The California Association of REALTORS® continues to increase its transparency in an effort to weed out those agents who are not committed to maintaining a respectable demeanor to the profession. The association recently announced that it will be instituting a disciplinary measure that will involve outing agents and brokers found guilty of violating the Code of Ethics on its website.
The National Association of REALTORS® approved the measure as a part of a pilot program for CAR, which is the country’s largest state REALTOR® association, that will measure the effectiveness of establishing a database of those disciplines for ethics violations in addition to calling them out for breaking the rules, so to speak.
“We just want to shine a light on the people that misbehave in our industry,” said CAR’s 2014 president, Kevin Brown, to Inman News.
As part of the new disciplinary procedure, those found in violation of the Code of Ethics will be subject to having their names, photo and real estate license number published on member’s only part of the website and publications. In addition to the identification aspect, CAR will also publish a list of the articles of the Code that were violated, a brief synopsis of the matter, the disciplinary actions taken by CAR, date and duration of the punishment and the hearing panel’s rationale behind imposing the measure.
Real Estate Professionalism At Stake
In a profession that is accessible to those of varying personality types and work ethics, CAR and its parent association NAR, work to weed out those who give the profession a bad image. Much of this is done so through the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which helps to distinguish REALTORS® from non-REALTOR® licensees.
In addition to weeding out those who are not worthy of the title “REALTOR®,” CAR also hopes to increase awareness of the code so as make today’s agents more informed and ethical than those of the past.
“The main thing is that our members know what behavior is appropriate and what isn’t. They are required now to take code of ethics training, but sometimes people need to be reminded,” said June Barlow, CAR’s vice president and general counsel, to Inman News.
Through the tracking of ethics violations in a database, CAR hopes to compile data on what violations are most common and what areas of the code are confusing or unclear to agents. CAR will also institute member surveys and devise educational initiatives off of the various data collected from these efforts.
One of the biggest ethics concerns has come from advertising, and representing a “true picture” of homes and agents in ads. Other popular violations include pocket listings, misrepresenting listings in the MLS or in writing, not presenting all offers, double-ending a deal and downplaying other offers, working in an area without much expertise and not communicating information to other agents.
With each and every change, CAR is working to inspire more respect and trust in today’s real estate agents, and in turn will create a healthier future for the industry as a whole.