FORMS RELEASE DELAY
From MNAR CEO Christopher Galler
Annually the MN REALTOR® new form release occurs on August 1st to coordinate with legislative changes and help coordinate revision releases to one time per year.
Unfortunately, because of MLS software security updates related in part to the MLS SASI cooperative, we are unable to release the revised/new forms on August 1st this year. MLS systems change security routines in order to protect the data placed in the system. One of Minnesota’s large MLS vendors – FBS – is doing such a security algorithm change on August 9th which has a negative impact on the Instanet Solutions program that auto fills the contracts, builds the files and provides members with Authentisign e-signature capabilities. FBS and Instanet Solutions have been working over the last few weekends making the integration into the new statewide forms program when technicians the security issue came to light when reviewing the Single Sign-in Option. For this reason, MNAR will be delaying the release until October 1st to ensure the SASI system security is in place and functioning properly.
HOW DOES THIS IMPACT MY ACCESS TO FORMS? MN REALTORS® will be delaying the new form launch until October 1st, which means members will continue to use the same form version they have been using from their local MLS. By delaying the release, we’ll avoid having multiple versions of the MNAR forms “on the street” and avoid agent/broker disagreements over which contract is the most current version. Second, we’ll be able to work out any SASI related security issues so that the MLS data and forms remain secure and not accessable by the general public.
HOW WILL MEMBERS GET ACESS TO FORMS? MN REALTORS® has extended the licensing agreement with WebForms and FBS for the 60-day period to provide the current 2011/12 version of the forms. This will help smooth out any security issues and provide members more time to make the transition to Instanet Solutions. We will also have forms available through www.mnrealtor.com – however MNAR does not have access to the MLS data to auto-fill the blanks.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON OCTOBER 1st? The older versions of the forms will be turned off through your MLS and Instanet Solutions will be the vendor delivering the new/revised MNAR contracts.
WHAT IF INSTANET IS MY FORMS VENDOR? Instanet will continue to make the current forms available through September and will replace them with updated forms on October 1st.
DOES THIS IMPACT THE CONTRACT/FORM CE MODULE? Yes, we have a number of classes offered in September that will need to have the instructors inform the audience about the October 1st switch. This is a major concern, but one we think we can work through for 15-days. Instructors will be telling the classrooms before and through the program about the changes coming on October 1st.
WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THIS INITIALLY? We did not believe there would be a problem of this nature. Like the conversion in Detroit Lakes, we were not aware of the security issues involving the SASI related MLS systems. FBS has been very good at making the transition for the Lakes Country Association and we believed a similar integration would be possible through others. Instanet Solutions/FBS was not aware of how the security algorithm issue would impact Instanet Solutions until last week Thursday. With a delay inevitable, we decided to push it back the additional month to ensure other unforeseen items do not cause another delay.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chris Galler – email@example.com
MNAR Seeks Committee Candidates
All applications are due by August 31, 2012
Board of Directors: If you are interested in serving on the MNAR Board of Directors, you can be appointed through your Local REALTOR® Association. Our new fiscal year 2013 Board will be seated in October. Please Contact your Local Association President or call your Association Office to find out the local process for these appointments.
Executive Committee: This Committee acts in intervals between the Board meetings on personnel, strategic planning and other managerial issues and is subject to the control and direction of the Board. They meet approximately four times per year and all members of the Executive Committee automatically serve on the MNAR Board of Directors. In fiscal year 2013, there are openings from Regions 1, 3, 5 and 6. Appointments will be made by the Board of Directors at their October 17th meeting, with the term to commence immediately upon selection. Apply here.
Finance Committee: The main focus of this Committee is to set the yearly budget and oversee its implementation. This Committee helps determine what functions and programs will be funded for the next fiscal year. The budget established by this Committee, including the annual dues, is forwarded to the MNAR Board for final approval. Members interested in serving on this Committee must understand profit and loss statements and have financial knowledge or background. This Committee meets one time a year in early May. The slate of candidates will be forwarded to the Executive Committee for final selection. Apply here.
Forms Committee: The objective of the MNAR Forms Committee is to create and evaluate recommended forms for use by our REALTOR® membership. Appointments will be made from the applications received. Apply here.
In addition to its regular Committee, the Forms Committee is also seeking volunteers to serve on its Commercial Forms Sub Committee and Land Forms Sub Committee. Both Sub Committees will meet at least once during the year to review the Forms and make any necessary modifications. If you have experience in either of these areas, please apply!
Governmental Affairs Committee: This Committee monitors and recommends legislation and public policies affecting the real estate industry. They meet approximately five times per year. If your are interested in serving, please apply here.
Nominating Committee: Members of this Committee meet twice a year to approve candidates for the positions of President-Elect and Treasurer plus the MNAR representatives to the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. The slate of candidates is forwarded to the MNAR Board for final selection to these positions. Apply here.
Professional Standards Committee: The objective of this Committee is to promote honesty, integrity, fairness and competence and to resolve controversies on the basis of informed judgment of one's peers. Applicants must be a REALTOR® member for a minimum of three years and will be required to attend an MNAR training program in December or January to serve on the Committee. Appointments will be made from the applications received. Apply here.
MNAR Seeking Candidates for the 2012 REALTOR® of the Year Award
The MNAR REALTOR® of the Year will be announced at the MNAR Leadership Reception in October. The winner will receive $1,000 to offset expenses to attend the NAR Convention in Orlando, where the National Association of REALTORS® will recognize our recipient along with REALTORS® of the Year from other states.
You can submit as many candidates as you feel are qualified. The MNAR Management Team may also submit candidates. The criterion for the MNAR REALTOR® of the Year heavily stresses State Association involvement over the last twelve months. Therefore, if you expect your nominee(s) to receive strong consideration for the MNAR REALTOR® of the Year, he/she should be able to document State Association Involvement.
The application form can be found here. All entries must be submitted on the REALTOR® of the Year form. Deadline for applications is August 31, 2012.
Honoring Political Involvement
Ed Anderson Award Applications Due by August 31st
With all the time constraints placed upon us in today's busy world, finding time to become politically active in order to benefit your industry is very honorable. That was the genesis and inspiration behind the Ed Anderson Political Achievement Award. An award designed to honor Minnesota REALTORS® who have contributed time, knowledge and resources to the preservation of the real estate industry.
If you know of a Minnesota REALTOR® who is active in politics and works to better the industry through their involvement, please submit an application on their behalf so they can be considered for the 2012 Ed Anders Award. Nominate someone here.
2012 Legislative Update Now Available
Your MNAR Lobbyists work diligently as your legislative watchdog tracking bills that affect you, your business and your clients.
This comprehensive summary of the 2012 Legislature's actions will get you up to speed on new legislation, as well as bills that were stopped.
View the 2012 Legislative Update at viewer.zmags.com/publication/10fa0be6.
Minnesota Department of Commerce Cautions Consumers on Mini-Med Plans
Limited Medical Benefit Insurance is no substitute for comprehensive health coverage
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is reminding consumers to fully educate themselves before purchasing Limited Medical Benefit Insurance, or Mini-Med Plans.Often these limited benefit plans are bare bones policies that cover specific expenses and have many more limitations than a comprehensive medical plan. Mini-Med plans may seem like a bargain, but may not always be the best or only option.
“Insurance is an important way to minimize risk and protect yourself, but it is important to understand the product before you buy,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Limited Medical Benefit Insurance is not the same as comprehensive health insurance and should not be considered a substitute.”
Unlike traditional health insurance, Limited Medical Benefit Insurance has no limit to what you may need to pay for medical expenses. Many of these policies have a cap on the amount of medical expenses they cover, and the consumer is responsible for the rest. If you have a costly illness or injury and your insurance is too limited, you risk needing to borrow money or face bankruptcy.
“In Minnesota, insurance products must provide the coverage and benefits they advertise,” Commissioner Rothman said. “We intend to keep a close watch on these products moving forward, particularly as we move into a new era of health reform.”
Rothman encouraged all Minnesotans seeking medical insurance to shop carefully before buying an insurance plan. When deciding which plan is right for you, consider your current and future needs, know the limitations of the policy, and understand what will and will not be covered by the plan. Consumers should take into account the following considerations, provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), before purchasing Limited Medical coverage:
How Do I Know If I’m buying a Limited Medical Benefit or Mini-Med Plan?
Mini-Med plans are often sold as a “cheap alternative to major medical health insurance.” Some Common phrases often found in advertising for Limited Medical Benefit or Mini-Med plans are:
- Real Health Insurance
- Guarantee Issue or Acceptance
- No Pre-Existing Conditions
- Premium Offer is Only Good For Limited “Open Enrollment” Period
- Designed to Pay for Smaller, More Common Claims
- Affordable Health Insurance
Look past sales pitches and ask the agent:
- For the full name and address of the insurance company underwriting the coverage.
- For his/her full name, address and National Producer Number (“NPN”). Be sure the agent is licensed in your state and appointed by the insurance company.
- For a written outline of coverage
- To fully explain how much of your monthly cost is actual insurance premium vs. other fees and charges
- To fully explain all insurance benefits, limits, and exclusions
What Do I Look Out For?
If you have questions or concerns about any insurance product or policy, contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department’s Consumer Response Team can be reached by phone at 651-296-2488 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints can also be sent by mail to Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 7th Place East, Suite 500, Saint Paul, MN 55101
- Offers for health coverage that might not be insurance
- Offers the require Association Memberships
- Unsolicited calls, emails, or faxes
- Any annual limits on what the policy covers
Holy Bat Show! “Batman Live” is coming to the Xcel Energy Center this September. Discount tickets on select performances are now available when ordering at https://secure.xcelenergycenter.com/GT/default.asp?Group=Minne91580. Feel free to visit http://www.batmanlive.com/home.php for a quick video of the show.
Free Expo Passes for You, Your Customers, Clients, Prospects, Family and Friends!
The Expo Guys are happy to supply you with plentiful "Admit 2 Free" EXPO Passes for you and your employees, friends and families. These passes allow them to attend our up-coming expos and seminars FREE of charge.
These FREE Passes are available in quantity, for as many as you request, while supplies last.
Download the order form, and fax back to (952) 929-9510.
Tickets for the following events are available:
HEALTHY LIFE EXPO:
October 20-21, 2012 @ Minneapolis Convention Center
For more information, visit www.MediaMaxEvents.com.