Hello to each of you. I hope you and your families are safe and well.
TREC and COVID Update
TREC staff remain almost entirely remote but continue to successfully fulfill our mission. Like some of you, many of our staff are burdened with the juggle of school-aged children and the beginning of the school year. We are allowing flexibility to staff on how and when they work to account for these burdens and others. In some ways, we are more productive than ever. I hope you see this in the timeliness of application and renewal processing and in the speed with which we answer the phone and email.
Commission Meeting Overview
This month we held our second virtual Commission meeting. The Commission reviewed and approved for a public comment period a new round of proposed promulgated form changes as recommended by the Broker-Lawyer Committee. You will remember that the Commission approved for a public comment period form changes in May. Based on the comments that many of you submitted, the Broker-Lawyer Committee recommended changes that the Commission considered at last week’s meeting. You will have another opportunity to submit comments on these changes before the Commission considers adopting them in November. I encourage you to review the changes—they include changes to how an option fee is paid, how leases are handled, and a change to language on the Broker Information page regarding commission payments.
Now it is your turn to provide the Commission with feedback on proposed rules coming from this meeting. I encourage all of you to subscribe to agency communications to be notified when the comment period is opened and how to provide feedback to the agency.
Additionally, after an extensive discussion over more than a year, the Commission adopted changes to education rules that affect pre-licensing education for inspectors. These rules were sent to the Governor's Office of Regulatory Compliance for review to examine whether the rules are overreaching or limiting to the competitive market place. The Division determined that the rules are consistent with state policy and authorized final adoption by the Commission.
License Extensions Expiring
License holders were deemed “essential” under the previous stay at home orders and are continuing to work in these unique conditions. I know many are working with great intensity given the current market. TREC extended application deadlines and renewals starting in March, however, those extensions ended on July 31. The licensing and customer relations teams have been hard at work to address the processing and the questions associated with the 5 months of applications and renewals that flooded in.
You may wonder why we discontinued extensions even though the pandemic continues. From where I sit, it is necessary to provide extensions for providers and license holders as we determined how to navigate in this pandemic environment. All license holders, however, were considered essential, and have the opportunity to continue working. As such, it was necessary to ensure license holders fulfill the requirements for renewal, including staying up to date on continuing education, as a mechanism to protect consumers.
In closing, I have found this unique season to provide me with an unexpected gift. While my plan was to travel much of the spring to hear from license holders and to simultaneously spend time with staff, I have had the privilege of focusing internally. I have learned quickly about some of the interworking of the agency. However, I am itching to get out and be face to face with license holders. While we have had some virtual opportunities, I know it is not the same. It will be a great privilege and delight to meet people in person. Until then, we will do what we can and I encourage you to reach out to me for assistance.