Update from AAR CEO K. Michelle Lind, Esq
Under the leadership of President Sue Flucke, President-Elect Evan Fuchs, First-Vice President Jim Sexton and Treasurer Paula Serven, the Arizona Association of REALTORS® (AAR) is poised to accomplish a great deal for the membership in 2013.
AAR has hired new General Counsel Scott Drucker, who along with the Risk Management Committee Chair Armando Contla, is addressing a variety of industry issues, such as Fannie Mae valuation of short-sale properties and the Dodd-Frank Act’s impact on seller carry back transactions. A workgroup is drafting tenant and landlord advisories to assist in the residential rental market. A revised Vacant Land/Lot Purchase Contract and related form revisions were released in February, along with a new Buyer Final Pre-Closing Walkthrough form. The AAR Professional Standards program is implementing a mandatory mediation policy for arbitral disputes, in addition to its successful voluntary mediation program (100 percent success rate in 2012). The Ombudsmen program, in which volunteer members assist in resolving disputes before they get to the formal complaint level, is one of the most effective in the country.
AAR continues to provide our members with technology services to assist them in their daily business. AAR currently offers electronic real estate forms, electronic signatures as a member benefit and a transaction management program for brokers at minimal cost. The Business Services and Technology area lead by AAR Senior Vice President Ron LaMee and Chair Ed Pattermann is actively evaluating current and future technology business tools for AAR members. AAR recently completed a membership survey and a Technology Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) that reviewed the current AAR technology offerings and formulated recommendations to the Business Services and Technology Committee regarding the business technology services that AAR should offer its members in the future. These recommendations will be considered and implemented in the coming months.
Helping our members adapt their skills to the ever-changing market through cutting edge education continues to be a priority. AAR is looking at every aspect of today’s market to determine the topics and skills members need in order to succeed in their real estate career. The Professional Business and Development area, lead by AAR Senior Vice President Barbara Freestone and Chair Larry Hibler, is also committed to re-imaging and re-energizing the Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) program and building upon the solid foundational knowledge and skills the program is known for. This area recently unveiled a dynamic new website to make the available information more accessible. In addition, AAR is planning our Spring Convention in Tucson, April 7-10, in place of the traditional Winter Conference in Prescott.
AAR is one of the most powerful and influential legislative forces in Arizona. Nicole LaSlavic, vice president of Governmental Affairs and Chair Craig Sanford are leading our legislative efforts on the state level. AAR is meeting with the Banker’s Association regarding the anti-deficiency statutes and other potential lending industry reform. Homeowners’ association issues continue to be a focus and AAR has several HOA bills on which it is working. AAR is also evaluating several Arizona Department of Real Estate legislative proposals.
There are many other issues and program in which AAR is involved. I am genuinely excited about the opportunities open to AAR and my role in making sure those opportunities are leveraged to their full potential. With excellent AAR staff and dedicated members, I have no doubt that 2013 is going to continue to be a great year.
If you are interested in finding out more about the primary committees at AAR, you may contact: Scott Drucker regarding the Risk Management Committee; Nicole LaSlavic regarding Legislative and Political Affairs; Barb Freestone regarding Professional and Business Development or Nick Catanesi regarding Business Services & Technology.
The phone number for AAR is 602-248-7787.