San Diego Association of REALTORS® Questions to Committee
To: CAR Professional Standards Committee
FROM: SDAR's Professional Standards Chair, Chuck Hoffman, CAR Director, Barbara DuDeck
CC: Tiffiney A. Welles - Vice President of Legal Affairs, John Lomac - EVP
Date: September 19, 2005
Re: 2006 Professional Standards Questions _______________________________________________________________________
The following are questions the San Diego Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee respectfully request the CAR Professional Standards Committee review.
1. Broker supervision: Large brokerages vs. smaller brokerages. Generally, when a complainant is filing an ethics complaint they are simply interested in filing against a specific agent and possibly their immediate supervisor. In a small office it is normally the Broker who is responsible for the agents' activities, however, in a large brokerage company with over 6,000 agents, the Broker has delegated, in writing, the direct supervision of an offices' agents to a well trained Branch Manager. Would it be appropriate for the Association to assist the complainant, and/or the Grievance committee,if applicable, with naming the immediate supervising manager directly responsible for the agent?
2. Ethics Violations: Brokers and agents alike can be members of multiple Associations. When an agent and/or broker is found in violation of the Code of Ethics through one Association, how are all the Associations notified? Currently if members change Associations, the staff of the incoming Association will request information from the previous Association. But if the new member has continuing membership with multiple Associations, how would that information be shared? Associations who have chosen to maintain violations for publication (2 violations in 3 years) have a record of violation which could affect membership in another Association. Could C.A.R.'s Professional Standards Committee investigate the practicality of creating a database, through Rapattoni, (a system most Associations have), that individual associations could access to verify this information?
3. Article 17 - Arbitration vs. Mediation: When a commission dispute arises between REALTORs® arbitration is the remedy. However, what is lost on that path is REALTORs® working out their commission dispute in a way that allows them to compromise and continue to work with each other in the field. Many times there is more to the story of the dispute than what is actually heard at time of hearing. Sometimes the information can even be a surprise to the brokers. If mediation were made an obligation, prior to arbitration, REALTORs® could make efforts to resolve and get a portion of what they are seeking, where in an arbitration they may get nothing. Mediation is currently required to be available through all Associations, so the foundation for this option is in place. Additionally, mediation could be a member benefit by providing the same for free, or at a reduced rate, and if it fails, the mediation could beflipped to arbitration at no extra cost. Could CAR's Professional Standards Committee re-visit the issue of requiring REALTORs® to mediate, member to member disputes, as it would be a benefit to them, prior to arbitration?