ST. LOUIS-The National Association of Realtors has appointed Patricia Nooney, managing director of the local office of CB Richard Ellis, as chairwoman of the organization’s Realtors Commercial Alliance for 2008. Though NAR, with 1.3 million members, is mostly know for residential representation, Nooney tells that it is her main mission to get the word out that the group also champions efforts for commercial real estate professionals.

Nooney has the requisite experience, she’s been vice chairman and a longtime member, and also serves the industry on other boards for groups such as the Institute of Real Estate Management and the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors. “Many people don’t realize that NAR has a very strong commercial arm,” she says.

She says she has a few goals this year, including the creation of a true national multiple listing service, and the expansion of education offerings and tools for commercial brokers. “We’re putting together a productivity suite of technology tools, such as aerial mapping and different software to help analyze properties,” Nooney says.

The group also pays for lobbyists to help with legislation that affects the commercial realm, she says. “One of the main areas we’re working right now is for 1031 exchange legislation, and also tenant-in-common interest, we’ve been lobbying the US Securities and Exchange Commission to try to get TIC’s restructured,” Nooney tells NAR is asking that commercial practitioners who advise clients on TIC securities be exempt from broker dealer registration if they meet certain conditions. NAR’s exemption request would permit commercial real estate professionals, under certain circumstances, to provide real estate advisory services to their clients. The SEC has asked for comments on whether NAR’s definition of substantial commercial real estate experience is adequate and whether the proposal would be a regulatory burden on commercial practitioners. “Commercial brokers don’t realize that the amount of legislative work the NAR does on their behalf, it’s just huge,” Nooney says.

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