At the end of January, Members received notification that NNRMLS had implemented a new compliance system. We sent a warning that over 300 violations would be emailed to members over the first week of February. First of all, we thank and commend members for taking these violation notices seriously and updating or fixing the issue within the 2 business day grace period. The ratio of violations to citations proves that this policy is working. Click here for our Compliance Breakdown.
Remember the goal of our compliance program is not to collect fines, but to correct the data.
We know it was a painful experience, but now the process is over. Moving forward, we will only follow-up with the 5-10 violations we typically identify per day.
Because the violations and immediate feedback was so concentrated, our compliance team was able to provide compelling motivation for reviewing some of our policies. The NNRMLS Board of Trustees reviewed the most violated policies to determine if the policy was no longer fulfilling its intent.
The following is an overview of 3 major changes to the Policy Manual:
(Underline represents new verbiage)
1. Unbranded Virtual Tour is re-defined. See Page 29 of the Policy Manual.
- II. An “unbranded” virtual tour includes information (including audio) on the property only. An unbranded tour might also include the logo of the virtual tour company that created the tour, but contains no contact information or marketing media of the listing agent/broker, the listing agent may not appear in the video or virtual tour, and no link to the listing agent/broker website may be included.
2. Company Names in Private Remarks are now permitted in certain cases. See page 3 of the Policy Manual. We remind you that agent contact information is never permitted in MLS/Extended Remarks.
- 4.8. Mention of Affiliated Companies and/or Contact Information: Mention of affiliated real estate service providers or companies for the purpose of recommendation or seller/agent preference are not permitted. Identification of lien holder, required pre-qualification, auction website, or open escrow is permitted in Private Remarks only. Any language that may be considered advertising or steering will be found in violation of this policy.
3. Billing Policy has been updated regarding terminated Members. See page 9 of the Policy Manual.
- Section 4. Refund Policy
A. Terminated Members: Members with a “zero” account balance who terminate on/before the 15th of the month, are eligible for a refund of MLS and Key fees for the month of the termination only. Members with a credit balance on their account will receive a refund check or a credit applied to the credit card within thirty (30) days of termination. If termination paperwork is signed by the agent but not forwarded to the Association by the Broker for official termination, the accumulated balance may be moved to the Designated Realtor’s bill.
B. Active Members:
i. Errors on Billing: If NNRMLS erroneously bills a Member, a credit will be applied to their account and will appear on the next monthly statement.
ii. Training Sessions: Refunds will be given for pre-paid registrations if cancellation is received in accordance with the posted refund policy for that session.
In the next 2 weeks, our new Quick Reference Card will be available to Members. This card briefly outlines the possible violations of NNRMLS rules. Hopefully it will become a trusted guide for quick reference to keep Members out of trouble.
And please read Lauren’s article with a breakdown of the ratio of Violations sent out to Citations issued in February.