Important Updates for our MIAMI Members
WEBINAR: UNEMPLOYMENT UPDATES FOR REALTORS
We hosted a webinar today on unemployment updates for Realtors. The recording of the video is HERE (note that you must first be logged into your account on MiamiRealtorsLive.com to access the video). The slide deck is HERE.
NAR IS FUNDING 2 MONTHS OF TELEHEALTH ACCESS
Extended enrollment period through May 31st! The National Association of REALTORS® is supporting members by funding 2 months of Members TeleHealth, with significant discounts thereafter. Full details HERE. Enrollment is limited*. Sign up by May 31.
Important Updates from MIAMI REALTORS –– April 18, 2020 Update
Florida Realtors provided us with this updated guidance on unemployment for self-employed individuals and independent contractors:
- Florida’s Reemployment Assistance (“FRA”) application was amended and now includes a question about self-employed and independent contractors. Realtors who are self-employed or independent contractors may fill out the application online here. Realtors should use their SSN, as self-employed individuals or independent contractors.
- The Department of Economic Opportunity (“DEO”) advised Florida Realtors that these applications will be DENIED, but that those self-employed and independent contractors will be permitted to fill out a second application for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”).
- The second application for PUA has not been released yet.
- According to Florida Realtors, the DEO advised them that the DEO’s interpretation of the CARES Act requires the DEO to determine the you are NOT eligible for the state unemployment (FRA) in order to consider your application for PUA. If you do not apply for FRA, there is no denial, so it is unclear whether you will be given access to the PUA portal when it finally opens if you have not already applied/been denied FRA benefits. According to this article in the Miami Herald on April 17, 2020, they PUA application is expected to open in 7-10 days.
Members with questions about unemployment benefits may contact the Florida Realtors Legal Hotline at (407) 438-1409.
Stay safe and healthy. And remember, we are ALWAYS here for you!
Your MIAMI Association of REALTORS
We know many of you have questions related to COVID-19. We are continuing to follow the latest updates, including those that are of highest priority to you and your businesses, to provide information for you. There are still many questionson applying for unemployment in Florida.
The most recent update from theFlorida Realtorsis as follows:the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is waiting for funding and guidance from the federal government regarding the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”) before they can proceed with accepting and processing applications from independent contractors and others who qualify for PUA (but not the existing Florida Reemployment Assistance, or FRA). We and Florida Realtors know that this is a vital issue for you and will report back as soon as we have more information.
We created the graphic below to help you assess whether you qualify for FRA, PUA, or both. It also includes links to resources for you to get more information on the FRA and PUA.It isintended to bea summaryofthe unemploymentprograms, not legal advice.
We will continue to work diligently to monitor, address andcommunicate the COVID-19 impact on you, your business, and our communities.In the meantime, here are some other helpful resources to stay up-to-date, as the situation is rapidly changing:
- Miamire.com/coronavirusoffers the most recent information and complete list of resources for Realtors in South Florida.
- MIAMI COVID-19 FAQprovides additional business and governmental affairs resources.
- Florida Realtors FAQon unemployment is monitoring the latest updates on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in Florida.
- MIAMI Financial Reliefincludes a complete list of resources available to help you during the COVID-19 situation.
- National Association of Realtors also has a page forCoronavirus Unemployment Assistance CARES Act FAQs.
Stay safe and healthy. And remember, we are ALWAYS here for you!
Your MIAMI Association of REALTORS
Dear MIAMI Members –
We hope you, your family and clients are safe and healthy. We assure you we continue to prioritize your wellbeing and ability to do business.
We know many of you have questions regarding unemployment assistance. While we continue to advocate with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to improve and expedite the application process, we would like to share with you the most current information:
While the recent CARES Act includes unemployment assistance for independent contractors, the online Florida system is not set up to administer unemployment assistance to independent contractors. It is not clear when the online system will be updated to accept all applications.
Paper Applications Currently Available for Realtors
On Saturday, The Miami Herald reported the State had released paper applications to facilitate processing both the large volume of applications and those from individuals who were self-employed. You can find a copy of the application here. When completing your application, make sure that you keep a copy of the application and that you send it via a service that offers receipt confirmation
For general information on how the CARES Act applies to Realtors, access:
Realtors Filing for Unemployment Benefits: What We Know Right Now from Florida Realtors
We will send additional information as soon as it becomes available. Visit MiamiRealtors.com/coronavirus for the lastest COVID-19 information for South Florida Realtors.
We are always here for you, ready to serve you.
Thank you for being a MIAMI Member – Stay safe!
MIAMI Association of Realtors
We remain committed to helping you mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while prioritizing your health and safety as well as that of our staff and our community at-large.
Since the passing of the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of you have asked about filing for unemployment in Florida. Below is the most recent update on unemployment assistance for Realtors.
Florida’s unemployment system has to be modified to accept apps from independent contractors. We will advise as soon as it is ready.
As of April 2, 2020, based on guidance from Florida Realtors, members should wait to submit their unemployment applications because the State of Florida has to develop a system to accept applications from individuals who, before the CARES Act, would have been ineligible. The State of Florida will be taking advantage of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which was included in the CARES Act, and expands who is covered because of COVID-19. The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) manages Florida’s unemployment CONNECT system and their COVID-19 FAQs are here. The DEO has issued an emergency request for proposal in order to develop a mobile app and website function that would accomplish this goal, and Governor Ron DeSantis has instructed the DEO to expedite this process in Executive Order 20-93.
We continue to work diligently to monitor, address and communicate the COVID-19 impact on you, your business, and our communities. In the meantime, here are some other helpful resources to stay up-to-date:
- Miamire.com/coronavirus offers the most recent information and complete list of resources for Realtors in South Florida and is continually updated
- MIAMI COVID-19 FAQ covers additional business and governmental affairs questions you may have.
- MIAMI Financial Relief includes a complete list of resources available to help you during the COVID-19 situation.
- National Association of Realtors: Coronavirus Unemployment Assistance CARES Act FAQs.
Stay safe and healthy – and remember, we are ALWAYS here for you!
Your MIAMI Association of Realtors
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and impact our community and communities worldwide, we remain committed to protecting your safety and well-being and that of our staff and all members of our communities.
Our offices will remain closed until further notice.
We will reopen when safe to do so.
All of our professionals continue to be available to serve you and meet your needs daily as they shelter in place.
We are also devoted to maintaining the continuity of your business and ensuring a swift return to normal business once stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
For the latest updates and information, go to MiamiRealtors.com/coronavirus and follow us on Social Media:
Safety & CDC Guidelines First
While conducting business, safety should be the primary priority. CDC guidelines for social distancing must be observed without exception. We encourage you to conduct real estate online to the extent possible.
MIAMI Realtors LIVE – Virtual Education and Resources
Remember, MIAMI Members have access to virtual education and resources via the impressive Miami Realtors LIVE portal and MIAMI Gateway. We have 350-plus seminars, trainings and programs already available – and continue to add more each day. Watch for daily announcements on new virtual programs. Visit MiamiRealtors.com/coronavirus for MLS, virtual open house, showing tools and more!
Florida Executive Order 20-89 – “Stay at Home” Plan
According to Florida Realtors, Governor Ron DeSantis has issued Executive Order 20-89, which outlines his “Stay at Home” plan to promote a common set of rules for counties of Southeast Florida. We have reviewed the relevant executive orders and although not specifically stated in the order, we agree with Florida Realtors that real estate is an essential service.
Section 1 of Executive Order 20-89 orders Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties to restrict public access as outlined in Miami-Dade County’s Emergency Order 07-20 dated March 19, 2020 (and subsequent amendments).
Also, the Miami-Dade County Emergency Order referenced by the Governor declares certain businesses essential if the business renders “professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legal mandated activities.” Florida Statute Section 475.01(1)(a) defines a broker as one who renders a professional service.
CISA Advisory: Real Estate Considered an Essential Service
On March 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security, via its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), updated its advisory “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response.” Real estate is explicitly considered an “essential service” under both the “Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions” and “Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services” categories.
Again, while we agree with Florida Realtors that real estate is an essential service, we also agree that safety is the primary concern. In all instances, CDC guidelines for social distancing must be observed. Please give strong consideration to conducting real estate online to the extent possible and please continue to check for the most updated information as the situation continues to rapidly evolve.
MIAMI Advocating for You
MIAMI Realtors recognizes the importance of the housing industry as the backbone of the economy and the ability of our members to be able to conduct business. Our government affairs team is dedicated to having our industry recognized as essential. We are in constant and direct contact with local, state and national elected officials; Florida Realtors; NAR; and other Realtor associations throughout the country to protect our industry and identify ways to support business continuity while following health and legal guidelines.
NAR’s Right Tools, Right Now
In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, and its impact on the real estate industry, NAR is taking steps to support members through these uncertain times. The Right Tools, Right Now initiative, which was activated once before in 2009, makes new and existing NAR products and services available for FREE or at significant discounts – right now – and is available to REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations. Read more.
Coronavirus Emergency Legislation: What Realtors Need to Know
NAR is advocating on behalf of Realtors to help provide relief during the COVID-19 situation. NAR efforts include securing support for self-employed professionals and other small business owners. For more information on how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and The Cares Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) impact you, click here.
Coronavirus: A Guide for Realtors
NAR has made available guidance for Realtors during the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance includes General, Open House, Transaction and Shelter-in-Place information. Read more.
Florida Realtors – COVID-19 Information
Access Florida Realtors Coronavirus page for Florida-specific updates, including extension addendum to contract, suspension of vacation rentals, unemployment, small business loan information and more.
Reminder: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Extension Addendum to Contract
Florida Realtors released a new contract extension addendum that allows for time periods and dates to be extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Realtors who have questions are encouraged to call Florida Realtors Legal Hotline.
Miami/South Florida Market Information
Miami and South Florida are resilient and strong. We saw this during the last market downturn more than 10 years ago. Our market experienced a remarkable comeback. We recovered much faster and much stronger than most experts predicted – and than most markets in the U.S. and around the world. While the current Coronavirus situation is different, our market fundamentals and economy are solid. Click here for Market Talking Points – and look for more market information and resources coming soon.
We are always here for you, because that’s Who We R. Stay safe and healthy!
As we continue to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 situation, we want to share with you some important updates and resources relevant to your real estate business.
Emergency Orders Impacting Non-Essential Establishments
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has issued Emergency Order 07-20 directing all non-essential retail and commercial establishments to close by 9:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020. Below is a link to the emergency order and a video:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also ordered all non-essential establishments in Broward and Palm Beach Counties to close soon. Click Here to access the Executive Order.
We have received many phone calls and emails today asking for clarification as to how this would impact specific aspects of the real estate industry. In an effort to assist our members, we’re offering the following general guidance after consulting with legal professionals; however, we still encourage brokers to seek advice from their own legal counsel, as opinions can vary with other factors.
Florida Realtors® also issued a helpful legal update that you can watch here.
Effects of MDC’s Emergency Order 07-20 Effect on REALTORS®:
- All real estate offices in Miami-Dade County should be closed to the public. No open houses should be conducted in-person during this emergency time period.
- Brokers, agents and employees may be onsite to facilitate services related to legally mandated activities associated with a real estate contract, as per paragraph 2(t) of the order:“Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities”Brokers are urged to implement social distancing practices, such as keeping six feet between persons and limiting group size to less than ten people. The more you can do virtually, the better.Note also included in the order, essential businesses that may stay open:
- Under 2(gg), “Any business that is interacting with customers solely through electronic or telephonic means, and delivering products via mailing, shipping, or delivery services” may continue to operate.
Can Realtors continue showing properties under this order?
This is where legal opinions vary, and brokers need to determine their own office policy for showings. When evaluating your decision, please consider all necessary precautions, as the next step could be to “shelter in place” if the virus continues to spread.
Important Update from MIAMI REALTORS® Legal Counsel Ben Solomon:
Real Estate Closings Continue
The Miami Dade County Clerk of Court, Harvey Ruvin, confirmed this morning that the County Recorder’s Office is still open online for deeds and other important documents to be recorded in the public records. Mr. Ruvin stated that the County has an emergency staff rotation in place that will continue to provide all critical services in connection with such online recording throughout this crisis. Banks are also still lending and have continued to fund and close on real estate transactions throughout the week. Title insurance is also still being issued by underwriters and agents. As such, all real estate transactions and closings are permitted to continue at this time if the parties are willing and able.
- Temporarily Off Market time limitation has been extended from 30 to 90 days. The required Status Change Form has been updated and must be signed by Sellers, Broker and Agent and submitted to MLS@Miamire.com. The updated form can be found at Miamirealtors.com/MLS. Please NOTE: Days on Market (DOM) is suspended for this status.
- Both Public and Broker Open Houses are temporarily suspended pursuant to local COVID-19 Restrictions. The capability to add/edit either type of Open House has been temporarily removed from your MLS and will be reinstated once the restrictions have been lifted. All listings on either one of our Open House websites will be removed this evening.
- Consumers visiting our Open House website will be prompted to visit our consumer search website at MiamiMLSOnline.com in 20 languages and click on the virtual Tour link in the listing. Consumers can then contact the agent directly from the website via email or phone for more information.
- MIAMI MLS has enabled an additional choice in the Showing Instruction dropdown menu: Virtual Showings
- MIAMI MLS has enabled both Video and Virtual Tour capability and each will be designated in that field by an appropriate icon – these must be unbranded versions only
- MIAMI launched Homesnap Stories on March 19, 2020 as an additional service from Homesnap Pro that is available FREE to all MIAMI Members. Homesnap Stories enables MIAMI members to supplement in-person open houses and showing appointments with video. Using Stories, members can showcase their personality and customize a walkthrough of any of their active listings. Homesnap Stories include the ability to add voiceover that points out the important selling features, text, emojis, background music, and even augmented reality features to include 3-D effects. Members can also expand a Story’s reach by sharing it to Facebook and Instagram in a single tap.To set up your FREE Homesnap Pro Account: https://bit.ly/HomeSnapIntro
Instructions and Best Practices for Homesnap Stories can be found at: https://blog.homesnap.com/introducing-homesnap-stories/
Real Estate License Renewal Deadline Extended
The March 31, 2020 renewal deadline for real estate licensees has been extended to April 30, 2020. No late fee will be assessed on an eligible license renewal during this period.
NEW: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Extension Addendum to Contract
Florida Realtors released a new contract extension addendum that allows for time periods and dates to be extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Realtors who have questions are encouraged to call Florida Realtors Legal Hotline.
IRS Extends Payment Deadline to July 15, Filing Deadline Still April 15
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns remains April 15, 2020. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. For those who can’t file by the April 15, 2020 deadline, the IRS reminds individual taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request a six-month extension to file their return. Click here for more information.
MIAMI Realtors COVID-19 Updates
While we are working to provide you the most up-to-date information, the situation is rapidly evolving.
Access latest information and updates at miamirealtors.com/coronavirus and in the MIAMI REALTORS Government Affairs & Housing Facebook group.
Broward County Emergency Order 20-03
At the MIAMI Association of Realtors, the health and safety of you, our members, employees and our communities are always our top priority. While the cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are currently minimal in our market area, we want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and implementing precautions consistent with guidance from the CDC and WHO, while continuing to provide the highest level of service to you.
Please visit MiamiRealtors.com/coronavirus for an update on the steps we are taking to protect you and how you can protect yourself.
MIAMI Office Hours
All of our seven (7) offices remain open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, to assist you at this time. Should this change, each of our MIAMI professionals is equipped to work from home and will continue to provide full service to our members.
Education, Events, and MIAMI Realtors Live
Where and how you receive your education and training is up to you and we have been working nonstop to provide more options for you! You can participate – in person, online, recorded programs, webinars, tutorials and more.
We will continue to host our currently scheduled education classes unless the situation changes and if it does, we will send notices and post on our website main page. Please check our online calendar on MiamiRealtors.com for latest schedules.
NEW! Your education/your choice 24/7.
MIAMI is launching our new “MIAMIRealtorsLive.com,” a real time video resource platform to access our seminars and events 24/7 and even some live streaming classes. We already have more than 100 video seminars, trainings and resources available now, just for you– with more being added daily. Members will be able to choose if they would like to attend in person or attend via MiamiRealtorsLIVE.com either recorded or live streaming. Visit MIAMIRealtorsLive.com now to view and access the full list of opportunities.
How do I register for these classes?
Just register for classes online as you do today. For the classes which are being recorded, you will receive a link to attend online instead of in person if you want – or you can attend in person AND also have access to view online at your convenience.
Should we need to close offices temporarily, MIAMI Members will still be able to access all of our online programming. Look for more info on our new MiamiRealtorsLIVE announcement soon. Access from the MIAMI Gateway as you would for MLS or any of our other products or services.
Relaxed Cancellation Policy
Due to COVID-19 considerations, we are relaxing our cancellation policy for classes and events. Members may cancel without penalty and full refund at any time before the class or session begins.
What else we’re doing…
And What you should do
As always, we have hand-sanitizing products at all our office locations and are disinfecting equipment, desks, elevator buttons, coffee stations, etc. on a regular basis.
Preventative Measures to Reduce Risk
Staying home if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other cold or flu-like symptom. If you arrive at one of our programs and are sick, you may be asked to leave in consideration of your fellow students.
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects, including handheld devices, and surfaces
Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve
Access Online Resources for Current Information,
Guidance & Assistance
NAR’s – Coronavirus: A Guide for Realtors
Includes practical information on how to do business during the current situation.
Baptist Health Care on Demand
Offering FREE virtual or telehealth visits. If you or someone you know has cold or flu-like symptoms, use Baptist Health Care On Demand to find guidance and/or peace of mind – 24/7, nationwide.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Website for Current Information & Travel Warnings
The American Red Cross
Coronavirus: Safety and Readiness Tips for You
Take care, be safe, stay healthy &
know that we’re always here for you!
Your success is our business,
Teresa King Kinney, CEO
MIAMI Association of Realtors