Running a real estate brokerage involves many responsibilities, including staying on top of ever-evolving legal issues. Fortunately, brokers can rely on extensive legal resources from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to make sure they’re covering all the bases.
Among the most beneficial resources for brokers:
Window to the Law Videos
Each month, NAR issues brief videos on timely legal topics. Consider showing these five-minute videos in sales meetings to launch a discussion with your associates around these and other recent topics:
- Legal marijuana and the real estate professional
- New HUD guidance
- Patent settlement protects the industry
- Managing records more efficiently
Some video topics, such as Copyright Infringement “Safe Harbor” (March 1, 2016) include additional beneficial resources. Learn how a provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) can help protect brokerages from copyright infringement liability when hosting an IDX display (primarily by citing your MLS as the source of listing photos). The video also includes a link to a related article offering further guidance and sample agreements to use when working with photographers for your own listings.
To access all of NAR’s Window to the Law videos, go to www.nar.realtor/videos/window-to-the-law.
Legal Case Summaries
NAR’s Legal Affairs staff compile case summaries on lawsuits being heard across the U.S. Even if these cases are outside your region, the summaries provide valuable perspectives into how potential legal problems can arise, as well as important insights into courts’ findings.
These cases are also helpful tools for sales meetings. For instance, continuing with the copyright infringement example cited above, the case summary titled “Photo Infringement Lawsuit Dismissed” involves the use of a copyrighted photograph on a real estate professional’s website. While this case was dismissed, the details provided in the summary make excellent discussion points.
You can find NAR’s summary of this and other cases at www.nar.realtor/legal-case-summaries.
Real Estate Brokerage Essentials
The new fourth edition of “Real Estate Brokerage Essentials®: Navigating Legal Risks and Managing a Successful Brokerage” is the best tool you’ll find for running your offices efficiently and minimizing your risk for legal liability.
A true step-by-step guide to key legal and risk-management topics, this product covers everything from hiring and training employees, licensing issues, dealing with consumers, key intellectual property concepts and how to understand and deal with tough business issues.
With 15 comprehensive chapters, you’ll find updates throughout the new fourth edition, including sample forms, checklists, case summaries and legal acts and statutes. Roughly a third of the content is completely new to this edition, including several topics in a new chapter on emerging risk management issues:
- Medical marijuana
- REALTOR® safety and security
- ADA policies
- License reciprocity
- Social media and internet advertising
- Money laundering
- Distracted driving
Perhaps best of all, “Real Estate Brokerage Essentials” is designed for ease of use. It offers numerous quick tips, helpful summaries and checklists to simplify and streamline your efforts to successfully manage your business.
The latest edition of “Real Estate Brokerage Essentials” can be ordered through the REALTOR® Store at store.realtor.org/product/book/real-estate-brokerage-essentials?sku=126-359.
Each quarter, NAR issues a new edition of Legal Pulse, a newsletter that analyzes trends in the previous quarter impacting real estate professionals, tracking both cases and statutes. Legal Pulse also identifies growing issues and trends so you’ll know where additional training is needed.
Each edition of Legal Pulse, as well as a brief video summary, can be found at www.nar.realtor/publications/legal-pulse.
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor/law-and-ethics
For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.