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The Commission met for its regular quarterly meeting on Monday February 13th in Austin.  This date is always selected to coincide with the Winter Meeting of the Texas Association of REALTORS so that more license holders for across the state get the chance to attend.  It was also the meeting at which we elect officers and license holders can earn CE credit for attendance.   As usual, it was a full agenda of reports from our advisory committees as well as the Executive Director, other directors and key staff, and a full docket of disciplinary matters, Recovery Fund cases and the proposal and adoption of rules and policies.

I will continue to serve as Chair until the Governor decides differently.  Officers elected at the meeting were Adrian Arriaga as Vice-Chair and Bill Jones as Secretary.  All of the Commissioners agreed to serve and were appointed to one or more working committees or as liaisons to our advisory bodies.  We also expect some new Commissioner appointments to be announced before the end of May. Stay tuned.    

The Commission adopted the proposed rule requiring all showings of property for sale to be conducted only by license holders, allowing controlled access to vacant properties for lease to be unescorted under certain circumstances with the owner’s prior written approval, and proposed a new rule clarifying the disclosures required when offering equitable interests in real estate for sale.  We celebrated our long-awaited new website, conducted our annual review and adopted an updated investment policy, and also adopted a new internal audit charter presented by our new internal audit firm –McConnell & Jones, LLP.  We also adopted a modification to the interagency Memorandum of Understanding with the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Boards that reflects more accurately certain allocations between the agencies and preserves the Board’s position in any long-range facilities planning.  

The Texas Legislature is in session and we heard a report of bills that are being tracked because of their potential impact on the agency.  The Texas Association of REALTORS has found a sponsor for a bill that amends Chapter 1101 to clarify certain advertising related requirements.  On April 4th, REALTORs will visit the Texas Capitol.  Because of the change in federal administrations, and the temporary freeze on some federal rules for further review, we also expect some shifts in regulatory emphasis that may affect the industry and require an agency response.  Stay tuned for further news of interest to this industry.   

We also timed this meeting to enable us to co-host the 1st Annual Residential Realty Summit in Austin on the prior Friday.  The Summit turned out to be a very successful event and being a co-host was a very smart decision by the Commission. Over 100 brokers and sales agents and also about 20 appraisers attended and the panel discussions were very insightful. We look forward to growing this important event next year with more single-family real estate related professionals in attendance.   

The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled for 10 AM on Monday May 1st at which time we will continue our normal business, hear about progress on legislative matters and also consider the first draft of the Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget.  Know that you are always welcome to attend or follow our meetings streamed live on our website.