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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 California.

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.

Association History

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 REALTORS®.

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 professional ethics. 

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 include:
--State Association officers and staff who are eager to share their knowledge and experience.
--Your local Association, particularly the President and Executive Officer.
--Official documents of the Association, such as the Bylaws and Strategic Plan.
--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 for consideration.

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 implementation. 

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 facility.

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 Communications

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 motion:
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.

Travel Policy

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.


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