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REALTOR® AE Magazine, Winter 2013: Raise the Bar (part 2)

REALTOR® AE Magazine, Winter 2013: Raise the Bar (part 2)

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Published by REALTORS®
In the Winter 2013 issue, examine, engage, and increase professionalism for yourself -- and your members.
In the Winter 2013 issue, examine, engage, and increase professionalism for yourself -- and your members.

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Published by: REALTORS® on Mar 04, 2014
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01/31/2015

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14
 
REALTOR
®
AE
 
WINTER 2014
 “ T he re  nee d s to  be mo re o r  bette r u n d e rsta n d i ng o f  how t he  Co d e makes a  d i f fe re nce.
 There nee to be higher stanars for membership. As long as we rather have more members than raise the stanars for being a member, nothing will change.
 violation should be included in the publication—which would
help other members learn ex-actly what is prohibited.At the same time that NAR in-
creased the maximum fine, it clarified other administrative issues. For instance, only individuals (and not corporations or other business entities) may file
an ethics complaint, and complaints cannot be brought in the name of third parties.
In
 RAE
’s professionalism survey, one AE said: “The
anonymous nature of the COE enforcement process cre-ates the impression that nothing happens and no one is
held accountable. The fact that it’s optional whether or not to publish names means very few associations will publish the names of offenders, which keeps the problem in place.
Members are reluctant to file against one another since they
expect retaliation for what they do, saying, ‘I have to work  with these people.’ Most members are ethical but unwilling to stand up to the bad apples.”
6.
 Create statewide databases  of disciplinary actions.
The same California task force recommend-ed statewide databases that would facilitate the search of
R
EALTORS
®
’ disciplinary records. Loring says consolidating data would help weed out any offenders who move from one locality to another and would also provide information about
trends in violations.
In May 2013, NAR approved changes to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Man-
ual to clarify that hearing
panels may include information about a member’s prior viola-
tions in its decision, and
that the panel must consider
previous violations of the Code
 when determining discipline.
 7 .
 Encourage
 EALTORS 
®
 to “live the Code.”
In a proposal Loring made that is under discus-
sion by the Professional Standards Committee, he suggested periodic surveys and tests to study how R
EALTORS
®
 imple-
ment the Code of Ethics in their business practices. Cur-rent tests, he said, ask routine questions (“Can you specify
 gender or race in advertising?”). More useful surveys or tests  would ask open-ended questions about complex situations,
eliciting information about R
EALTORS
®
’ propensity for ethical problem-solving. He explained, “If it’s successful,
and it makes education more effective, then the ability of R
EALTORS
®
 to serve their clients ethically would increase. That’s a huge win for the industry and the public.”
8.
 Encourage brokers  to improve agent  supervision.
 In
 RAE
’s professionalism survey, one AE said:
“Brokers need to enhance supervision of agents and hold them accountable for their conduct. Principal brokers and office managers must be better trained in the supervision of agents and provide more training in real estate best practices
and etiquette.” Another AE wrote: “Technology has taken away the broker mentoring from the equation. There are fewer office meetings for the R
EALTOR
®
 spirit to be communicated.”
9.
 Increase the requirements  for
 EALTOR 
®
 membership.
“The only way to increase professionalism in our
membership is to raise the standards for being a R
EALTOR
®
,” said
one AE in
 RAE
’s professionalism survey. “We will take anyone as a member and we almost never kick anyone out. As long as we’d rather have more members than raise the standards for being a member, nothing will change.”
Another survey respondent added: “With the inability to deny
membership and take everyone regardless of history, our result is a large population of members that just do not care to do the
right thing. Our true professionals are around 20 percent at most.”
10
.
 Make filing complaints  faster and easier.
By far, the most common idea presented by AEs in
 RAE
’s survey focused on improving and promoting the complaint process. Here are some views and ideas:
 “We need to do a better job of letting our members know they can file ethics complaints and how they can do this.”
 “The process to file a complaint is tedious, confusing, and time-consuming to our mem-
bers. Most of our members don’t understand the pro-cess and they want things
resolved and handled
quickly. It takes too much
time, so they say, ‘Forget it’ and move on.”
 “ Members feel that filling out the com-
plaint is too much work for a little slap on the hand.”
 How to File an Ethics Complaint 
 can be found at:
 realtor.org/ 
code-of-ethics/brochure-before-you-file-an-ethics-complaint.
To adopt procedures to mediate potentially unethical conduct
 go to:
 realtor.org/ae/manage-your-association/association-policy/ 
ethics-mediation.
 ■
* View online at
realtor.org/articles/a-pathway-to-professional-conduct-respect-starts-here
. **
realtor.org/policy/professional-standards-and-code-of-ethics/professional- standards-training-information-resources
.
Raising the Bar
“ Meme eel ha 
fi llng  he mlan  
 mh w  a lle la n he han.” 
 
16
 
REALTOR
®
AE
 
WINTER 2014
Raising the Bar
 Survey Says ...
Nearly 100 AEs (and a few professional standards administrators and staff) participated in
R
EALTOR
®
 AE
 magazine’s professionalism survey. Results appear throughout this issue, with 11 key findings here.
 Q.
At your association, how much of a
concern
 is member professionalism today compared to three years ago?
 Q.
How important
 do you feel professionalism is to your members (on average)?
 “ e hae he membes ee he RALR
® 
 lege a ee membesh meeng an ell hem a he begnnng  eah ea  be mnl  wha essnalsm s.” 
 
It’s
AS MUCH
 of a concern as ever, 63%
 
It’s
MORE
 of a concern today than it was, 26%
 
It’s
AS LITTLE
 of a concern as ever, 7%
 
It’s
LESS
 of a concern today than it was, 4%
 Q.
Would public reviews or
ratings
 of R
EALTORS
®
 and the services they provided boost member professionalism?
 
Somewhat important, 48%
 
Very important, 46%
 
Not that important, 4%
 
Not at all important, 1%R
EALTOR
®
 AEs and association staff were surveyed between Dec. 15, 2013, and Jan. 10, 2014. Ninety-one participants completed the full survey.
 
Don’t know, 42%No, 27%Yes, 31%
 “  ee enalm lne  an nal’  e ale; an  am n e we an hange e ale.” 
Professionalism 
As much as ever, 63%More, 26%As little, 7%Less, 4%Somewhat, 48%Very, 46%Not much, 4%Not at all, 1%

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