Code of Ethics and Technology

Yes or No

Yes or No

There are more knowledgeable people in the word like Bruce Aydt (www.BruceAydt.com) that can give you a better interpretation on the Code of Ethics than I will ever be able to do but I think that we do not talk about this subject enough so here we go.  I am also not giving legal advice on the issue so please consult your broker and attorney when discussing these issues.

Standard of Practice 12-8

The obligation to present a true picture in representations to the public includes information presented, provided, or displayed on Realtors®‘ websites. Realtors® shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that   formation on their websites is current. When it becomes apparent that information on a Realtor®‘s website is no longer current or accurate, Realtors® shall promptly take corrective action. (Adopted 1/07)

My two cents… Online social networking sites, videos, and other multimedia sites that advertise listings for sale must be revised on a regular basis to ensure that we are promoting listings we have for sale currently.  This means that even though I just spent 2 hours producing a video and marketing it I now have to take it down.  We must keep our sites current and not advertise listing not in inventory no matter how cool they are.  Bummer…

Standard of Practice 12-10

Realtors®‘ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits Realtors® from:

1) engaging in deceptive or unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites;

2) manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result; or

3) deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/ methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers.  (Adopted 1/07)

My two cents… This should be common sense but you would be surprised at what is out there.  Graphic design programs can make the deferred maintenance house look like a charmer on the web.  When you arrive at the property have you ever said that this house looks nothing like the one on the internet?  SEO and manipulation of data to mislead consumers is possible for the web experts to implement and difficult to oversee since many new ones are sprouting over night.  These tactics should be examined closely by every member since more buyers are flocking to the net.  Our job as REALTORS is to ensure our websites have the same integrity as the Code of Ethics clearly states and protect the interests of consumers overall.

Standard of Practice 12-11

Realtors® intending to share or sell consumer information gathered via the Internet shall disclose that possibility in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 1/07)

My two cents… Consumers trust us with their largest financial asset.  We should maintain their trust by not selling their data to a third party.  I also believe that every website shoud include a statement, “Thank you for contacting us.  We promised that your information will not be sold to a third party as your confidentiality is important to us.

Standard of Practice 12-12

Realtors® shall not:

1) use URLs or domain names that present less than a true picture, or

2) register URLs or domain names which, if used, would present less than a true picture. (Adopted 1/08)

My two cents… Common sense but sometimes overlooked.  Remember the golden rule?

Standard of Practice 12-13

The obligation to present a true picture in advertising, marketing, and representations allows Realtors® to use and display only professional designations, certifications, and other credentials to which they are legitimately entitled. (Adopted 1/08)

My two cents… Organizations actively police the abuse of misrepresentating designations but it is tough to manage all the new ones that come in, the ones that leave, and the ones that have not fulfilled their requirements to receive the designation.  It is far cheaper to renew the designation rather than recreate your marketing materials to comply or be hunted by the alphabet police.

To Download the most recent copy of the National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics:

http://www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/printable2008Code

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