The State of Oregon requires Realtors to take 30 hours of very specific continuing education to be re-licensed every two years. And the National Association of Realtors requires that every four years Realtors must take a class on the Realtor Code of Ethics.
I’ve taken this class quite a few times. There is very little variation. To be a Realtor, that is with a capital “R”, a licensee must adhere to the Code of Ethics. I belong to one of the very few vocations that actually has a code of ethics. I think it goes without saying that it shouldn’t be necessary, but it is. And I am very proud of my profession that we have taken this position to maintain fair dealings and integrity.
Oregon has a pretty interesting history on this front. Oregon was the very first state in the United States to adopt a code of ethics on July 29th, 1913. So it isn’t just the bottle bill with which we have led the Nation.
The code has 17 Articles that stipulate fair dealings with fellow Realtors, with the our clients, and with the public. Each local real estate board is charged with enforcing the code of ethics. Yes, Realtors are held accountable.
Think about it, real estate involves the most important financial dealings that most people make within their lives. It must be handled with ethics.
My favorite part of the Code of Ethics is the preamble. I’d like to share with you just a sample:
“Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. Realtors should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.”
And that is just the beginning. It is a beautifully written document and a standard that I am proud of in my profession.