Association-Wide Shaming for Ethics Violators

The California Association of REALTORS® will soon publish the names and photos of members who violate the Code of Ethics in a members-only section. The statewide database will serve as a pilot program, which was recently approved by the National Association of REALTORS®’ Board of Directors.

“We just want to shine a light on the people that misbehave in our industry,” says CAR 2014 President Kevin Brown.

Each profile will include a brief synopsis about the violation and the disciplinary action levied against the member. CAR also hopes the program will increase members’ awareness of the Code of Ethics and the different types of disciplinary actions that accompany violations. The database will help CAR identify which aspects of the Code members are having the most trouble with.

“The main thing is that our members know what behavior is appropriate and what isn’t,” says June Barlow, CAR’s vice president and general counsel. “They are required now to take Code of Ethics training, but sometimes people need to be reminded. … For example, advertising seems to be a big issue, so we’ll help people understand what those rules are.”

The database will create greater transparency and accountability for professionalism, according to CAR officials.

The publishing of the name and photo of a member as well as a description of what they did will “grab their attention,” and it can serve as an “educational moment,” says Brown.

Source: “California Association of REALTORS(R) Will Out ‘Code of Ethics’ Violators, But Only to Members,” Inman News (May 23, 2014)

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