate awareness and submissions for grants by the membership and complete the grant requirements for those that the group chooses to move forward and submit. Since this is a new group, the committee members will determine goals and action items and set the schedule of meetings for the reminder of the year.
Government Affairs Committee
The Government Affairs Committee has been restructured to include Issues Awareness and add in Town Monitors, legislative representatives and issues and PAC fundraising. Individuals will be asked to monitor town meeting warrants and local regulations that may impact housing or real estate and report to the board / membership. The group will research & reviews emerging issues in our community, our state and at the federal level, make recommendations to the BOD and mobilize and educate members and when appropriate, the public. The group develops ways to keep our members informed, active and engaged in local issues affecting real estate, homeownership and quality of life issues. We expect this committee will meet monthly, or at least quarterly.
A new opportunity exists to become a trained Mediation Officer on behalf of the Association. We are seeking volunteers with an understanding of the business aspects of real estate combined with an ability to identify common ground and compromise for win-win outcomes. Mediation Officers must be trained to handle the mediation of financial or ethical disputes between members or members and the public. There is no term limit to service, but ongoing training is required to continue to serve in this capacity. The training this year will most likely take place in Waltham MA and require a one to two day commitment, in addition to any mediation hearings scheduled. The tools you’ll gain and insights will be invaluable!
Professional Standards Committee
The Professional Standards Committee is looking for volunteers of high character and dedication to the Code of Ethics to train and serve as tribunal members. When called to serve, volunteers conduct ethics and arbitration hearings to enforce the provisions in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and to arbitrate commission disputes. Tribunal Members must attend annual Professional Standards Training program to understand the Code of Ethics, Procuring Cause and the concepts of due process and hearing procedures. We will also be meeting this year once or twice to discuss NAR Core Standards and how we can streamline and expedite issues in our marketplace.
REACT: Real Estate Agent’s Charitable Taskforce
REACT is an energetic committee, chaired by Paula McLean, and looking for volunteers that love to work as part of a team to improve our community. The Taskforce works to identify, support and sustain charitable organizations that improve the quality of life in Berkshire County. They work on projects throughout the year that raises awareness, funds and seat equity in charitable causes throughout our region and supports those causes our members endeavor to support and can use help on one, two or all projects! This group meets monthly, and more frequently for project preparation for those serving on individual efforts.
Public Relations Committee NEW
The Public Relations Committee is a newly formed group. We are looking for volunteers with a background or talent in marketing, copywriting or creativity to help us develop and refine our public image and public relations outreach efforts. Our strategic plan has several goals to increase the positive image of REALTORS, to engage and share information to the public, promote the community and truly be the voice for real estate in Berkshire County. This group will be leading the charge! Since this is a new group, the time commitment and meeting time will be determined based on the plan of action developed.
Website Audit Workgroup NEW
The MLS Board has created a Website Audit Workgroup. We are looking for volunteers with an eye for detail, to visit websites using our data and complete a checklist to make sure the information that appears according to our rules and regulations. Minimal time commitment, but raises the bar for all. One-two meetings total, the rest working independently.