15 Sep California Association of REALTORS® Gets Serious About Ethics Violations
With more than 2 million active REALTORS® in various real estate markets around the United States, maintaining an order of governance and ensuring that agents stick to the Code of Ethics outlined by the association can be a tricky task.
Lately both the National Association of REALTORS® and its largest state association, the California Association of REALTORS®, have been looking into bringing a renewed sense of respect and trust back to the profession by cracking down on agents that are found to be in violation of the associations’ Code of Ethics.
CAR’s latest effort to make their violators and disciplinary actions more apparent to the REALTOR® community is to publish the names and information of members who are found to be in violation of the code. This action, which went into effect August 1, is a part of a pilot program instituted by the larger entity NAR, which includes creating a database of agents who have been disciplined for ethics violations.
Professionalism has been an ongoing concern in the real estate profession, and NAR hopes to see some results in this program that will allow for similar disciplinary actions to be instituted country-wide. The California sect of REALTORS® represents the largest contingency of agents in one state with 165,000 registered members.
“We just want to shine a light on the people that misbehave in our industry,” said CAR 2014’s president Kevin Brown. Officials with NAR and CAR also hope that these spotlighting practices will keep dishonest individuals out of business, ensuring the safety and security of the industry and its clientele.
California REALTORS’® Names To Be Published
Total transparency is the new name of the game for CAR as the association will be calling out by name, each individual or business that is found to be in violation of the code of ethics in a members-only section of its website. In addition to identifying the agent by name, their picture, real estate license number and office address.
A brief outline of the violation committed and the subsequent disciplinary action instituted by the association will also be included in the synopsis of the violator. Members of the association hope that this measure will help to educate and reinforce the statutes set by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.
“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.
The visual representation and the database compiled by CAR will also help the association to take stock of its own practices and to make adjustments where necessary. One big violation where officials have seen a lot of faulty activity has been advertising. As a result, the association will be able to concentrate its own educational efforts on making these laws clearer and well-known to all of the agents.
“For example, advertising seems to be a big issue, so we’ll help people understand what those rules are,” Barlow said.