MCAR Policy Manual

Revised July 17, 2015

Monterey County Association of REALTORS®
201 A Calle Del Oaks Place
Del Rey Oaks, CA 93940

 

PURPOSE AND SCOPE
These Policies are intended to serve as a comprehensive guide for decision making in this Association. Information will include all policies required to support current Bylaws and those required for the Association’s day to day operation.  Any conflict between the Association Bylaws and these Policies, the Bylaws shall prevail. The manual will also provide procedural guidance to standing committees and task forces.


MISSION STATEMENT
The Monterey County Association of REALTORS® promotes professionalism, property rights and home ownership.


VISION STATEMENT
To establish the Monterey County Association of REALTORS® as the respected real estate authority within the community.
The Monterey County Association of REALTORS® upholds the following values:

High Ethical Standards
Professionalism
Integrity
Competency
Industry Cooperation
Community Focus


TABLE OF CONTENTS

GOVERNING BODY
President of Association of REALTORS®
President Elect
Past President
Secretary/Treasurer
Chief Executive Officer
Executive Committee
Board of Directors


COMMITTEES

Bylaws
Charitable Trust
Equal Opportunity/Multicultural
Investment
LCRC
IMPAC
Local Governmental Relations
Nominating
Regional Professional Standards
Grievance


TASK FORCES

Special Events
Career Development
Strategic Planning


GENERAL POLICIES

Mediation
Arbitration
Annual Dues Collection
Refunds
Membership Changes, Additions or Deletions
Transfers
Delinquent Office Accounts
Association Member Services
Electronic Key & Lockbox Services
C.A.R. / Directors
Awards
Contracts
Sexual Harassment
Advertising
Non-Discrimination
Right To Indemnify

 

GOVERNING BODY

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
The President serves as the chief elected officer, representing the entire membership and the best interests of the organization; exercises personal leadership in the motivation of other officers, directors, committee members, staff and membership; influences the establishment of goals and objectives for the organization during the term in office and is authorized to appoint committees, subject to approval of the Board of Directors.  Within the limits of the Bylaw and Policies, the elected President is responsible and has authority to accomplish the duties set forth below:

Serves as a major spokesperson for the Association.

Assures that the Board of Directors and Officers are kept fully informed of the conditions and operations of the Association.

Serves as Director to the California Association of REALTORS®.

Appoints Chairpersons of committees and committee members when needed, with the cooperation of the appointed chairperson, when required by the Bylaws, with the approval of the Board of Directors.

Supports and defend policies and programs adopted by the Board of Directors and the Membership.

Promotes interest and active participation in C.A.R. and N.A.R. to members by means of letters, publications or at General Membership Meetings.

Provides sound fiscal leadership. Serves as a member of the Executive Committee.

Be responsible to the Board of Directors and to the Membership for seeing that the programs and policies of the Association reflect the needs and aspirations of the Membership.

Be familiar with the National Association’s President Leadership manual, the Bylaws and  Policies of the Monterey County Association of REALTORS®, and parliamentary procedure.


PRESIDENT ELECT
The President Elect shall serve in the absence of the President and upon taking office, will familiarize himself/herself with the duties and responsibilities of the office.

The President Elect will also:

Keep abreast of all Association activities to aid the President.

Be familiar with the short and long term programs as approved by the Board of Directors.

Be familiar with the Bylaws, Policy and parliamentary procedures of the Monterey County Association of REALTORS®.

Attend all meetings of the Board of Directors, General Membership Meetings as well as any special meetings.

Serve as a Director to the California Association of REALTORS®.

Serve on the Executive Committee.

Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President.

Be familiar with the National Association’s President Leadership Manual, the Bylaws and Policies of the Monterey County Association of REALTOR®.

 

PAST PRESIDENT
The Immediate past President will serve a one-year term as a full voting director, the year following his or her term of office.


SECRETARY/TREASURER
The Secretary/Treasurer is designated to ensure the Association funds, physical assets and other properties of the Association are properly safeguarded and administered.  Other duties and responsibilities shall include:

Monitor the Association’s budget.

Attend all meetings of the Board of Directors, General Membership Meetings and any special meetings.

Present a financial summary report of the Association operations to the Board of Directors.

Be familiar with the Bylaws and Policies of the Monterey County Association of REALTORS®.

Serve on the Executive Committee.

 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The Chief Executive Officer serves as the Chief paid executive, responsible to the Board of Directors for the effective conduct of affairs of the Association. He/She recommends and participates in the formulation of the Association mission, goals, objectives and related policies.  Within that framework, plans, organizes, coordinates, controls, and directs the staff, programs and activities of the Board.  Also serves as liaison to the committees and provides liaison between the committees and the Board of Directors.  The Chief Executive Officer, within the limits of the Bylaws and Policies, is responsible but not limited to the following duties:

Establishes administrative policies and procedures for the headquarters function.

Recruits, hires, trains, promotes and terminates staff and administers an effective personnel program.

Develops and supervises an effective program of membership development and services.

Develops and maintains a communication program in an effort to keep the members informed in matters that           relate to Association matters and/or real estate issues.

Shall be responsible for developing and implementing education programs.

Shall be a spokesperson for the Association and will develop and oversee the media relations of the Association.

Manages the finances of the Association, including the preparation of the annual budget in coordination with the Secretary/Treasurer and the Board of Directors.

Ensures the legal integrity of the Association.

Is the Administrative function for the Professional Standards and Grievance Committees.


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Shall consist of the President, President Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Monterey County Association of REALTORS®.  The Executive Committee shall act as the Personnel Committee for the Association Executive.  Duties and responsibilities shall include:

Review documents, budget drafts, contracts, leases, etc. as needed prior to presentation to the Board of Directors.

Administration of contract and annual review and compensation for the Chief Executive Officer.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The primary responsibility of the Board of Directors is to serve as the governing body of the Monterey County Association of REALTORS®.  It has authority over and above all committees to carry out all duties, expressed or implied, that are included within the total management jurisdiction of the Association.  The Board of Directors approves policies and plans which provide the framework for major Association operation to be accomplished.

Although the Board of Directors is responsible for the general overall management of the

Association affairs, it is not responsible for the day to day operations.  This is accomplished by the Chief Executive Officer of the Association in close coordination with elected officers and committees.  Duties and responsibilities of the Directors include but are not limited to:

Familiarizing themselves with the Association Bylaws; Policies; Professional Standards Rules and Regulations; Code of Ethics; Parliamentary Procedures.

To approve of annual financial plan for the Association operation and cause to have such a plan published in the form of a budget.

To approve of new policies as required.

To serve the best interest of the membership in all matters pertaining to the community.

To be familiar with the goals and objectives established by the Association President.

To attend all meetings of the Board of Directors, General Membership Meetings and any special meetings.

The Board of Directors shall meet at least once per quarter at a designated time and place.  A quorum for the transaction of business at a Board of Directors meeting shall consist of a majority of members of the Board of Directors.  Absence from three consecutive Directors meetings without an excuse deemed valid by the Board of Directors shall be construed as a resignation there from.

Each director shall attend a California Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards training session at least once every two years.


COMMITTEES

The President shall appoint, from among the Association members, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors, the following Chairpersons of these committees, in accordance with the Association’s Bylaws.


BYLAWS
The goal/objective of the Bylaws Task Committee is to study and recommend any changes or revisions to the Association’s Bylaws and to recommend action on any suggested changes emanating from the membership, individual REALTORS®, and/or the National Association of REALTORS®.  This committee shall also monitor changes and additions to the Association Policy and Procedures.


CHARITABLE TRUST
Formerly the Scholarship Trust, established in 1999, the Trust was amended and renamed the Charitable Trust  in October 2004.  The Trust operates as a separate non-profit organization of the A.O.R. and is governed by a minimum of seven, but not more than twelve Trustees. The Trustees shall be elected by the majority vote of the Charitable Trust and confirmed by the MCAR Board of Directors. The Trust was created and shall be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes only.  At the beginning of each calendar year, the Trustees will present to the Board of Directors for approval, a list of recommended charitable organizations to support.


EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/MULITCULTURAL COMMITTEE
The primary function of this committee is to bring awareness to the REALTOR® members regarding Fair Housing practices, Anti-Trust regulations and culture diversity.  This is to be done via training at new member orientation, office visits, and special class offerings. The committee shall also be responsible for encouraging minority members to become more involved with the Association, by encouraging attendance at educational offerings, social gatherings, as well as to serve in leadership capacities.


INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
The Board of Directors for The Monterey County Association of REALTORS® is responsible for employing the Investment Advisor(s) and for establishing investment policies and guidelines for such Adviser(s) to follow.

Members of the Investment Committee are selected annually by the Association President and confirmed by the Board of Directors and shall consist of the following members:

President, President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer and no less than two appointed members serving 2 year terms each.  The two year terms are to be staggered to provide continuity.

The Investment Committee will review quarterly the investment portfolio.
The Board of Directors will review the investment portfolio at each scheduled meeting.

The Investment Committee Advisor(s) shall make recommendations during the quarterly Investment Committee review on any fund transfers or sale of the Association’s investments.  Committee shall have full power to approve or disapprove such transfers or sale of investments. Should there be an unscheduled need to transfer or sell funds that has not had prior authorization from the Investment Committee, then a minimum of 3 of the 5 trustees must approve the transfer either in writing or via email.  Pre-approved transfers are signed by the CEO at the time of transfer.

The following investment guidelines are the only guidelines to be used by the Adviser(s) in attaining the Association’s investment goals and objectives.  Any amendment or change to this document is at the sole discretion of the Association’s Board of Directors.  In addition, the Board of Directors must expressly approve exceptions to these policies and guidelines.


INVESTMENT GUIDELINES

The primary investment objective of the Association is to maintain and preserve capital.

The portfolio must remain marketable to meet the Association’s working capital needs.

The portfolio should achieve a reasonable average rate of return with the rate of return commensurate with the amount of risk.

The portfolio should be diversified so as to mitigate risks relating to individual securities, industrial groups and market fluctuations.


GUIDELINES FOR FINANCIAL RESERVES
The reserve account shall be maintained so that there is no less than seven (7) months of operating expenses in marketable assets.  In the event the account exceeds one (1) year of operating expenses in marketable assets, those monies shall be used to provide benefits and services to the present members by  subsidizing the current or future budget(s) of the Association


LCRC  COMMITTEE
The Local Candidate Recommendation Committee (LCRC) trustees are elected by Association REALTORS® who have paid their REALTOR® Action Fund contribution for the year in which the election is held and confirmed by the MCAR Board of Directors.   The Association President serves as ex-officio member of LCRC, but may serve as a trustee if elected.  The LCRC’s primary responsibility is to endorse and support candidates for local elected offices.  The LCRC’s responsibilities are governed by Bylaws approved by the California Association of REALTORS®. The Government Affairs Director serves as advisor, and ex-officio member of LCRC.


IMPAC COMMITTEE
Members of the Board of Directors serve as trustees for the local Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee (IMPAC).  The Board of Directors must convene as IMPAC trustees in order to conduct business and take action on behalf of the local IMPAC.  All IMPAC requests shall be transmitted to the Government Affairs Director for review and evaluation before final action is taken.  All IMPAC funding requests must be approved by the IMPAC trustees.

Local IMPAC funds may be used for the following:

Ballot Measure Campaigns-REALTOR® Issue Mobilization Campaigns

Dues and Contributions to Coalitions-Receptions/Events/Conferences

Professional or Volunteer Advocacy-Advocacy and Policy Education

Policy Research and Consulting Service

Travel, Meals and Receptions associated with lobbying an issue.

Approved IMPAC funding request will be transmitted to C.A.R. for payment.  IMPAC Reimbursement Requests will be allowed as approved.


LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
The primary function of the Local Governmental Relations (LGR) Committee is to monitor, evaluate, and influence public policy issues of local governments as it relates to real property ownership and use, and to inform the membership, in a timely manner, of local governmental issues.  The LGR Committee is responsible for:

Meeting with city, county and special district and other local officials, administrative and planning staff to ascertain and evaluate local legislative positions, issues, and programs.

Interpreting and recommending positions and policy to the Board of Directors on public policy issues affecting real estate.

Expressing the Association’s position and/or policy at appropriate hearings and meetings where such positions and policies have been previously established.

Providing continuous liaison with other organizations and association with regard to issues of mutual concern.

Encouraging REALTOR® members to be politically involved and to participate in local government via elective and appointive positions; and

Implementing and promoting a REALTOR® Action Fund fund-raising program.

The LGR Chair is appointed each year by the Association President.  The Chair may appoint one or more Vice-Chairs and subcommittees as needed.  The Government Affairs Director serves as staff advisor for the LGR Committee. REALTORS® and Affiliates must be in good standing with the Association and have paid their annual REALTOR® Political Action Fund contribution to be seated as a voting committee member.


NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The President shall appoint, with approval by the Board of Directors, a Nominating Committee of seven (7) REALTOR® members.  The President-Elect will serve as Chair of this committee. The Committee shall create a slate of candidates equal to the number of positions on the Board of Directors needing to be filled. The slate will be presented for approval no later than the April Board of Directors meeting.    A member of the nomination Committee many have his/her name placed in nomination, but will voluntarily step down from the committee at such time.

 

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND GRIEVANCE COMMITTEES
There shall be  standing committees, known as the Professional Standards Committee and  Grievance Committee, consisting of at least five (5) members each, of whom at least a majority shall be REALTOR® Brokers. The members of the committee shall be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors for a staggered two (2) year term, one-third of the members of the first committee so appointed being designated for a one (1) year term.  The President shall annually designate the Chairman of this committee, who must have served at least one year on the committee before becoming Chairman.  A panel of no more than three members of the Grievance Committee will review Disciplinary Complaints.

Each committee member shall attend a California Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards training session at least once every two years.

 

REGIONAL PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE
The Authority for the establishment of the reciprocal Professional Standards Agreement, dated February 3, 2011, is derived from the approval of the Boards of Directors of the Boards/Associations comprising of Monterey County, San Benito County and Santa Cruz County and Pajaro Valley Associations of REALTORS®, which comprises Region 10 of the California Association of REALTORS®.

The purpose of the agreement is to establish a reciprocal regional Agreement for the sharing of Grievance/Ethics Committees, Ethics and Arbitration hearing panelists, and sites for the conduct of the business of both the Committee and the hearing. This agreement shall further define the minimum experience and training standards for those members of the several Boards/Associations who shall provide assistance to one another.


TASK FORCES
The President shall appoint, from among the Association members, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors, the chairpersons for the following task forces.  Any task force shall exist for the purpose of accomplishing a single objective and may sunset, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, upon completion of that objective.


CAREER DEVELOPMENT
The objective of the Career Development Task Force is to create on-going education programs that will benefit members at every level of experience. Staff will implement and monitor such programs.  The task force may be a combination of REALTOR® members as well as Affiliate members.


SPECIAL EVENTS
All special event task force members are made up of those REALTOR® members and Affiliate members who choose to volunteer their time.  MCAR staff will provide administrative support as so designated by the Chief Executive Officer. Special events may be but not limited to; annual Golf Tournament, annual Installation, and annual Taste of MCAR.


STRATEGIC PLANNING
The Strategic Planning Task Force shall meet at the discretion of the Board of Directors and shall develop and recommend future goals, which will benefit the membership of the Association.  The task force will include the Board of Directors.  The President, at his or her discretion, may include committee and task force chairs as well.

 

GENERAL POLICIES

MEDIATION
The Association offers a Mediation Service for members and non-members as a means to come to a resolution in a monetary dispute.  The Association will act as an administrator of the process.  The mediations are conducted under the guidance of attorneys as appointed by the Association.

Mediation is highly recommended as a means for both parties to come to their own resolution.  Should mediation not resolve the dispute and the parties wish to continue they shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the regulations of the A.O.R. rather than litigate the matter. (Article 17, Code of Ethics).


ARBITRATION
The Association will refer all contractual disputes requesting arbitration, that are not member to member disputes, to an outside Arbitrator.


DUES COLLECTION POLICY
For full details see A.O.R. Bylaws, Dues Payable (Article IX, Section 3)

Individual dues statements for N.A.R. and C.A.R annual dues will be created for each agent in November of each year with a due date of January 1st. Individual dues statements for MCAR annual dues will be created for each agent in May of each year with a due date of July 1st.  Dues statements will be sent via email  approximately 45 days in advance of the due date.

In accordance with the A.O.R. Bylaws (Article VI, Section 10) regarding certification, a current list of REALTOR® members within each office will be included in the DR’s billing statement.  The DR is to notify the association in writing of those agents who are no longer associated under their license. The A.O.R. will perform a Department of Real Estate audit semi annually to determine the dues allocation for each Broker. If a real estate agent chooses not to join or chooses not to continue their membership with the A.O.R. the Designated Broker is assessed a non-member fee, as established by the MCAR  Board of Directors, for each non-member agent.

REALTOR® members may make payment of their dues in person, via mail or electronically through the association web site.

Dues paid after the published due date will be subject to a late fee, as established by the Board of Directors.

Any member, who has not paid their MCAR dues by August 1st, will become inactive. To reactivate they will be required to pay a reinstatement fee as established by the Board of Directors.

Each Affiliate office shall pay dues and fees equal to the amount of a REALTOR® member.  An additional fee, as prescribed by the Board of Directors, will be charged for multiple offices.  Affiliate members shall be entitled to member services offered through the local Association.

Public Service Members shall pay dues and fees equal to the amount of REALTOR® members.  In the event of reciprocal memberships, no other dues and fees will be collected.  Public Service Members shall be entitled to member services offered through the local Association.


REFUNDS
There will be no refunds of Association dues except at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer. All store sales including but not limited to; educational materials, signs, lockboxes, etc. are non- refundable except at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer.

Events and education:
A 72 hour notice of cancellation must be received prior to any refund granted for a special event.
A 48 hour notice of cancellation must be received prior to any refund granted for an educational event.


MEMBERSHIP CHANGES, ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS
To ensure accurate membership records, all Designated REALTORS® or Office Managers, or Designated Participants, shall notify the Association of any changes, additions or deletions to their licensed sales staff as soon as applicable.  Failure to notify the Association of any addition of licensed sales agents within the first 30 days may result in suspension of member services for the entire office.   It will be the responsibility of the Broker to notify, in writing, the Department of Real Estate when a change occurs.


TRANSFERS
Agents transferring from one office to another will not be entitled to service until the transfer has been completed by the Broker through the Department of Real Estate and the Association office is notified.


DELINQUENT OFFICE ACCOUNTS
Any office account that is sixty days past due or over $500.00 will be placed on a CASH ONLY basis until the account has been brought current. Amounts over sixty days past due are subject to a 1.5% finance charge per month.  Any accounts delinquent over 60 days are subject to actions by the Board of Directors as set forth in the Bylaws.  Only Designated REALTOR® members shall have charging privileges. All other members must have authorization from a Designated REALTOR® prior to charging.


ASSOCIATION MEMBER SERVICES
All members in good standing of the Monterey County Association of REALTORS® shall have access to and use of all the services of the Association, including purchase of all resale items. Non-REALTOR® members of MLSListing, Inc., the multiple listing service, shall have the privilege of purchasing resale items at non-member prices.   All other licensees and members of the public are not entitled to purchase supplies from the Association.


ELECTRONIC KEY AND LOCKBOX SERVICES
The Association will provide for the leasing and servicing of the electronic ActiveKey, eKey and lock boxes through Supra Products, Inc.  All REALTOR® members and licensees who are affiliated with MLSListings, Inc., the MLS provider, are eligible to hold a key, subject to the execution of a lease agreement with SUPRA. Non-MCAR members will be charged a processing fee as established by the MCAR Board of Directors.

Key maintenance fees will be assessed annually, prorated monthly for new members, as established by SUPRA.  SUPRA will direct bill key holders annually in May. Key maintenance payment not received on the annual due date will result in a deactivation of key service.

The breach of the rules and regulations, as set forth in the key lease agreement, will result in sanctions imposed by the A.O.R.  The key holder will be given a 24 hour notice to respond to any allegations before sanctions are imposed.

The Association will deactivate keys for the following reasons: non-payment of annual maintenance fees; non-payment of MLS dues; lost or stolen keys; breach of key lease agreement. A fine of $1,000 will be assessed upon discovery that a key holder has allowed another to have possession of their key.

Used lock boxes in good condition may be purchased by MCAR for resale to REALTOR® members.  Cost to be established by the Chief Executive Officer.  MCAR reserves the right to discontinue this buyback program at any time.


ASSOCIATION ROSTER
The Association REALTOR® roster will be made available to REALTOR® and Affiliate members of MCAR at no cost.  The Association REALTOR®  roster shall not be available to any other parties.


C.A.R. DIRECTORS
Directors for the California Association of REALTORS® representing the Monterey County Association of REALTORS® shall consist of the President, President Elect and no less than one designee.  Directors’ attendance at the state meetings shall be funded as per the Association annual budget as established each year by the Board of Directors.  The A.O.R. will prepay the costs of the meetings and issue a 1099 to the member at the end of the year.  The member will be responsible for receipt for tax deduction purposes and for paying taxes on any portion not expensed.


AWARDS
The Board of Directors, at their discretion, may chose to provide awards, and other recognition at the end of each year.


FINANCIAL MATTERS/CONTRACTS
The CEO is authorized be the signatory for all financial matters along with the authority to sign contracts on behalf of MCAR.

The CEO has single signing authority on all budgeted items.  Items over $10,000, that are not budgeted, require an additional signature from one of authorized signers or written authorization, if by credit card.

The Executive Committee and the CEO shall have check signing authority on the association’s operating bank account. In the absence of the CEO’s signature, two Executive Committee members are required to sign.


SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Monterey County Association of REALTORS® does not condone or tolerate the sexual harassment of its employees.  Sexual harassment may include unwelcome advances or verbal conduct of a sexual nature if (1) submission to or rejection of the advances is a term or condition of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of the advances is used as a basis for making employment decisions; or (3) such conduct interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.  Any employee that feels subjected to this treatment should discuss it with the Chief Executive Officer of the Association.


ADVERTISING AND NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
The Monterey County Association of REALTORS® is pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program, in which there is no discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.  The Monterey County Association of REALTORS® recognizes that real estate advertising is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.  In addition, California has extended protection to people based on marital status.  We are firmly committed to an advertising policy that adheres to the Federal Fair Housing Act.  We will not knowingly advertise which may violate the law.


RIGHT TO INDEMNITY
To the fullest extent permitted by law, this corporation shall indemnify its Directors, Officers, Employees, and other persons described in Section 9246 (a) of the California Corporations Code, including persons formerly occupying any such position, against all expenses, judgments, fines, settlements and other amounts actually and reasonably incurred by them in connection with any “proceeding” as that term is used in that Section and including an action by or in the right of the corporation, by reason of the fact that the person is or was a person described in that Section.

“Expenses” as used in this policy shall have the same meaning as in section 9246 (1) of the California Corporations Code.