AFFILIATIONS Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS® Affiliates and REALTORS® are automatically provided membership in the Alabama Association of REALTORS®. AAR, located at 522 Washington Ave in downtown Montgomery, provides assistance with legislative, education communications and political affairs. Affiliation with the National Association of REALTORS® is also provided to all MAAR REALTORS®. NAR functions as a liaison with Congress and the Administration as well as providing education, public relations, statistics and research, legal action, member policy and library services.
ASSOCIATION OFFICE AND STAFF The Association staff continually strives to assist you in keeping information up to date and easily available. The Association communicates with the membership primarily through email. The office is located at 4280 Carmichael Road, phone 334-396-0256.
AWARDS The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS® recognizes service and participation both in the Association and in the community by naming a Ted Copeland REALTOR® of the Year and an Affiliate of the Year. The Hall of Fame honors members who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the Association and have accomplished much in the real estate industry. NAR and AAR have many corresponding awards. Details can be obtained at the Association Office.
COMMITTEES are the backbone of the Association and members are encouraged to join a committee and get involved! New committee members are accepted every October for the following year. Following are the Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS® committees.
The Education Committee organizes, conducts and promotes all educational programs, seminars, clinics, etc. for the general membership including approved continuing education courses for license renewal; promotes the participation of Association members in education programs and seminars sponsored by the Alabama Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® and recommends means of interfacing with public officials on community educational matters. The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS® offers a wide variety of Alabama Real Estate Commission approved Continuing Education courses, designation courses (ABR, CRB, CRS, Diversity, GRI, GREEN, SRES, just to name a few) as well as informal, one to two hour training classes. Each year AAR sponsors designation courses such as GRI and REBAC. NAR's Institutes, Societies and Councils offer courses all over the nation, giving REALTORS® the opportunity to obtain a designation and establish a referral network.
The Finance and Insurance Committee keeps informed on the financial affairs of the Association; annually prepares the budget with the assistance of the Executive Vice President. They review the budget, financial statements and the annual audit to make recommendations and budgetary adjustments to the Board of Directors; reviews and reports ideas for spending or raising money presented to the committee and reviews the dues and fees structure to ensure that projected income is sufficient to support the level of services desired by the membership.
The Governmental Affairs Committee keeps up to date on current proposed legislation as it is disseminated by the Alabama Association of REALTORS®; informs the Board of Directors, the Executive Vice President and membership of legislative actions, pending legislation and local government issues; attends public hearings and actively lobbies as necessary; reviews and acts upon politician’s requests for ARPAC funds and interviews candidates (or their representatives) as deemed appropriate then prepares recommendations for candidate endorsement and allocation of funds for municipal elections; and initiates, organizes and conducts an annual campaign to raise funds for use toward political candidate campaigns in conjunction with the Alabama RPAC Committee. The National Association has a full time legislative office and lobbyist in Washington, D.C. that keeps Associations informed of pending legislation concerning real estate or rights of property ownership. AAR has a full time lobbyist and Governmental Affairs Director in Montgomery through which you have ample opportunity to express your opinion on pending legislation. We must become aware of our government's actions and, to protect our free enterprise system, we must speak up and be heard. Legislative representation is made possible through RPAC, REALTOR® Political Action Committee. RPAC is a non-partisan, non-profit group operated through both the State and National Associations Boards of Trustees. Candidates for state or national political office are carefully screened to determine if their interests are sympathetic to the objectives of the real estate industry.
Members are encouraged to make donations to RPAC. Local Sharing Funds are distributed through the MAAR’s Governmental Affairs Committee. Funds are allocated by the State RPAC Trustees for state legislators based on recommendations from the local Associations. NAR’s RPAC Board of Trustees allocates Federal RPAC money.
REALTORS® are understandably proud of their Code of Ethics. Written in 1916 as license law, this Code of Ethics carries business conduct above and beyond the requirements of law. However, it is of little use unless it is policed. The Grievance Committee investigates complaints from the public or members regarding alleged member violation of the Code of Ethics. If the Committee's investigation shows apparent violations of the Code of Ethics, the complaint will be forwarded to the Professional Standards committee to conduct a full hearing. The Professional Standards Committee is comprised of members familiar with real estate problems and can make equitable judgments based upon experience and the Code of Ethics. Appropriate action will be taken against any member found in violation of the Code of Ethics. This process is for the protection of the public as well as the REALTOR®.
Requests for arbitration service are reviewed by the Grievance Committee. In an Association as large as the Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS®, business disputes occasionally arise. Rather than seeking expensive and time consuming civil action to settle disputes, members are encouraged to resolve their commission disputes through arbitration. Members of the Grievance and Professional Standards committees are appointed for one year terms and are required to attend a three-hour course on the Administrative Procedures and the Code of Ethics. The Professional Standards Committee Members serve on Hearing Panels to hear matters of alleged ethical misconduct by Association members or to resolve commission disputes through arbitration or mediation. Committee members should be knowledgeable of the Code of Ethics, Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual and Interpretations of the Code of Ethics.
The Public Relations Committee works with local newspapers, radio and television stations to publicize Association activities to promote and enhance the REALTOR® image and the term REALTOR®; develops Public Relations concepts with continuity from year to year that are of value to the community.
CONVENTIONS The Alabama Association of REALTORS® holds three meetings per year, including their annual convention in September. The educational programs held in conjunction with the conferences and conventions are excellent. These meetings are helpful and worthwhile for education alone, but the opportunity of getting to know your colleagues around the state must not be overlooked. The National Association of REALTORS® holds its National Convention in November that features nationally known speakers and top government officials and the REALTOR® Party Convention and Trade Expo in Washington D.C. allows REALTORS® to meet with Legislators. The education available to REALTORS® at these meeting is always of the very highest caliber.
COOPERATION BETWEEN REALTORS® Many professions envy this facet of our business. It is a marvelous asset, to be able to gather together for a common cause; that being the mutual benefit of sharing listings and knowledge.
ELECTRONIC KEY BOX SYSTEM The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS® has contracted with SUPRA to provide an electronic key and key box system for its REALTOR® and Affiliate members. This technology allows members to show properties and track activity at their own listings.
FORMS MLS/Association members can access MLS forms through INSTANET SOLUTIONS, who provides everything needed to manage a real estate business online. Created as the industry's first "single platform", Instanet allows MAAR members to create, store and manage all listing, sales, and lease files and online, anytime, anywhere with "cloud computing".
INTERNET MEMBERSHIP SERVICES IMS is a great tool that puts you in charge of your membership records. View schedules of upcoming events, committee meetings and classes, check your education and committee history, search for an agent or office, register for an event or class, pay an invoice or statement all through IMS. Billing notifications to members will be sent through e-mail only. You are encouraged to log on to IMS, https://ims.montgomeryareahomes.com, click Personal Information and verify that your contact information is correct. It is extremely important that you update your personal information on IMS. Information on IMS is transferred to List-It and SUPRA.
LIAISON WITH OTHER GROUPS The Association offers Affiliate Membership to individuals and companies that are closely allied with the real estate industry, such as Home Inspectors, Moving Companies, Mortgage Bankers, Real Estate Attorneys, etc. The Association also works to build a close working relationship and promote communication between REALTORS® and organizations like the Home Builders Association, Public Utilities, the Alabama Real Estate Commission, and local government.
LIBRARY The largest real estate library in the world is located at National Headquarters in Chicago and it is available to you free of charge. For information about a specific topic, contact the Librarian at NAR 312/329-5960 who will research the topic and send you the appropriate materials.
LIST HUB The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS® / Multiple Listing Service, Inc. has partnered with ListHub, the Nation’s Premier Network for Listing Asset Management to bring real estate brokerage firms a single dashboard for controlling their online marketing strategy.
MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS. Each month (excluding July and November) the Association holds a General Membership Meeting. Unless otherwise notified, the meetings are held at Wynlakes Country Club. There is a short program, discussion of Association/MLS business and new members are recognized. The meetings are a great way to network and keep up to date on what is going on in the Association and community. In the Spring, Summer and Fall functions are organized by the Public Relations Committee and Affiliate Council. These functions are very casual, are well attended and a good time is had by all.
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE. A Multiple Listing Service provides agents the most efficient means of dispersing listing information to the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. Solid Earth’s List-It is a full-service internet MLS application, used by MAAR/MLS members, that offers a full range of searching, reporting, client management, CMA and dozens of customized productivity options. List-It is wirelessly accessible via PDA or Smartphones. Homeowners can “opt in” to have their property automatically downloaded to the Association’s public website www.alamls.com, as well as many other websites through List Hub.
ORIENTATION COURSES. The Association conducts Orientation courses for incoming members to provide information on the Association, its Bylaws, committee structure, programs, governance, the Multiple Listing Service and the NAR Code of Ethics. Non-member sales agents must complete this course and apply for membership before they can refer to themselves as a REALTOR®.
PUBLIC RELATIONS. The Association has a Public Relations Committee that works to project a favorable image of REALTORS® to the public. In addition, the National and State associations both have full time public relations programs.
PUBLICATIONS. Affiliates and REALTOR® members of the Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS® will find up to date information on what is happening within the Association in THE GRAPEVINE. An email reminder is sent out each month prior to the posting of each new issue. THE GRAPEVINE can be found by clicking on the Grapevine link on the main page of www.alamls.net. Inside THE GRAPEVINE you will find a monthly calendar; “On The Move” agent transfer list; education schedule and requirements; General Membership Luncheon information; MAAR member appraiser roster; and a list of Committee members. For details on AAR’s publications, go to www.alabamarealtors.com. For more information on NAR’s eleven publications and how to be placed on their distribution list, go to http://www.realtor.org/publications.
REALTOR®. This proud title has come to be recognized by the public as real estate sales agents who are knowledgeable, competent, ethical and professional. Only real estate salespeople who have completed the membership application and attended New Member Orientation can associate themselves with this trademark and be called REALTOR®.
The forgoing items are the basic services of the Montgomery Area Association REALTORS®, the Alabama Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® as of June 2014