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Top Headlines from NAR Annual

November 18 2015

narannual15 headlinesEach year's NAR Annual conference is always a flurry of announcements and educational sessions. Judging by the way the endless news releases burned up our RSS feeds, this year's conference in San Diego was no. To keep our readers informed, whether they attended the event or not, we've rounded up this list of headlines from this year's trade show.

Realtors® to Receive zipForm Plus® and zipTMS™ as Free Member BenefitRealtors® to Receive zipForm Plus® and zipTMS™ as Free Member Benefit
Let's kick off this list with some good news--and what's better than a free, new member benefit? On the final day of the conference, NAR and zipLogix announced that all Realtors will now receive zipForm Plus and zipTMS, a transaction management solution, for free. Brokers looking to expand their offerings beyond zipForm and zipTMS will be able to purchase additional tools from zipLogix via exclusive, members-only pricing.

NAR Prioritizes Member Safety in 2015 and BeyondNAR Prioritizes Member Safety in 2015 and Beyond
Agent safety has been a top concern for NAR during the tenure of its 2015 president, Chris Polychron, who introduced safety classes, webinars, videos, presentations and more. NAR members can access all these materials hereaccess all these materials here. RE Technology members looking to supplement these materials with practical advice for reducing risk can read a 12-part series on agent safety here.

Cybercriminals Targeting Real Estate TransactionsCybercriminals Targeting Real Estate Transactions
Physical safety isn't the only threat to real estate professionals. Because they handle sensitive client data, like social security numbers and more, brokers and agents are a prime target for hackers. NAR offers an online training course for professionals looking to better understand how to protect sensitive information. For more information, learn about keeping data securekeeping data secure or read these digital security tipsdigital security tips.

Existing-Home Sales on Track for Further Expansion in 2016Existing-Home Sales on Track for Further Expansion in 2016
NAR's chief economist had good news about the real estate market. Lawrence Yun predicts that 2016 will be an even better for existing-home sales than 2015, the best year for home sales since the recession. This year's healthy market was driven by job growth and rising home values, a trend that Yun predicts will continue next year. "Sales activity in 2016 will once again be primarily driven by the ongoing release of more pent-up sellers finally realizing their equity gains and using it towards the down payment on their next home," he says.

HUD Announces Change to FHA Condo Policies at Realtors® ConferenceHUD Announces Change to FHA Condo Policies at Realtors® Conference
The FHA is making changes to condo policies, thanks to NAR, who says that the current policy is "overly restrictive and keeps many consumers from buying and selling a home." NAR's been working with HUD on changes to the recertification process, owner-occupancy requirements, property insurance limits, and more. The recertification and insurance changes are effective as of Nov. 13; other changes, like owner-occupancy requirements and commercial space percentage, will be addressed in the near future.

Those are just a fraction of some of the headlines that appeared during NAR Annual. Which announcements are you most excited about?