April message from NYSCAR’s president, James Walker

April 07, 2020 - Upstate New York

I hope that you are staying safe in this very challenging environment. This is an unprecedented time for everyone and we continue to keep the welfare of the membership as a priority. 

The National Association of Realtors and the New York State Association of Realtors have been advocating continuously on a legislative front for the members. We are pleased that small business owners and independent contractors were included in the federal response to this national crisis. 

We normally bring you information relative to education, conferences and meeting dates, but we are in a different time right now. Below you will find important information and resources from NYSAR relative to unemployment benefits, the Cares Act and what it means for Realtors, frequently asked questions as well as links regarding online education and CDC.

New York State Association of Realtors - www.nysar.com

The Cares Act & What it Means for Realtors

NYSAR has developed a list of frequently asked questions. You can also view them by visiting https://www.nysar.com/covid-19-resources/cares-act/

Unemployment Benefits Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) 

Visit https://www.nysar.com/covid-19-resources/pua/ to set up NY.gov ID account, and get more information on unemployment assistance.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/ for information from the CDC.

Coronavirus Guidance: Commercial Real Estate

COVID-19 and its long reaching effects continue to change the way we conduct our everyday business, and commercial real estate practitioners continue to adapt to these changes on a daily basis. NAR has posted resources to help guide commercial Realtors as they navigate the changing landscape in the industry. To read more, visit https://www.nar.realtor/coronavirus-guidance-commercial-real-estate.

NYS Commercial Real Estate Conference

Due to the continuing concern with COVID-19, the NYSCAR Executive Committee decided it is best to cancel the 19th Annual NYS Commercial Real Estate Conference which was scheduled for June 8-10, 2020 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona. It would be extremely difficult to postpone the conference to a future date in 2020 because of all the uncertainty with the current climate and therefore we will look to hold the conference in 2021.

Each year we all look forward to attending the annual conference to network, take classes and have some fun, so cancelling the conference is a disappointment, but the health and welfare of the attendees must come first.

Please stay tuned for 2021 conference dates and also watch for some on-line programs for the upcoming months.

Continuing Education Hardship Waiver (by NYSAR)

The coronavirus situation has certainly uprooted many aspects of our lives. One impact on NYSAR members is losing access to continuing education needed for license renewal due to in-class course cancellations. 

Current law provides for hardship extension waivers when licensees are unable to complete their continuing education requirement for license renewal. We are happy to report that the NYS Department of State (DOS) will grant six-month waivers to students who are unable to complete their education due to the state of emergency. 

Licensees requiring a waiver must provide evidence of a bona fide hardship precluding completion of the continuing education requirements prior to the time the renewal application is to be filed. A licensee seeking such a waiver shall go through the renewal process using eAccessNY. When filling out the renewal application, the licensee would indicate that they did not complete the required continuing education. Choose the option to upload documents and provide: 

1) All documentation demonstrating such hardship; and 

2) A written request for such waiver. 

The DOS will notify you if the waiver was granted.

The DOS is now working on a notification that will be posted on their website and sent via email. Please look for the notification from DOS and further updates from NYSAR.

How to Stay Productive and in Communication, March 30, 2020

By: Dan Weisman, Dave Conroy

As the Emerging Tech team, our mission is to identify and research emerging tech with the potential to enrich or disrupt the real estate industry. But during these trying times, we thought it was important to support our members by discussing some simple technologies that can help you today.

In addition to all of the resources being prepared by our magazine, advocacy and communication teams at NAR, we would like to share some quick tips to help you stay productive and in communication with your agents, clients, and partners in the industry.

Communicating Internally and Externally

Face-to-face communication is so important to the real estate industry. During these times, it’s challenging to feel like you are providing the same value sitting behind a device as you did when in person. Although there are many tools to help bridge this gap. 

NAR to Deliver Virtual Solutions for 2020 Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo

Due to recent restrictions and recommendations implemented by the federal and Washington, D.C. governments, NAR will deliver previously-planned programming and committee meetings virtually.

With the CDC issuing guidance limiting discretionary travel and large gatherings, and the city of Washington, D.C. instituting a state of emergency to limit the spread of COVID-19, we will no longer hold the 2020 Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in person from May 11-16 in Washington, D.C.

NAR also announced that it will use the time from now until July 1st as a reset to implement new virtual opportunities for member participation within all of its meetings and events.

In addition, NAR noted it will be “putting members first” by focusing on enhancing and increasing member offerings that will directly help America’s 1.4 million Realtors navigate the coronavirus’ unprecedented impact on members’ personal lives and businesses.

2020 Census

The decennial census is a population count that is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to take place every 10 years in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. This year the census will take place beginning in mid-March. The U.S. Census Bureau, a section of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is responsible for oversight and administration of the census. The population count is conducted using a census survey that asks every household detailed information so that the federal government and state governments can better learn about communities throughout the country. The 2020 census can be completed by phone at 1-844-330-2020, by mail, or online at 2020census.gov from mid-March until July 31st, 2020.

The census is important for all Realtors because completing the 2020 census means more resources for businesses and communities across the country. The data is also used for redistricting purposes and for reapportionment, to ensure fair representation in Congress. Last fall, NAR launched its Census Awareness Campaign to ensure that all 1.4 million Realtor members are informed about the upcoming census and to encourage all members to complete the 2020 census. Additionally, NAR has published an online Census Guide to help members, stakeholders, and state and local associations to learn more about the impact of the census.

Please stay safe as we all continue to work through this trying time.

James Walker, CCIM, is the 2020 president of NYSCAR, Albany, N.Y.

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