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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Over the past few months, a dedicated task force comprised of representatives from both organizations has been diligently working on the details of a proposed merger. We are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors from both organizations has reviewed and approved the merger proposal as presented.

 

We understand that you may have questions about the proposed merger between the East Valley Association of REALTORS® and The Inland Gateway Association of REALTORS®. We have created a FAQ guide to answer any questions that you may have about this upcoming merger.

1. Why are we considering a merger?

The real estate market continues to change and evolve.  It’s important to evolve with it, seeking opportunities to be on the cutting edge. With this merger, we will be able to provide you with...

2. How does this benefit the members? What's in it for me?

This merger will provide the following benefits for you and your business.

3. Will my MLS membership ID number, NRDS/M1 Number, or Supra Access change?

Your identity will remain the same. Your same NRDS number, your same CRMLS ID (both organizations are members of CRMLS), same historical data of listings/sales, same Supra number.  The merger of the two organizations will not result in any interruptions or downtime when accessing any of the systems you are accustomed to using in your everyday business operations.

4. How will the merger affect membership fees?

Your 2024 MLS Quarterly fees will be reduced. Starting with the 2024 3rd Quarter, you will only need to pay $120 per quarter for MLS.  This will continue forward into 2024 4th Quarter MLS billing, saving you money in the long term.

5. Are we closing any locations?

None of our four locations will be closed. Our service centers will remain located in:

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CORONA

321 E. 6th Street
Corona, CA 92879

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REDLANDS

820 W. Colton Avenue
Redlands, CA 92374

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LAKE ELSINORE

31571 Canyon Estates Drive, Ste. 218
Lake Elsinore, CA 92532

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BLUE JAY

27307 Highway 189
Suite 201
Blue Jay, CA 92317

6. Where will the Headquarters be located?

The Corporate Headquarters will be located at 820 W. Colton Avenue, Redlands, CA. Our Corporate West location will be located at 321 E. 6th Street, Corona, CA.  There will be two satellite offices, one located in Lake Elsinore and one located in Blue Jay (Lake Arrowhead/Crestline location).

7. Will we keep our name?

Following a comprehensive evaluation, it was concluded that the name "The Inland Gateway Association of REALTORS®" accurately represents the collective geographical scope of the markets and membership. The consolidated entity corporate name will be known as the East Valley Association of REALTORS®, operating under the trade name (DBA) The Inland Gateway Association of REALTORS®. Our new slogan will be...

From the East to the West, we are the Gateway to Real Estate™

8. Will we have monthly membership networking meetings?

The consolidated organization will conduct two monthly membership gatherings, welcoming all members. These meetings will take place at both the Redlands and Corona locations, offering in-person participation and remote attendance through broadcasting.

9. Will we have our same committee(s)?

The two entities conducted an assessment of their committee structures, identifying 11 duplicate service committees. These will be merged to enhance committee engagement and simplify the overall process. The consolidated organization will review their current structures and may opt to merge or restructure committees to establish a more streamlined and efficient system.

10. What will happen to the current leadership?

The current elected leadership from both AOR’s will continue to serve on the Board of Directors in 2024.  The 2025 President will be Donna Bell (from TIGAR) and the 2026 President will be Steve Keefe (from EVAR). There is a two-year transition period and in 2026 the Board of Directors will consist of 15 Directors, consisting of: President, President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Immediate Past President and 11 Directors.  The Directors will represent 8 Regions.

• REGION 1: San Bernardino/Highland (one director)
• REGION 2: Mountains (one director)
• REGION 3: Redlands (one director)
• REGION 4: Beaumont, Banning, Cherry Valley (one director)
• REGION 5: Yucaipa/Calimesa (one director)
• REGION 6: Corona South/South of the 91 (three directors)
• REGION 7: Corona North/North of the 91 (two directors)
• REGION 8: At Large (one director)

11. What is the term of the Secretary/Treasurer?

The merged organization will have two Secretary/Treasurer’s for 2024 and 2025. Both entities felt it was important to allow for both current Sitting Secretary/Treasurers to serve for two years to assist with the transition and for historical knowledge.  The Secretary/Treasurer position will be a 2-year term.

12. What will happen to the current staff?

Annette Coffey will be retained as the Association Executive of the merged organization. The Association Executive will assess the requirements of the merged organization and ascertain the staffing needs within the budget allocations set by the leadership.

13. What are the legal and financial implications of the merger?

We have hired two industry professionals to assist with the legal and financial implications.

THOMAS N. JACOBSON, ESQ.

Real estate and business law attorney,
Thomas N. Jacobson Law Offices

Tom has been an attorney since 1972. He joined Gresham, Savage, Nolan & Tilden in 1977 after serving four years as a Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force. Since 1983 Tom has been a partner and has concentrated his practice on real estate and environmental matters.

Tom has served as the Chair of the State Bar’s Sales & Brokerage Committee.  He has represented numerous Associations and Regional Multiple Listing Services, and has been an active participant in committees and forums of organized real estate. Tom is active in our community having served as a Kiwanis Club President and Lt. Governor.  He has been president of Congregation Emanu El in San Bernardino.  He serves on the Board of Directors of Happy Trails Children’s Foundation and President of Orange Empire Railway Museum.  Tom is on the Board of Directors of the Riverside County Lincoln Club and a member of the Valley Group.

DON FLYNN

Principle,
Flynn Consulting

Don Flynn, the principle of Flynn Consulting, is a 30+ year California CPA. The vision of this venture is to bring Don’s experience as both a practicing CPA and years of association management experience together to offer practical, effective, and beneficial financial solutions to associations and their leadership.  Since its formation Don has performed audits and reviews for over 50 REALTOR® organizations in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas.  He has also worked with several organizations considering consolidation or merger.  Currently Don is working with 13 California REALTOR® associations providing monthly bookkeeping services.

 

In February 2015 Don Flynn accepted a potion with Move, Inc. and served as vice president-industry relations. Move, Inc.(realtor.com), Is a leading provider of online real estate services and the operator of realtor.com® and mobile experiences.

 

As a key member of Move’s industry relations organization, Flynn worked with state and local REALTOR® associations to strengthen Move’s ongoing dialogue and assure that Move continues to provide an unmatched service that meets the needs of associations and members.

 

Prior to joining Move, Flynn held the role of chief executive officer and chief financial officer for the Colorado Association of REALTORS® – Colorado’s largest professional, voluntary, non-profit, real estate trade association.

 

Previously, he served as CFO of the California Association of REALTORS® as well as for Real Estate Business Services, Inc.

 

Flynn also worked for the Automobile Dealers Association in California for 13 years serving in the role of Director of Operations.

 

After graduating from Biola University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, Flynn joined a CPA firm in southern California and practiced for 11 years, becoming one of the firm’s owners in 1986.

14. Will we have the ability to have MLS Caravans?

Yes, and with the merged organization your listings will be exposed to a larger group of agents.

15. Will we have separate or combined REALTOR® and Affiliate of the Year awards going forward?

The awards given annually will be for the merged organization.

16. How will the culture of our respective organizations be retained moving forward?

It is crucial to recognize that culture is not an entity in itself; it's a living, breathing essence created and nurtured by the people within the organization. As we bring together two incredible teams, each with its unique strengths and perspectives, we're not just merging companies; we're weaving a tapestry of diverse talents, experiences, and values.

During this process we discovered how similar the organizations are in values, ethics, and culture. It is this collective spirit that will define our shared identity and set the tone for our success.

17. Is the new larger association planning to use AI for customer service, or will we still have humans to help us?

Yes, the merged organization will continue to have professional staff to assist the members. We recognize the human touch in customer service. However, we believe in harnessing the power of AI to enhance our member service capabilities.

By combining the efficiency of AI with the empathy and understanding of our human staff, we aim to deliver a comprehensive and exceptional member service experience. Our goal is to strike the right balance, leveraging technology to enhance overall service quality and ensure that every member receives the attention and support they deserve.

18. Will there be changes in policy or operational procedures?

Part of the transition process, post-merger, will be to review the policies and procedures for both AOR’s to establish a combined Policies and Procedures Manual. This new document will be a combined document of best practices. 

19. What is the timeline for the new merger?

Both East Valley Association of REALTORS® and the Inland Gateway Association of REALTORS® membership will be officially notified starting February 23, 2024.

On March 11, 2024, there will be an IN-PERSON ONLY Town Hall meeting at both association offices. The times and locations are as follows:

• Merger Town Hall - The Inland Gateway Association of REALTORS®
  Location: 321 East 6th Street, Corona, CA 92879
  Town Hall runs from 10 AM to 12 PM - For EVAR & TIGAR REALTOR® Members ONLY

• Merger Town Hall - East Valley Association of REALTORS®

  Location: 820 West Colton Avenue, Redlands, CA 92374
  Town Hall runs from 2 PM to 4 PM - For EVAR & TIGAR REALTOR® Members ONLY

Members from both associations may attend either Merger Town Hall session. However, only current, active EVAR and TIGAR REALTOR® members will be permitted to attend these sessions. Remember, these are in-person only meetings - we will NOT be providing a hybrid or online option to attend.

There will also be separate sessions for Brokers, Affiliates, and Past Presidents. These smaller meetings will be tailored to specific groups within the organization and will be scheduled following the February 23, 2024 notice to membership.

Voting on the merger will occur from March 21, 2024 at 10 AM to March 25, 2024 at 10 AM. Voting will occur electronically, with secure voting links sent to all eligible EVAR and TIGAR voting members.

On March 21, 2024, the day that voting opens, there will be a three-hour Zoom session where members can pop in to answer any questions members may have and assist with any technological-related issues pertaining to the vote. The time for this Zoom has not been determined but will be announced in advance of the vote.

Following the vote, there will be a 60-90 day transition period should the merger pass amongst both voting groups and organizations.

20. How can members provide input about the merger?

If you have any questions, comments or input regarding the merger that isn't covered on this page, visit our Contact Us page and we will review any and all submissions and respond within 72 hours.

There will be multiple opportunities for you to ask questions and hear from the leadership about the benefits of a merged organization.  We will conduct in-person town hall meetings, and on the day voting commences, there will be a 3-hour Zoom session available for members to ask questions, and/or seek assistance in case of any issues with the voting technology. Additionally, the leadership will be meeting with small membership groups to discuss the merger and answer questions.

Members who would also like to view the Merger proposal in full can set up an appointment with Annette Coffey, EVAR & TIGAR Association Executive, to review. To schedule an appointment, please contact her via e-mail at Annette@EastValleyAOR.org or Annette@TIGAR.org.

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