December 9, 2020
Upon motion by Tom Weik, second by Logan Hutton, the minutes of the November 11, 2020 Directors’ Meeting were approved.
The Directors reviewed the Weekly Market Trends report provided by Bright MLS which shows the impact on real estate in Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 shutdown. The Directors also received communications regarding Amazon Web Services issues experienced in late November and noted follow-up meetings are being planned with AWS to hold them accountable for the disruption to Bright subscribers. In addition, the Directors received communication regarding the NAR/DOJ settlement, lockboxes, IDX and other broker-run sites, filtering listings based on compensation and the false representation of “free” services to buyers.
The Directors also reviewed updates from Bright regarding the rules on Coming Soon listings moving to Pending, Co-Star acquiring Homesnap and Zillow no longer using MLS feeds for Rental listings indicating they will need to be published through the Zillow Rental Manager.
Richard Boas, Jr. reported on the Bylaws Committee meeting regarding the Nominations Committee’s concerns with different “vetting” procedures for candidates being nominated by the Committee and from the floor. The group discussed at length possible modifications which would assure that potential floor nominees receive the same scrutiny as Nominations Committee nominees. The Committee agreed to consider these concerns during its overall review of Article XI at its next meeting.
The Communications Committee reported meeting but required no action.
The Nominations Committee reported that the Committee reviewed the nomination from the floor of Tamer Gomaa for one of the open positions on the 2021 Board of Directors. The Committee concluded that the nomination was filed in a timely manner, and an election will be held for the two Directors’ positions excluding the C&I representative’s position. The election will be held in December by electronic ballot in accordance with Article XI, Section 7 of the Bylaws. Staff will communicate with all Realtor members on December 7th regarding the forthcoming ballot and indicate that voting will begin on December 14th and conclude on December 16th.
The Directors reviewed membership statistics, and staff presented the new member applications, indicating that they have all been completed in full with everyone applying for an appropriate classification of membership. Upon motion by Tom Weik, second by Joe Younger, the Directors approved the new members.
The Association’s Treasurer’s Report and the Real Estate School Report were reviewed; and upon motion by Richard Boas, Jr., second by Tom Blefko, they were accepted.
The Directors received communication regarding CoStar’s acquisition of Homesnap.
The Directors also received communication from NAR regarding its approval of the revised Code of Ethics and Professional Standard Policies and the implications of NAR’s actions. The Directors discussed at length the potential liability for the Association and the Board of Directors in expanding the nature of “hate speech” beyond a real estate transaction. In addition, the Directors reviewed a “summary of outcomes” regarding the 2020 NAR-DOJ Agreement regarding MLS Rules and NAR’s apology for past policies that contributed to racial inequality.
The Directors reviewed correspondence from Hank Lerner, PAR Counsel, regarding how the new state orders affect real estate and a revised Suggested Best Practices in the age of COVID-19.
The Directors reviewed correspondence to the Real Estate Exchange regarding a proposed Final Judgement filed by the United States vs. NAR and the confusion caused in the industry concerning the timing of the forthcoming rule changes.
The Directors received a member’s request for an intraoffice commission arbitration. Tom Blefko recused himself due to a conflict of interest related to the matter. Upon motion by Glenn Yoder, second by Logan Hutton, the Directors denied the member’s request.
Prior to adjournment, the Directors thanked Ferne Silberman for her service and leadership in a very difficult year.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
NOTE: These minutes have not yet been approved by the LCAR Directors; corrections will follow, if necessary.