Benefits

  • Group Insurance (Medical, Dental, E&O, etc.) Open or Close

    Options Available to OCAR Members

    The Benefits Store
    OCAR members (REALTORS® and Affiliates) may choose from a 39 medical plan options, six dental plan options, and two vision plan options. They also offer Employer Group Plans for California small businesses, and supplemental insurance (life, disability and errors and omissions). More info:Benefits' Store website or 800-446-2663.

    Options Available to C.A.R. Members
    RealCare Insurance Marketing is the only endorsed insurance broker of the California Association of REALTORS®. They offer medical, dental, and vision health plans in addition to errors and omissions insurance, commercial coverage (workers compensation), and personal insurance (disability and umbrella). More info:RealCare's website or (800) 939-8088.

    Options Available to NAR Members
    Members have access to health insurance options, including a private major medical exchange, errors and omissions, as well as member-only discounts on auto, home, and renter’s insurance. More info:REALTOR® Benefits Program.

Membership

  • Out of Area Applicants Open or Close

    While we encourage you to join in person, you may submit an online or faxed application. In this case, the application should be accompanied by a copy of your driver’s license, CalBRE or OREA license, and credit card authorization for the amount owed (the credit card authorization can be found on our Applications and Forms page, in addition to the application). There is a checklist on each "member-type" page to assist you with completing your application. Please note that if you need to lease a Supra key to access lockboxes, you do need to come in person to one of our offices. Unfortunately we cannot mail it or provide it to another individual besides you, the leaseholder.

  • Transfers Open or Close

    If you are transferring from another REALTOR® Association to OCAR, please contact either our Fountain Valley office at (714) 375-9313 or our Laguna Hills office at (949) 586-6800 for guidance. Agents and Brokers transferring from other CRMLS participating REALTOR® Associations should be able to transfer their keys and lockboxes into OCAR (with some exceptions). Also, it is best to take care of any outstanding obligations at your previous Association (including cancelling your membership) and to request that a Letter of Good Standing/Dues Waiver be sent directly to OCAR.

  • Assistant Applicants Open or Close

    If you have a license, you may not join as an assistant unless your license status reads LICENSED NBA (No Broker Affiliation—additional information about this license status is available at the CalBRE’s website). Please review the CalBRE's Guidelines for Unlicensed Assistants. Assistants may not use or have access to a Supra key.

  • Application Processing Instructions Open or Close

    OCAR never requires an appointment to join. We accept applications up until 30 minutes before closing. To accommodate your busy schedule, our offices are open on select Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm for your convenience. Please plan to allow at least 30 minutes for application processing—this gives you ample time to get answers to any questions you may have about your membership, MLS access, or benefits.

    Before You Arrive to Join:

    Salespersons and Broker-Associates:  your application must be signed by the Broker of Record or Authorized Office Manager prior to arriving at our office. He or she must be an OCAR member in order to sign your application.
    Bring your Driver's License and a copy of your DRE or OREA license (if applicable)
    Unsigned or incomplete applications cannot be processed.

  • REALTOR® Membership Open or Close

    As an OCAR REALTOR® member, you also become a member of the California and National Associations of REALTORS®. As a requirement of REALTOR® membership, you must complete Code of Ethics Training through Orientation within 120 days of joining the Association or reinstating membership. Failure to complete Code of Ethics training may result in suspension of membership privileges.

  • No MLS Access Open or Close

    If an agent does not want MLS access (and be exempt from paying MLS fees), he or she must obtain a letter from the Broker of Record, to be submitted to OCAR, stating the Broker’s understanding that the agent will not have access to the MLS.  Sharing of MLS passwords is a violation of the MLS rules.

  • MLS-Only Brokers and Salespersons Open or Close

    These individuals have the ability to search and add listings and participate in the MLS.  However, MLS-Only participants are not entitled to the same member benefits as REALTORS®, including free access to zipForm® Plus, C.A.R.’s Legal Hotline, discounted real estate supplies and training classes, or attending OCAR member only education programs and special events. MLS-Only Brokers and Salespersons who wish to have access to the many REALTOR® benefits and services may "upgrade" to a full-REALTOR® member. Please contact Member Services for more information and eligibility.

  • OCAR Member vs. MLS Participant/Subscriber Open or Close

    Only REALTORS® and Affiliates are considered “members” of the Orange County Association of REALTORS®. As such, they pay local Association dues to OCAR and have access to member benefits, which includes entry into the password-protected areas of www.OCAR.org. Salespersons and Brokers who subscribe only to the MLS are considered MLS participants or subscribers and may not use the REALTOR® trademark (unless they hold REALTOR® membership with another Association).

    Additionally, in order for a Salesperson to join/subscribe, his or her Broker of Record must be a member/participant with OCAR in order to have membership and MLS access. As such, the Broker of Record sets the “membership level” for the office. For example, all Salespersons joining under an OCAR REALTOR® Broker would join as a REALTOR® and pay local, state and national dues plus MLS fees. While OCAR cannot require REALTOR® membership, if the Salesperson in a REALTOR® office does not elect to join, his or her Broker will pay a dues assessment per each licensee. Likewise, a Salesperson could not join as a REALTOR® with OCAR if his or her Broker only subscribed to the MLS.

  • Appraisers and Appraiser Trainees Open or Close

    These individuals have search-only access to the MLS, and they may lease a Supra key from the Association. An Appraiser Trainee may not join the Association independently—they may subscribe under a fully licensed Appraiser’s office, who is an MLS participant.

  • Membership Dues and MLS Fees Open or Close

    Membership dues and MLS fees are prorated monthly, may include one-time processing fees, and are renewable each year in January. You may pay your membership dues and MLS fees by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, check or cash. If you were a member with another REALTOR® Association or are reinstating membership, please contact our office for applicable dues and fees.

  • For Brokers: Setting Up a Referral Office Open or Close

    The C.A.R. Bylaws mandate Designated REALTORS® (Brokers of Record) establish a separate entity for their Limited Function Referral Office (LFRO) agents. The separate entity may be a DBA or a Corporation.

    In order for the Broker not to be invoiced the non-member assessment fee of $445 for each licensee listed as a Referral Agent and for the licensee to qualify as a LFRO, the Designated REALTOR® (Broker) is required to certify in a written statement (via a LFRO Certification Form), that the LFRO agents are: 1) working for a separate entity (dba/corporation must be active with the CalBRE); and 2) are engaged exclusively in soliciting and or referring clients. The licensee(s) in the entity must not be engaged in listing, selling, leasing, renting, managing, counseling, or appraising real property.

    The Designated REALTOR (Broker) needs to establish a DBA with the CalBRE if a LFRO Certification Form was previously submitted using an entity that is already being recognized as a Real Estate firm and/or a temporary fix; for example: “Your Name, Broker”, “Your Name, LFRO”, or “Your Name, Referral”.

    How to Set up a DBA:
    - Visit the Orange County Clerk-Recorder's Office online.
    - Select "Fictitious Business Names" under the Popular Links menu. This page includes the online application, along with instructions for setting up the DBA.
    - Publish the information regarding your DBA in at least one local newspaper. The DBA notice must be published for four consecutive weeks.
    - The Broker will need to add the new DBA with the CalBRE. Go to www.bre.ca.gov and use eLicensing for expedited processing of additions and changes. Brokers will need to create a username and password with the CalBRE (if they haven't already). Once logged into eLicensing, Brokers can add the new DBA by selecting: Broker Main Office Address Addition/Changes.
    - Complete the LFRO Certification with the referral firm name and those agents that qualify for referral status.
    - Submit this completed form to OCAR.

  • Supra Keys and Fees Open or Close

    Supra Key fees are payable by personal check or credit card only (no cash, cashier’s checks or money orders can be accepted). They are leased from Supra, and the lease is renewed each September. Even if you are no longer using the key, you are responsible for the key lease as long as you have an ActiveKEY or a registered eKEY on your smartphone.

    A Supra key will be issued only in person to the individual leasing it—they cannot be picked up by anyone other than the lessee or sent in the mail. The reason for this requirement is a very serious one: keys grant access to a home and all of its contents—persons, pets and precious objects. Preserving the security and integrity of the key and lockbox system is paramount.

MLS FAQ

Pro Standards

  • Application of the Code of Ethics and MLS Rules Open or Close

    REALTOR® members are subject to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and OCAR's MLS Rules and Regulations. Before filing an ethics complaint, you may search our REALTOR® Member Directory to verify if someone is a member with our Association.
    Multiple-Listing Only subscribers (salespersons and brokers) only subscribe to the Southern California Multiple Listing Service (MLS) through OCAR and are not OCAR REALTOR® members. As such, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics does not apply to them.
    However, these agents and brokers can be found in violation of the MLS Rules and Regulations. A grievance can be filed against them for an MLS rules violation.

  • What’s the difference between an ethics/grievance complaint and arbitration request? Open or Close

    A grievance alleges that a REALTOR® has violated an Article(s) of the Code of Ethics or an MLS participant or subscriber has violated the MLS Rules and Regulations.
    An arbitration request involves a dispute over entitlement to a monetary transaction (over a commission).

  • Is there a time limit? Open or Close

    Ethics Complaints
    Yes, ethics complaints must be filed within 180 calendar days of the time that the alleged offense and relating facts could have been known by the complainant in the exercise of reasonable diligence.
    Arbitration Requests
    Request for arbitration must be filed within 180 calendar days after the closing of the transaction, if any, or within 180 days after the facts constituting the arbitral matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever is later.

  • What should be included with the ethics complaint? Open or Close

    An ethics complaint form must be completed and filed. In addition, a written statement of the facts (with appropriate documentation, if any) on which the complaint is based also must be included, dated and signed by the complainant. The appropriate Article(s) as they pertain to the facts in the alleged violation must be cited in the complaint.
    An arbitration request form must be completed and submitted with details of the dispute and the deposit as set by OCAR (our Professional Standards Department will provide this information), in addition to whatever documentation may help to substantiate your claim.

  • Are there certain Articles that can or can’t be cited? Open or Close

    Only Articles 1 through 17 may be the basis of a complaint. The Code of Ethics' Preamble is aspirational and establishes ideals that a REALTOR® should strive to attain. Because of its subjective nature, the Preamble may not be used as a basis for charges of alleged unethical conduct or as the basis for disciplinary action.

  • Can the Standards of Practice be cited in an ethics complaint? Open or Close

    No. Standards of Practice may be cited only in support of the Article(s) of the Code of Ethics that was allegedly violated.

  • Are there issues or complaints that should not be brought before OCAR? Open or Close

    Yes. A charge of violating the law or California real estate regulations is not a matter that would be considered by the Orange County Association of REALTORS®. Also, OCAR is not a court of law where criminal and/or civil issues are resolved.

  • Is arbitration mandatory? Open or Close

    REALTORS® are obligated by Article 17 to arbitrate contractual disputes with their clients, provided the client agrees to binding arbitration using Association facilities and be bound by the arbitration award. With respect to MLS participants and subscribers, they are not obligated to arbitrate with the general public or their clients.

    If the Broker and Salesperson have agreed previously to arbitrate disputes between them using a standard form with an agreement to arbitrate or other written agreement to arbitrate using the Association's facilities, they are bound to arbitrate (Section 42 of the California Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual).

  • What is “Procuring Cause”? Open or Close

    Procuring cause can be defined simply as the uninterrupted series of events that results in the successful close of a real estate transaction. However, there are many facets to procuring cause and REALTOR® members should view the Procuring Cause Guidelines on C.A.R.'s website. Please note that you will need your California Association of REALTORS® username and password to access this content.

  • Definitions found in the Code of Ethics Open or Close

    A client means the person(s) or entity(ies) with whom a REALTOR® or a REALTOR®’s firm has an agency or legally recognized non-agency relationship.
    A customer means a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s firm A prospect means a purchaser, seller, tenant, or landlord who is not subject to a representation relationship with the REALTOR® or REALTOR®’s firm.
    An agent means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting in an agency relationship as defined by state law or regulation.
    A broker means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting as an agent or in a legally recognized non-agency capacity.