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October has just concluded and November is here.  This is always an exciting time with the World Series (How about those Astros!?), Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos, and the beginning of deer hunting season in Texas.   October 31 also closes our State Employee Charitable Campaign month, with new highs reached each year for generosity by our team members.

One area of sensitivity and generosity includes the Hurricane Harvey deadline extension plan for license holders and applicants. All deadlines after August 21 received an extension to October 31, 2017.  With Governor Abbott’s approval, license holders and applicants in the 60 county disaster area as declared by the Governor who need assistance will have deadlines extended up to four additional months, but not later than February 28, 2018.  This allows all those who need it to focus on recovery efforts.  Education and renewals must be completed before March 1, 2018 when all effective dates will be restored.  For details, read the article in this newsletter and also online at our website.  We are pleased to be able to assist in this small way all those whose lives have been seriously impacted by the storm and flooding. 

At our regular quarterly Commission meeting on November 13, we have some highly engaging rules under consideration for adoption that will affect advertising for all of our real estate license holders. Commissioners, staff, and stakeholders have been working on these rules and policies for two full years.  Changes in the law this year allowed us to sharpen these rules to provide more clarity, especially around advertised team or group names, as distinguished from assumed business names used by brokers.  Stay tuned for action on this topic and the education that will be included in the Legal Update I & II courses.  

We also welcome for their first meeting our newly appointed Commission members, Jan Fite Miller, DeLora Wilkinson and Micheal Williams. We are pleased to add their talents to the pool of resources available to the agency for sound policy-making.  Profiles of each are included elsewhere in this issue.  We will need their expertise as we embark in FY18 upon Biennial Strategic Planning, Quadrennial Rule Review and a once every 12 years Sunset Commission Review.  Add the regular internal and external audit requirements we anticipate, and our plate is full to overflowing!  And we accept the challenge because we know that enhanced scrutiny makes us more effective.

November 11 is Veterans’ Day. The agency always hosts a special display to celebrate our veterans, so make sure to say thank you to those you know who are currently serving or have served. One other occasion for gratitude is our American celebration of Thanksgiving Day. The agency will be closing at noon on Wednesday the 22nd to give the team some extra time to spend with their families.

As always, we welcome your input and feedback in all we do. Stop by and see us sometime. Thanks.