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National Association of Realtors

NAR Board of Directors passes new Code of Excellence & makes plans for rating all Realtors

NAR’s Board of Directors meeting has just ended, and four policy recommendations were approved, including a new Code of Excellence and a path toward standards for Realtor ratings.

NAR Code of Excellence

As part of their effort to contribute to raising the bar in real estate, the National Association of Realtors’ Board of Directors (BOD) just passed policy recommendations to implement a new Code of Excellence (COEx), seeking to “increase professionalism through increased training and recognition of competencies that consumers value,” such as proficiency with property data, privacy of consumer information, advocacy of property rights, and technology. They also debated controversial topics such as implementing Realtor ratings and increasing standards for licensure.

The Realtor of the Future Leadership Team Proposal included the following five policy proposals:

  1. Implement an aspirational Code of Excellence – approved with amendment
  2. Mandatory biennial education, testing on COE, COEx – approved with amendment
  3. Realtors will have the most comprehensive data – approved with amendment
  4. NAR should implement Realtor ratings – approved with amendment
  5. Increase standards of entry into profession – was not addressed with the BOD

With amendments, here are the final four proposals in full:

Recommendation #1:
REALTORS® will subscribe not only to the Code of Ethics but also to a new aspirational Code of Excellence that aims to measurably increase professionalism through increased training and recognition of competencies that consumers value. The new Code of Excellence would address competencies such as stewardship of property listing data, privacy and security of consumer information, advocacy of property rights, community involvement and technology. Pending approval of this concept, a specific proposal will be developed and presented to the Board of Directors.

OBJECTIVE: To increase professional training and the awareness of both professional behavior and consumer satisfaction. The aspirational Code of Excellence should include, but not be limited to, the following competencies:

i. Continual education the Code of Ethics and the Code of Excellence.
ii. Advocacy for property rights.
iii. Community and relationship building by being visibly active in building inclusive, safe, environmentally sound and prosperous communities in order to provide a foundation for recognition that REALTORS® are to be a trusted source in their community.
iv. Taking steps to secure or ensure the privacy of the consumer’s personal information.
v. Accurate dissemination of data; understanding that the REALTOR® may not have control of data after it has been disseminated.
vi. Proficiency in business and technology tools to better serve the needs of the consumers.

Recommendation #2:
REALTORS® will commit to biennial education on the Code of Ethics and the proposed Code of Excellence.

Proviso: Education for Code of Excellence would not be required until the Code of Excellence is approved by the Board of Directors.

OBJECTIVE: To enhance training and education in areas of relevance to the consumer and requirements of REALTOR® membership, NAR will:

A. Code of Ethics Education: Continually upgrade the content of our current Code of Ethics educational programs.

B. Code of Excellence Education: Develop and continually upgrade content for the aspirational Code of Excellence educational programs. Topics should include:
i. Privacy: Gain knowledge of best practices to protect consumers’ privacy.
ii. Accuracy: Understand the importance of accurate data and information and within the span of one’s control, ensure accuracy of data.
iii. Advocacy: Communicate to consumers the ways in which NAR and its members advocate to protect America’s property owners and private property rights.
iv. Technology: Continually update skills to better serve the consumer.
v. Professional Courtesies Education: Understand and employ the basic rules of appropriate business behavior toward peers.
vi. Social Media: Understand and employ the responsible use of social media.

Recommendation #3:
REALTORS® will strive to be proficient in data content having efficient access to the broadest range of data available.

OBJECTIVE: REALTORS® should adopt policies that promote a broader data reach, embrace efficiencies and strive for cost effectiveness so as to position the REALTOR® as the source of all information that pertains to their real estate practice, thereby better serving the consumer in their real estate investments.

(NAR will strive to ensure REALTORS® have the best data available by using its size and scale to help members compete in a complex environment.)

Recommendation #4:
NAR will develop an industry standard for models to allow consumers to fairly and more accurately evaluate REALTORS®.

OBJECTIVE: NAR should determine criteria relevant to consumers, combining it with criteria that is relevant to the REALTOR®’s business practice, to enhance more accurate, professional and fair ratings of REALTORS®. This will benefit both consumers and REALTORS®.

To be clear, NAR itself will not rate its members. This proposal puts forward the goal of a model or industry standard which other ratings sites would be encouraged to use so as to more accurately rate REALTORS® should they so desire to do so.

Because of the immediate need to standardize a model for fairer and more accurate ratings, given the fact that there are more than 50 such ratings systems already in existence on other third party sites, and given the fact that all aggregator real estate sites are contemplating and/or putting in place a rating system, a Work Group was appointed to address the issue. (Refer to Exhibit E, pages 1-3, for the Work Group’s report.)

Up next:

This story is developing and we will be updating this page with more information and interviews as they come in, so stay tuned and refresh this page from time to time for updates.

UPDATE: we land the first interview with leadership after the meeting and they answer our many, many questions. Click here to read their responses (are they really going to rate Realtors and is this new Code mandatory?) or click below.

UPDATE: we dive deeper into the Realtor ratings issue and discuss what realtor.com’s role will be in the long run. Click here to read more on the topic or click through below.

UPDATE: there was one big disappointment, and that was the fifth policy proposal that didn’t make the cut – click here to learn why, what the implications are, and what hopes we still have left or click below.

NAR Board opts not to approve policy to raise standards of entry: huge missed opportunity

Questions answered about NAR’s new Code of Excellence & standards for Realtor ratings

NAR isn’t really going to rate Realtors, but they’re getting involved – Realuoso

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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