September 24, 2017

Arthur van der Vant, Illinois Receiver, Points out Issues in NAR Arbitration Process

Arthur van der Vant

Arthur van der Vant

When Realtors® violate the National Association of Realtors® ethics codes, notes Arthur van der Vant, they are subject to arbitration hearings. Once an arbitration request is initiated it goes through several steps prior to a final resolution. A commercial real estate expert, Receiver and Assignee in Illinois, Arthur van der Vant spoke with Interviewing Experts recently about his take on defects in NAR’s Arbitration process. Arthur van der Vant is widely respected in the field and has written extensively about many related topics.

Interviewing Experts: Thank you, Arthur van der Vant, for speaking with us this evening.

Arthur van der Vant: It is my pleasure.

Interviewing Experts: We understand that you believe there are several serious problems with the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) arbitration program. Can we take a closer look?

Arthur van der Vant: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is made of State REALTOR Associations, and the State REALTOR Associations are made of Local REALTOR Associations also called Real Estate Boards.

Interviewing Experts: Which are in turn made of individual real estate practitioners?

Arthur van der Vant: Yes. Only individual practitioners are allowed to use the designation of a REALTOR.  Only individuals can become members of the Local, State, and National Association of REALTORS.

Interviewing Experts: Companies are not allowed to be members, only individuals are, is that correct?

Arthur van der Vant: Yes, that’s right.  However, real estate transactions that could become a subject of a dispute are not between individuals (members), but they are between real estate companies they work for (non-members).  If those companies are not NAR members, because only individuals can be members, than NAR can not bound companies to arbitration.  No arbitration agreement exists.

Interviewing Experts: What has NAR done in its attempt to arbitrate disputed matters between members?

Arthur van der Vant: The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has adopted a Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

Interviewing Experts: Which all State and Local Associations (Boards) have adopted and follow?

Arthur van der Vant: That’s right. In order for an individual REALTOR to become a member of the association such a person has to agree to abide by the association’s Bylaws.  The association’s Bylaws stipulate that all disputes must be arbitrated through and in accordance with National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

Interviewing Experts: So, you are saying that no other written and explicit Arbitration Agreement exists that would bind parties to arbitration?

Arthur van der Vant: Yes, and that is only a beginning of many problems!

Interviewing Experts: For Instance?

Arthur van der Vant: Well, NAR arbitrations are conducted between the wrong parties (individuals).  As I stated before, individuals only work for real estate brokerage corporations, and it is those companies who should be parties to arbitration, not the individual REALTORS.  Laws of all states clearly recognize the difference between a corporate entity and an individual.

Interviewing Experts: You mentioned previously that companies cannot be a member. Is that a problem?

Arthur van der Vant: Yes, since companies are not members as a corporate entity they have not joined the Realtor Board; therefore, they are not bound by arbitration clause buried in the Bylaws of the Realtor Association.  In that setting arbitration agreement does not exist.

Interviewing Experts:  Is that a problem?

Arthur van der Vant: Yes.  The law undoubtedly recognizes that an arbitration agreement must exist in order for arbitration to be binding.  In my opinion the National Association of Realtors (NAR) fails to provide adequate and necessary facilities and services to members in arbitration.

Interviewing Experts: Membership in Local Board of Realtors has been recognized by the courts as a valuable property right, is that correct?

Arthur van der Vant: Yes, therefore, any action by a Realtor Board limiting or denying the right and privileges of a member must be justified, not only substantively but also procedurally.

Interviewing Experts: So, who is the arbitrator in NAR arbitration?

Arthur van der Vant: NAR arbitrations are conducted and awards are entered by member REALTORS.  They are usually unqualified and have no knowledge of the state laws and regulations.

Interviewing Experts: We have heard that NAR arbitrations appeals, called Procedural Reviews, are conducted covertly, in secrecy, and without participant’s ability to record them or to have a Court Reporter present. That doesn’t sound very professional.

Arthur van der Vant: Correct.  The NAR Procedural Reviews and the arbitration hearings are both defective because they do not name proper parties, arbitration proceedings are conducted without arbitration agreement, and awards are entered by unqualified individuals who are not familiar with the state law and regulations. Procedural Reviews are concealed in secrecy and the parties are prohibited from using any recording devices or to have a Court Reporter present.  I encourage your readers to research this subject and to familiarize themselves with the Arbitration Act in their State and any arbitration regulations.

Interviewing Experts: That certainly sounds like great advice.

Arthur van der Vant: Thank you.

Interviewing Experts: That is all the time we have for today. Thank you again.

Arthur van der Vant: You are very welcome. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with your readers.

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Eloi Kummetz Ventures into Cement Production

Eloi Kummetz

Eloi Kummetz

Eloi Kummetz has worked hard to diversify Kummetz Corporation, taking on projects across the world. As part of his work to increase economic opportunities in several different countries, Eloi Kummetz is developing new facilities in emerging countries to foster the production of cement. Cement, Eloi Kummetz explains, is an important commodity in some areas of the world. As Eloi Kummetz has found in his work in South America and Africa, some areas are in dire need of structural and building developments, with housing shortages reaching near crisis. In Brazil, specifically, cement production is cited as a valuable commodity, Eloi Kummetz says, with cement production being one of the biggest economic industries in the country.

According to the USGS Mineral Program Cement Report, Brazil is sixth in the world in cement production, falling behind China, India, Iran, the U.S., and Turkey. The report explained that Brazil produced 59 million tonnes of cement in 2010, Eloi Kummetz says, a huge jump from 2005, when the country produced only 36 million tonnes and ranked 15th.

Eloi Kummetz sees cement production as a great opportunity for Brazil, which is growing financially. By working with companies in Brazil, Eloi Kummetz hopes to further bolster the country’s financial outlook. According to Eloi Kummetz, Brazil is becoming a financial leader, with an economy that has been ranked seventh in the world. Cement is listed as one of its primary industries, Eloi Kummetz points out, with fertilizers, petroleum, textiles, and coal also big industries for the country.

Kummetz Corporation was licensed in Brazil as Kummetz Corporation Brazil in 2006, according to Eloi Kummetz. Kummetz Corporation purchased Kummetz Construction & Projects Ltd., a business that has been active in Brazil since 1998, in order to develop new and support existing construction projects in the country. Cement production is not only of high value within Brazil, Eloi Kummetz says, but also as an export for the country. Eloi Kummetz explains that Brazil exports cement to the U.S., Paraguay, and Bolivia, among others, with much of the export activity coming from the northeast region of the country.

With cement being so valuable in the construction of strong building materials, Eloi Kummetz believes the industry has a strong, solid future, even in these uncertain economic times. By working in countries like Brazil to create more opportunities for cement exportation, Eloi Kummetz hopes to help further strengthen the country’s economy.

Achieving Successful Asset Management Growth

Asset management growth is widely acknowledged as one of the primary goals of a business or company. When this is achieved, the industry has reached the point of successful asset management, and is at the point of general growth and improvement. Asset management growth also indicates that a business has chosen the proper approach, a system that works compatibly with those already existing within the company.

Asset management is even more important in this new millenium. Long past are the days of manual work; the effective administration of assets in today’s world includes multiple diverse and complex database systems and business that relies on accurate and timely information.

What is included in effective asset management?

Asset management should be one of the most critical strategies adopted by any industry. However, it is futile to speak of asset management merely as a tangible process. Business and industry today relies heavily on technological systems and data maintenance. Thus, in order to assure maximum effectiveness, both hardware and software assets must be managed well.

Essentially, asset management must make room for the effective organization of production, facilities, transportation, and even digital assets. Budgeting, procurement, maintenance, and depreciation calculation of a company’s fixed assets must be addressed with value maximized and projected cost minimization kept in the forefront. Solutions being offered across the board to various industries have organizational modules on managing assets, human resources, materials, and software.

Successful management systems offer tools for improvement on assets return and lowering costs of asset ownership. These systems also provide assistance in license compliance and promote enhanced security. Particularly important to companies with different branches in several locations, a good asset management solution must have provide tracking for both physical or intangible assets.

The growth goals of asset management

Successful asset management must be able to achieve several goals. Most importantly, it should assist industry managers to maximize the best use of assets. It should also pinpoint assets that require additional attention, and which assets are not producing. Simply put, asset management focuses on the ability to bring about greater value from the assets of the company. It also works to achieve more competitive performance and productivity.

Asset management tools should also provide effective curtailment of asset ownership and the calculation of asset-related risks. The tools should insure accurate inventory control and data storage. Wise decision making in asset management is essential, especially when considering the reality of consistently shifting technology and cutthroat competition.

Why asset management is essential for organizational growth

Effective asset management also requires successful utilization of both the physical and intangible assets of any organization. Such asset management caters to various disciplines, which include those as wide-ranging as administration and engineering, and from production to information management.

With such successful asset management, company growth is nearly guaranteed. Both labor and production become more efficient, downtime on equipment and facilities are minimized, and the total cost of fixed asset ownership is significantly reduced. A business is then able to pinpoint any areas that need improvement, seeking assistance from various management solution providers to utilize helpful management tools.

Asset management growth is not an easy goal to achieve, nor will it happen overnight. Asset management will continue to shift and evolve, and successful industry managers will understand this. It is only then that the most favorable results for the entire organization will be realized.