CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
NEW C.A.R. DIRECTOR ORIENTATION GUIDE
Last Revised: September 9, 2008
Thank you for serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the
California Association of REALTORS®.
The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) is a vital organization of
real estate professionals whose strength lies in its members, particularly
in the leadership of our association. The officers, the Executive
Committee, Directors, Regional Chairs, committee leadership and committee
members are all dedicated volunteers and professionals who are players on
the REALTOR® team. In partnership with our staff, these are the
people who set the course for this dynamic association, and whose efforts
make it possible for REALTORS® to continue to do business successfully in
C.A.R. Mission Statement
The purpose of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is to serve its
membership in developing and promoting programs and services that will
enhance the members' freedom and ability to conduct their individual
businesses successfully with integrity and competency, and through
collective action, to promote the preservation of real property rights.
C.A.R. Vision Statement
The REALTOR® organization will be the pre-eminent source of essential
business services and the association of choice for real estate
professionals committed to excellence.
The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is a statewide trade association
dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. The
Association develops and promotes programs and services that will enhance
the members' freedom and ability to conduct their individual businesses
successfully with integrity and competency and, through collective action,
promotes the preservation of real property rights.
In an effort to alleviate perceptions of misconduct in the real estate
industry, a group of approximately 70 real estate agents founded the
California State Realty Federation in Los Angeles on May 27, 1905. In
October 1920, the name was changed to California Real Estate Association
and, in January 1975, it was changed to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF
Francis F. Ferrier, of Berkeley, was the first president of the
Association, which then was comprised of nine Boards of REALTORS®.
Although the organization was successful from the start, growth in
membership was slow during the early years. After many attempts, the
Association was successful in its sponsorship of a real estate license law
in 1917. This first law was declared unconstitutional, but a revised
act was passed by the 1919 Legislature and became the first real estate
license law in the United States. Since its enactment, the law has
been widely imitated and has become the standard for other states.
Written examinations for licensees were not adopted until about 1923.
More recently, the Association has emphasized the development and
distribution of products, programs and services which assist members to
achieve success in their individual real estate businesses, while
continuing to be the premiere representative of private property rights and
of real estate professionals in the public policy arena.
Today, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® includes some 117 local
member Associations and approximately 180,000 REALTORS®,
REALTOR-ASSOCIATES® and affiliate members who abide by a rigid code of
C.A.R. Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is composed of nearly 1,000 members from each local
Association in the state. Among these leaders of C.A.R. are
Directors-at-Large, State Directors, Directors for Life, Honorary
Presidents and Past Presidents. As authorized by Article V of the
Bylaws, the Board of Directors is responsible for governing the CALIFORNIA
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
The Board of Directors has the authority to approve expenditures of the
Association, set dues and fee levels, establish public policy positions
relevant to the real estate industry, set Association policies, approve the
Association’s budget and strategic plan, approve amendments to the bylaws,
and recognize members for outstanding service.
Representing the Membership
The role of the Director is to represent the entire membership of C.A.R.
and to keep abreast of the many challenges and issues facing the
Association. Some of the resources available to Directors
--State Association officers and staff who are eager to share their
knowledge and experience.
--Your local Association, particularly the President and Executive
--Official documents of the Association, such as the Bylaws and Strategic
--Research and background materials from C.A.R. focusing on current
activities of the Association which affect the real estate industry.
--Online at http://www.car.org
How Association Policy is Made
Association policies and ideas for new programs often start at either the
grassroots or technical staff level. Thereafter, a particular policy
proposal is referred to the committee responsible for the area of concern.
At a Directors' Session, the committee members analyze and debate the
issue. If the committee concurs that action is necessary, the
appropriate motion will then be forwarded to C.A.R.'s Executive Committee
The Executive Committee, in turn, debates the issue after considering all
existing Association policy and proposed programs. The Executive
Committee may agree with the position the originating committee has taken,
modify it or recommend against it. If the motion involves Association
funds or other resources, the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee must
also review the proposal.
The policy motion is then presented to the Board of Directors with the
recommendation of the Executive Committee. The Directors may debate
the issue, present questions to committee members or technical staff,
and/or amend the motion before taking action.
If a proposal is adopted, Association staff is directed to implement that
policy or conduct the planning and programming necessary for
Meetings of the C.A.R. Board of Directors
Three regular business meetings of the Board of Directors are scheduled
each year. The date and place of these meetings are determined by the
Board of Directors several years in advance.
The Board of Directors meeting is held in two separate sessions, usually on
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning; attendance is recorded during the
second session. The day of the week that the Board of Directors will
meet may vary. To ensure proper credit for attendance, each director
should be sure the Regional Chair marks his or her attendance on the roster
provided. Attendance is required at each meeting, for the entire
meeting. Excused absences must be requested from the C.A.R. President
in writing, Attention: President, C.A.R., 525 S. Virgil Avenue, Los
Angeles, CA 90020.
Information regarding upcoming meetings is updated regularly on the C.A.R.
Web site, and details regarding hotel reservations are sent out in advance
of each meeting. Not all Directors can be accommodated in the
headquarters hotel in each meeting location, subject to the size of the
In addition, special meetings may be called by the Association
President. In such cases, each Director will receive written notice
30 days in advance of meetings. Details for calling a special meeting
are found in the Bylaws, Article V, Section 8.2.
Electronic mail and the internet are the main communication links between
the Association and its representatives dispersed throughout the
State. It is Association policy to utilize these technologies to make
communications as efficient and effective as possible throughout the year.
In September 1997, the Board of Directors adopted the following
That, beginning in 1998, the primary method of information dissemination
for C.A.R. Business and Committee meetings shall be electronic
communications. A requirement to receive information as a member of
the Board of Directors or a committee member shall be access to electronic
mail and the Internet.
The Association, its Directors and committee chairs are insured under an
errors and omissions insurance policy designed to protect against most of
the liability arising from actions taken by the directors. A copy of
the policy is available and should be consulted by those with questions
about policy coverage.
Conflicts of Interest
Some REALTORS® attending C.A.R. committee meetings may have competing
interests. Committee decisions should be made to best serve C.A.R.
members; not to give individuals profit in competing ventures. It is
inappropriate for persons attending a committee meeting to participate in
discussions and/or gain information for their personal financial benefit to
the detriment of C.A.R. members. All persons attending any committee
or Directors' meeting should not disclose strategic or confidential
information regarding the policies of C.A.R. in a manner that is contrary
to the best interests of C.A.R. members.
When traveling on official Association business for which travel will be
paid by C.A.R., all arrangements must be made through the
Association. Presently, C.A.R. has an agreement with a travel agency
to provide a full-service, personalized travel function at the most
economical cost to the Association. The Association is billed
directly for authorized business travel. A copy of the travel policy
is available upon request.
More than 35 committees research and formulate policy on all areas
affecting the business, professional practices and public policy
involvement of California REALTORS®. Committees are classified into
four categories -- Standing Committees, Forums, Special Committees and
Charter Committees. In addition, the Association may establish
certain subcommittees and task forces as needed.
State Committee Composition
Committee chairs and vice chairs are named by the Association
President. The President also names a Committee Liaison as a
non-voting liaison to each committee to help with any matters where
appropriate. Liaison members from other committees may also be
assigned to serve, in order to facilitate communications between
committees. Liaison members do not vote unless specifically appointed
as a voting committee member. The President may also appoint
ex-officio members of committees either from within or outside of the
Association membership who shall serve in advisory capacities without the
right to vote on committee matters. On some committees, an N.A.R.
Representative is assigned to serve as a liaison between a C.A.R. and an
N.A.R. committee, to assure that actions taken by the N.A.R. Directors are
reported to the appropriate C.A.R. committees.
The balance of the committee is appointed by the President. On many
committees this consists of one regional representative recommended by each
of the regional chairs to represent each of the Association's 31 regions,
and additional members-at-large.
Terms of Office
Terms of office for committee chairs and committee vice chairs run
concurrent with the term of office for officers and directors. The
elective year begins the day following the official closing of the N.A.R.
annual convention in November. Some reports used by the Association
may use the calendar year to denote the term of office for the sake of
clarity and simplicity.
The President has the power to remove any standing committee member, with
the exception of Nominating Committee members, with or without cause.
If the President removes a person who is serving a term longer than one
year and was not appointed by that President, such removal will be subject
to approval by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors has the
power to remove any member of a task force with or without cause. The
President may fill any vacancies by appointment for the unexpired term.
Except as otherwise authorized by the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws,
any action by a committee or task force is subject to the approval of the
Board of Directors.