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May 2024 #65

This project has been in progress since 2021, and we have finally seen the fruition. Before Covid struck the world, we had an instructor, board member, and friend, Chris Wood. Chris was a jack of all trades as he was a father, husband, lover of horses, teacher, lawyer, and director at the local community theater called Creative Theater in Pigeon Forge. The theater was one of his favorites through all his duties and passions. Unfortunately, Covid claimed this precious soul, and all those he touched were devastated. In honor of his name, his wife Valerie sent GSMAR money to our REALTORS® Care Committee to do with as they saw fit. The perfect fit would be to give it to Creative Theater, but as a lot of businesses were struck by COVID-19, so was Creative Theater. Its doors closed, and REALTORS® Care held onto the money until something came up.

This year, during a REALTORS® Care meeting, the donation was made light again. Kathryn Lovell, the founder of REALTORS® Care and committee chair, mentioned that the donation hadn’t been given to anyone yet. As a volunteer at Creative Theater, I came to know the director of the program, Robert Kalina. So, during the meeting, I texted him and asked if any community theaters out there that needed money. He was quick to respond. The only ones in the area were in Maryville and Morristown. I relayed the information to the committee, and we continued business. One or two days later, Robert contacted me again and asked if the donation had been allocated because he had a drama teacher, Kristie Wallis, from Northview Academy, who had a need.
Earlier, Northview had won a contest from Disney. Every time a school community theater or any playhouse does a play, they must pay royalty fees. Northview entered a competition with Disney to do the stage show of Frozen for free. Of course, this was huge if they won and they did. Only one school from each state was picked for this honor, and Northview won for the state of Tennessee. They performed, and it was a hit. To continue the story and to bring it to a conclusion, the whole drama class from that play has an opportunity to see the live Broadway performance of Frozen in Nashville. The only obstacle is the cost.
So, we swapped info back to Robert and I; I got Kristie’s info and texted her. The charter bus cost was almost the exact amount of the donation made by Valerie, Chris’ wife. Coincidence, I think not. We helped her find the Charter as her contacts fell through, and on April 17th, the check was presented to the Northview Academy to cover the costs of the charter bus for their trip to Nashville.
As we visited the drama department to deliver the check, it was my pleasure to have Valerie, her daughter, Robert, Kathryn, and all those who helped bring this to fruition there to present the check to them. It was also my great pleasure to get a behind-the-scenes tour of their facilities while they rehearsed their current production of Mama Mia. Info for that play and to get tickets are in the flyer below. As I toured, I noticed the need for so many things. They could use a storage building for props; they need a whole sound system with mics as they currently rent a sound system for each performance and more. If anyone would like to donate props, clothes, or money to the drama department, contact We hope the students have fun on their trip.











Happy Mothers Day from GSMAR


The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (“TDCI”) Division of Regulatory Boards proudly announces the launch of the Tennessee High School Senior Real Estate Licensing Program.

Created with the financial support of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission, the program gives qualifying Tennessee high school seniors across the Volunteer State a free way to jump start their real estate sales careers while completing high school.

“The Tennessee High School Senior Real Estate Licensing Program is an extension of our Department’s mission to empower professionals by giving high school students a way to begin a potentially high-earning career in real estate upon their graduation,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “I am excited to support this program as it offers specialized education and training while giving Tennessee’s next generation a way to start exploring their career opportunities, gain more experience, and potentially build their savings.”

Details of the program include:

  • Successful students must complete the 60-hour Tennessee Affiliate Broker pre-licensing course as well as the 30-hour Tennessee New Affiliate course through TDCI’s licensing education partners at Kaplan, a U.S.-based global educational services company.
  • Once students have enrolled, they have six to 12 months (even after high school graduation) to complete the program.
  • Upon completion of the courses, students must successfully complete state and national real-estate exams.

“By covering the costs of the required coursework while students are still finishing their high school coursework, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission is helping grow Tennessee’s workforce and strengthen our economy,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Regulatory Boards Alex Martin.


“I congratulate the Commission for their vision to launch this program and the hard work of our staff to bring it to fruition.”


“The creation of this program sends a strong message that the Tennessee Real Estate Commission is dedicated to helping bolster the state’s economy by creating the next generation of real estate professionals across Tennessee,” said Commission Chairman Geoff Diaz. “I believe a career in real estate can be among the most rewarding professions a person can pursue. This program offers high school seniors an entry point to this profession earlier than ever before.”


While the program is available to all Tennessee graduating seniors, the program has a dedicated focus on Tennessee’s economically distressed counties.


“This program will help encourage high school seniors who might not have plans to attend a trade school or a university to gain a professional education that can lead to personal improvement,” said Commission Executive Director Denise Beard Baker. “I encourage interested educators, parents, and students to reach out to me with their questions directly by email at in order to learn more about this program.”


Program Facts and Information

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MLS Policy Changes

Pursuant to the requirements of the proposed Settlement Agreement, the MLS policies and model MLS governing documents were reviewed and updated with the key changes below:

  • Eliminate and prohibit any requirement of offers of compensation in the MLS between listing brokers or sellers to buyer brokers or other buyer representatives.
  • Retain, and define, "cooperation” for MLS Participation.
  • Eliminate and prohibit MLS Participants, Subscribers, and sellers from making any offers of compensation in the MLS to buyer brokers or other buyer representatives.
  • Require the MLS to eliminate all broker compensation fields and compensation information in the MLS.
  • Require the MLS to not create, facilitate, or support any non-MLS mechanism (including by providing listing information to an internet aggregator’s website for such purpose) for Participants, Subscribers, or sellers to make offers of compensation to buyer brokers or other buyer representatives. 
  • Prohibit the use of MLS data or data feeds to directly or indirectly establish or maintain a platform of offers of compensation from multiple brokers or other buyer representatives.  Such use must result with the MLS terminating the Participant’s access to any MLS data and data feeds.
  • Reinforce that MLS Participants and Subscribers must not, and MLSs must not enable the ability to filter out or restrict MLS listings that are communicated to customers or clients based on the existence or level of compensation offered to the cooperating broker or the name of a brokerage or agent.
  • Require compensation disclosures to sellers, and prospective sellers and buyers.  
  • Require MLS Participants working with a buyer to enter into a written agreement with the buyer prior to touring a property.

The policy changes were reviewed by the MLS Emerging Issues and Technology Advisory Board and adopted by the NAR Leadership Team and will be effective on August 17. 


Are you interested in attending your FIRST Tennessee REALTORS® conference this Fall!? Apply NOW for our First-Time Conference Attendee Scholarship and receive a complimentary registration and up to $1,350 towards travel expenses.  


Learn more and apply today!

Remember to go to >Home page> Member Login and create and account so you can keep up with classes, events and billings.

President Letter

From Sandra Brown, your 2024 President:

Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings. As an Association, our Spring began

on January 2nd, 2024. Our CEO resigned unexpectedly. We are now starting our 5th

month of being without a CEO. We will continue to diligently search for a new CEO who

will be the perfect fit for GSMAR. On March 25th, our MLS platform changed from Navica

to FLEX. With Kathryn Lovell stepping up to help us with the MLS conversion, we could navigate this challenging change to a successful new beginning.

Presently, we are facing another change in reciprocity. The Board of Directors will

meet on May 16th to discuss which path we will take to benefit our members and their businesses.

Other changes that may be coming soon will affect how we do business. If

what NAR proposes comes to fruition, co-op compensation will no longer be allowed

in the MLS. Buyer’s agents will need to promote and prove their value to

prospective buyers. Buyer representation agreements will become vital to assure the

buyer’s agent that they will be fully compensated and comply with the NAR proposed settlement.

The listing agency will not be allowed to offer compensation to the buyer’s agency

anywhere in the MLS. There also cannot be a link or IDX feed from the MLS to a website providing

compensation. One of the ways a buyer’s agent can confirm if the seller is offering

compensation is to contact the listing agent. Another way is for the buyer to request

compensation through seller concessions.

 As REALTORS, we have become accustomed to change since it has

always been a part of our day-to-day business lives. These changes that are

here and are coming should not intimidate us. These changes will elevate our position

as REALTORS. It will remind us that clients don’t just fall into our laps but must be


A new and exciting program that is being introduced and implemented is from the

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. It is the Tennessee High School

Senior Real Estate Licensing Program and is partnering with Kaplan Real Estate

Education. This will be an excellent opportunity for graduating seniors. If you have any

questions about the program, contact TREC Executive Director Denise Baker