Core Standards – A Year Later
It has been almost one year since the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) initiated Core Standards for local and state associations. The Core Standards were put in place as an effort to align all three levels of the REALTOR® organization and provide the highest level of quality service to members. The vision for Core Standards is to strengthen and unity the nearly 1,400 REALTOR® associations for the purpose of protecting the right to own real property, the free enterprise system and promotion of the REALTOR® brand.
The Core Standards require local associations to meet specific requirements in six categories:
- Code of Ethics
- Consumer Outreach
- Unification Efforts and Support of the REALTOR® Organization
- Financial Solvency
The result of the initiative will be that REALTOR® associations across the country will offer high value services to support the success of members while protecting the right to own real property. Members will benefit from the standards on several levels. As the largest trade association in the country, the REALTOR® association can affect policy at the national, state and local level to advocate for legislation to protect real estate professionals and homeownership. An example of a requirement of the initiative is for associations to actively promote participation in national and state Calls for Action and support of the REALTOR® Party, both critical activities for a trade association to be influential.
The Code of Ethics, the cornerstone of NAR for over 100 years, sets REALTORS® apart from non-member licensees. Promotion and enforcement of the Code of Ethics ensures adherence to ethical behavior and standards of practice above and beyond state licensing laws. Associations are also being asked to promote the REALTOR® brand through consumer engagement. Active promotion of the value of using a REALTOR® to the public sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners in the eyes of the consumer.
Associations must also demonstrate the governing documents are com-pliant with NAR, and corporate documents are timely fled and meet state and federal requirements. The financial category was established because an association and its leadership are obligated to safeguard the investment of members. The technology requirement simply states all associations shall have an interactive website to provide information to members and the public. These three categories ensure members have a stable and accessible association. While the Core Standards outlined detailed and comprehensive requirements, associations are still provided autonomy and latitude to develop additional products and services for members.
Local associations must certify compliance with the standards by June 30, 2015, a date fast-approaching. Since the Core Standards were instituted, the total number of local associations has decreased by 87 as a result of both mergers and dissolutions. Colorado has had one merger and one dissolution, resulting in two fewer associations in the state. All our remaining 35 associations appear poised to achieve compliance come June due to combined efforts between local associations and the Colorado Association of REALTORS®.
VP Board Services | Colorado Association of REALTORS®