A monthly message from C.A.R. President Melanie Barker

A monthly message from C.A.R. President Melanie Barker

I know many of you have heard that a couple of weeks ago, C.A.R., many local associations and some brokerages in California were named in antitrust lawsuits. Unfortunately, these copycat antitrust lawsuits may need to be litigated for years. C.A.R. is well-prepared, and the association will continue to provide valuable services and support to its members to ensure they succeed in their businesses. 

We believe these allegations are without merit for many reasons, and we look forward to presenting those arguments in court. I encourage you to continue to demonstrate your expertise and the value you bring to transactions. Visit smartzonecar.org for a wealth of resources that C.A.R. provides to help you show your clients why they benefit from working with you. And by overwhelming demand, C.A.R. has extended the opportunity for members to register for the Buyer Representation Forms course for FREE through October. Learn how these forms can benefit you and secure your buyers in future transactions and your business. Register and learn more here

One of C.A.R.’s missions is to connect its members with the people and issues shaping the future of real estate. Our institute, Center for California Real Estate (CCRE), was created to extend C.A.R.’s impact and influence with different audiences, diverse stakeholders and external partners. Recently, CCRE hosted a panel of economists and housing experts to discuss California’s housing outlook for the year. Panelists covered a variety of topics, including the impact of pending Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, anticipated growth in home sales, affordability challenges posed by the state’s limited housing supply, the lack of home insurance availability and public policy solutions to alleviate cost barriers in the market. To hear the dialogue from this insightful CCRE panel conversation, watch the recording here

I’m excited to announce that we’re bringing back our Champions of Home Awards with a new name and new criteria. The Champions of Home Impact Awards honor California REALTORS® who have made a significant impact on their communities through volunteer efforts. This year’s awards will celebrate our members who volunteer to address issues in the community at large including housing, food insecurity, educational and social and/or environmental issues. We’ll celebrate one winner and up to two honorees at a luncheon during our REimagine! Conference & Expo in September. The winner will receive a $5,000 donation made to the nonprofit organization on which they serve, and $1,000 will be donated to each of the honorees’ charities! We’re ecstatic to use this award to highlight the work that our members do for their communities. This is just one more way to demonstrate our value to the consumer. The call for entries begins March 1 and runs through April 15. Learn how to enter here.

As the housing market continues to shift, you can explore new opportunities to diversify your business by building a property management portfolio. C.A.R. is hosting a half-day, virtual Property Management Conference on Thursday, Feb. 29, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on all things property management. You’ll have an opportunity to hear from leading names in property management on how they built their business and receive key guidance and the necessary tools to support your own property management business. Topics range from new C.A.R. forms updates, upcoming legislation impacting property management, unlawful detainer information, DRE insights and much more. To be in property management, you need a brokers license and permission from your existing brokerage to get into this segment. Sign up here to get your ticket for only $19, which includes on-demand replays to watch at your convenience. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Are you aware of all the benefits that C.A.R. offers you? Did you know your Association is all about helping you find success in a changing landscape? Your 2024 C.A.R. Member Benefits Guide is now ready for you to download and share or use as you please. Your success is our mission, and this guide breaks down how we’re here to help you and your business succeed.

As we approach the March 5 Presidential Primary, it’s critical that all REALTORS®register to vote! The deadline to register ahead of the election is February 20, but counties will allow voters to register on-site at their polling place and vote provisionally. Check and update your voter registration online here

C.A.R. launched its first-ever Differently Abled Affinity Group last year to support not only REALTORS® of different abilities, but also those who wish to serve clients who are differently abled and to spread awareness to allies who want to support this community. To learn more about the differently abled community, register here for the next meeting held Thursday, Feb. 29, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. 

Finally, as your C.A.R. President, I recognize there are many conversations taking place regarding property insurance issues including cost and availability. There are also conversations from our brokerage community about Independent Contractor Status. I have also seen and heard about our members taking buyer representation agreements seriously and learning how to better implement their use, but some questions remain about how it will be widely adopted. My promise to you is that we are working on getting you answers to these questions. I look forward to seeing some of our members, brokers and directors at the upcoming Directors Meeting where we will continue to discuss and find solutions to these questions in these challenging times. 

See you next month,

Melanie Barker
2024 C.A.R. President