GRAR Member Update
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Dear GRAR Members,

In today’s GRAR Update, we are including a comprehensive summary of the Financial Assistance Resources to which we have access. These include NAR, NYSAR, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.

We know that the application process for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and other relief programs has not been smooth and many of you are still waiting to hear back from the various departments. NYSAR is working with the NYS Department of Labor to get as much information as they can on how to best move through the application process, so please pay special attention to their tips .

One of the most common issues with the application is agents putting their brokerage name in the "employer" line. That line should say "self-employed" rather than naming your broker.

Your GRAR leadership team wants you to know that as practicing REALTORS®, we are experiencing the same drop in business and feeling the same frustrations in applying for the various relief programs. While there is little GRAR can do to make the Department of Labor move more quickly, we are working with NYSAR every day to make sure the government knows how important this is to you.

We continue to hear numerous complaints about agents performing "in-person showings". We cannot emphasize enough that no agent should be performing an "in-person showing". We have been relatively lucky in our region to have not seen the severe consequences of COVID-19, but we are not out of danger by any means. The Governor’s office is still asking everyone to refrain from in-person contact with consumers and just last week added the regulation that you must wear a mask in public where social distancing is not possible. Even though we are starting to hear talk about a phased re-opening of the economy and lifting of some restrictions, please understand that we are still under the "NYS on PAUSE" executive order until AT LEAST May 15 th . There is a strong likelihood that this will be extended until May 30 th , even as we are planning the phased re-opening for the summer. Please refer to the NYSAR FAQ for guidance and follow all recommendations from NYSAR, the CDC, and the Monroe County Health Department. If you feel someone is violating the Governor’s "NYS on PAUSE" order, you can report them to the NYS Department of Health . The procedure for that is in the NYSAR FAQ.

Regarding the re-opening of the upstate economy, we are working very closely with the Chamber of Commerce on this. Jim Yockel is on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and is in direct contact with Bob Duffy, who has been appointed to be Governor Cuomo’s Special Advisor on this for the 9-county Rochester and Finger Lakes region. We will advocate for a safe, responsible process for getting back to business as long as the health and safety metrics continue moving in a positive direction. While Bob and the Chamber are fully committed to the long-term success and growth of our region’s economy, they are equally committed to the health and safety of our region’s residents. We would like to hear any thoughts you have on the best way to accommodate a phased re-opening of the real estate industry so we can share with the Chamber and the Governor. Please email Jim directly at jyockel@grar.net .

Finally, there have been some questions about whether GRAR would be adding products that assist you in doing business more efficiently in a virtual environment. We are always looking at tools to help you be more efficient, but generally it is cost prohibitive for us to offer an association-wide solution unless a significant number of members will be using the product, tool, or service. We will continue to look at options, but for items like virtual tours, 3D tours, floor plan creation software, etc. we are unlikely to be able to find a solution that makes financial sense. You are probably better looking for an individual solution or using tools provided by your firm.

As always, thank you for your support, patience, and understanding as we all work through this crisis. If you have any questions for concerns at all, please reach out to me, your leadership, Jim, or the GRAR staff and we will do anything we can to assist.

As always, please reach out to us at GRARHelpDesk@grar.net with any questions and check your Member Portal for general news items. 
Andy Kachaylo,
GRAR President
Jim Yockel,
GRAR CEO
NAR Resources
NAR's Coronavirus Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQ's page was last updated on April 24. Click the following button then download and view the PDF at the top of the page for comprehensive information.
NAR has summarized information about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for 1099 Workers in the following flowchart.
NYSAR Resources
NYSAR
NYSAR's Covid Updates page has the most recent information available on financial assistance at the state level.
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Resources
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has a page that brings together links to federal, state, and local financial assistance information to help businesses make informed decisions for continuity during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
GRAR will be sending updates every Monday and Thursday until further notice.

Please visit the GRAR Coronavirus page for all updates, other related information, and links to NAR, NYSAR, and the New York State Coronavirus pages.
Also, please join the GRAR Members Only Facebook Group to get updates from GRAR as well as view and participate in discussions. GRAR Members Only Facebook Group .
Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® | grar.org