Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations Episode 53: Protecting the REALTOR Brand from ‘Conduct Unbecoming’

REALTORs are tasked with helping families make the biggest financial decision of their lives. To that end, NAR wants to preserve the idea of a REALTOR as an intelligent professional. And when an agent engages in conduct unbecoming of a realtor (like posting racial slurs on social media, having sex in an empty listing, or threatening the life of a broker who takes a job at Zillow), the association can and should protect the REALTOR brand and let that agent go.

On this episode of the podcast, Rob and Greg are discussing the series of speech code proposals made by the NAR Professional Standards Committee to prevent realtors from discriminating against the protected classes and using harassing or hate speech, epithets, or slurs in both their personal and professional lives. 

Rob and Greg go on to explore the problems with the committee’s proposal, explaining why it’s difficult to define what qualifies as harassing or hate speech and how the rules don’t address other kinds of unprofessional behavior. Listen in for insight on how a Conduct Unbecoming Clause would work as an alternative to protect the realtor brand from behavior that is ‘disgraceful, unprofessional, and unbecoming’ of an agent.

What’s Discussed: 

An overview of the series of proposals made by the NAR Professional Standards Committee

–Policy Statement 29 applies NAR Code of Ethics to conduct outside of real estate

–Standard of Practice 10-5 prohibits harassing/hate speech, epithets, or slurs of protected classes

–Definition of ‘public trust’ expanded to include all discrimination against protected classes

The problems Rob sees with the committee’s proposal

–Difficult to define what qualifies as harassing or hate speech

–Leaves out threats, harassment of unprotected classes

–Many conservative realtors feel targeted by changes

The benefits of Rob’s alternative Conduct Unbecoming Clause

How the history of race in America informs the way NAR is approaching the proposed changes

The value in protecting the realtor brand from conduct that is disgraceful, unprofessional, and unbecoming of an agent

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


NAR’s Proposed Speech Code Regulations

Rob’s Post on the Proposed Speech Code Regs

The NAR Professional Standards Committee

‘NAR Proposes Ethics Changes to Crack Down on Social Media Harassment’ in Inman

‘NAR’s Proposed Ethics Changes Miss the Mark’ in Inman

Raise the Bar in Real Estate Facebook Group

Canadian Real Estate Association

CREA’s Conduct Unbecoming Clause

Rob’s Post on the Reputation of Realtors

Racism in Real Estate on Industry Relations EP052

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