Happy May to each of you. I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the mothers in your life last weekend. Later this month, we celebrate Memorial Day. We honor those who have given their lives for our country. As we gather with friends and family to kick off summer, I encourage each of you to take a moment to solemnly consider those who did not return from the battlefield and acknowledge the cost of our freedom.
Complete Your Renewal before Memorial Day
The agency will close early on Friday, May 28, and remain closed through Memorial Day, May 31. Because of this early closure, all license holders who need to renew a license should complete all the requirements for renewal as soon as possible to avoid potential delays. You can find your renewal education information via the license holder search and complete your renewal on our website.
Welcome to New Commission Members
Last month we welcomed three new Commissioners to TREC. Broker members, Leslie Lerner and Mark Woodroof, and public member Ben Pena hit the ground running at the May Commission meeting. I welcome their valuable input and look forward to working with them. You can read more about them in our announcement here.
Commission Meeting Update
For the first time in over a year, the Commission meeting was held in person at TREC headquarters. It was a big step in the road back to “normal.” The Commission heard from Gary Maler and Dr. Jim Gaines from the Texas Real Estate Research Center regarding the economic and real estate outlook. In short, as Dr. Gaines said, "the housing market is on fire!” Proposed rules considered and approved at this meeting are draft changes to the Inspectors’ Standards of Practice. These proposed updates were recommended by the Inspector Advisory Committee. We have posted the meeting video and proposed rules on the website. I encourage you to take a look at the proposed rules and provide public comments. Keep in mind, we launched a new online portal earlier this year and it is now easier than ever to give us your thoughts.
The next day the Commission held a workshop focusing on enforcement. During the workshop, the Commission had the opportunity to gain additional knowledge about the disciplinary process.
The legislative session is headed into its final weeks. We are watching several bills that could potentially impact the agency. I know many of you might be interested in what is proposed, so I thought I would highlight a few bills of interest:
HB 2998 (Smith): Relating to the requirement that certain business entities obtain a license from the Texas Real Estate Commission
HB 2305 (Thompson): Relating to the Texas Real Estate Research Center and the Texas Real Estate Commission.
HB 2730 (Deshotel) Relating to the acquisition of real property by an entity with eminent domain authority.
HB 3367 (Turner) - Relating to the powers and duties of property owners associations.
HB 2376 (Kuempel) Relating to the repeal of real estate inspection recovery fund
HB 2378 (Kuempel): Relating to the licensing and regulation of real estate inspectors; reducing a fee
One thing to remember is legislative session is fluid, and none of these bills have yet reached the Governor's desk.
Versa Replacement Project
Recently, our IT team started the process to replace the VERSA database system. VERSA is the system of record we use for managing all of our license holder and registrant data. Our staff interacts with the database every day, in all corners of our operation.
We are working with a vendor to begin the requirements gathering and to establish a scope of work for the new system. They will also help us negotiate final pricing for this new database through a solicitation process this fall. Doing the upfront work to ensure the next database fulfills our needs is a top priority. This database replacement will allow us to advance and improve our services for all of our license holders. We hope to conclude this database project by the end of the fiscal year 2023.
As always, please reach out if our agency can assist your work. It is important to me that we strike a healthy balance between supporting the industry we serve and protecting consumers. Have a great month.