The Preamble to the code of ethics
Let me start by saying that there are more good REALTORS® in our profession than there are bad apples. I would go on to say that I think that every person holding a real estate license should be not only governed by the code of ethics but, should also be a member of the local association, the state association and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)! If our state association is typical of most state and territory association, then I could guess that approximately 50% of those that have a real estate license are not able to call themselves a REALTOR®. Sad but true, 50% (approximately) of those licensed in the state of Missouri are not REALTORS®. With that being said I am not in favor of getting rid of the Code of Ethics. It is what separates us from all the others that are not members of the NAR. We should be proud of the fact that we operate our business in an ethical manner.
In 2000 the NAR mandated that all REALTORS® must take ethics training every 4 years or their license(s) are to be sent back. Just as a friendly reminder this is the year that we all have to take the code of ethics training. Personally I would be in agreement if the NAR changed it to every two years. That is how strongly I believe in the Code.
"As for how I feel about being a REALTOR®... the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and local REALTOR® Associations were created to separate those who subscribe to a Code of Ethics from those who do not. " Says Lisa Hill an AR blogger, in her blog titled The Code of Ethics, REALTORS® and plain old real estate agents dated 10/17/07, and passionate too I might add.
The National Association of REALTORS®, founded in 1908, developed the Code of Ethics 5 years later in 1913 for the very purpose that Lisa stated above, it separates us from all the others licensed real estate agents. We should be proud of that very fact and enforce the Code!
One of the points in her blog was, "that not all REALTORS® abide by the Code of Ethics as they're supposed to. This person thought that since all the REALTORS® were not following this code, then it should be done away with, because there were too many rules to follow anyway. I wanted to beat my head on my desk when I read that. Those rules are there for quality control, and to protect the client. They're also there to maintain professional standards in our industry."
Lisa goes on to say, "Unfortunately, that writer was correct that there are a few REALTORS® who are not abiding by our Code of Ethics. But when a REALTOR® is found in violation, they can be penalized."
Let me address the comment made by the writer of the blog that she (Lisa Hill) was reading. Just because some REALTORS® don't follow the code we do not have to get rid of it. Let me ask, how many of you speed or wear your seat belt when driving? Should we get rid of the laws regarding speeding? Isn't it amazing that laws are written, in my humble opinion, to enforce not only the 10 commandments and the golden rule but to protect the public.
I have been honored to teach our association new agent orientation and the Code of Ethics for CE. I do not profess to be a major scholar but we have many knowledgeable REALTORS® in our industry that we can learn from. Bruce Aydt, being one of them, who is a member & Past President of the Missouri Association of REALTORS®, for one and I am able to take his classes on Professional Standards annually and read , as you are, his articles in the REALTOR® magazine. No I am not tooting my own horn and let me apologize if it sounds like it.
My thesis in this blog is this, If we were to read the preamble to the Code of Ethics (471 words) every year and work to abide by just that we wouldn't have some of the problems that we do. 471 words is not that much and it won't take that much time out of your day and I believe that it will change your business and you. That is less than one half of the words in this blog.
We get the Code of Ethics every year in the February issue of the REALTOR® magazine. Take it out place it on your desk. Then read it and live by it and I believe that we will all see a change in our CHOSEN profession. The Code of Ethics is update to keep it current to what is going on in our industry and to keep our customers and clients, the public and our fellow REALTORS® protected. Instead of opposing the Code of Ethics, I think that we should embrace it and live by not only the spirit but the letter of our CODE of ETHICS and be proud that we have a Code to live and work by!
Don Rogers is a licensed REALTOR® in Missouri. I specialize in St. Charles County Missouri and have called O Fallon MO my home since 1993. If you are looking to buy or sell or you are relocating to the area and would like information about the St Charles County MO area do not hesitate to give me a call at 314-954-6775 or if you would prefer to send me an email.