Not too long ago, REALTORS were unified, often claiming to be neither Democrat nor Republican but members of the REALTOR Party. Today, however, the polarization in our country is reflected in the real estate community. And the recent changes to the NAR Code of Ethics, specifically Standard of Practice 10-5, seem to have pushed us even farther apart. So, how are these changes likely to affect REALTORS in practice? Can we be more inclusive without favoring one political party over another?
Laura Farley serves as General Counsel at the Virginia REALTORS Association, and she has more than 10 years of experience handling and supervising professional standards cases. Prior to joining the state association, Laura was an attorney for the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS. On this episode of Industry Relations, Laura joins Rob and Greg to provide an overview of the three major changes to NAR’s Code of Ethics and offer insight into how those changes might impact real estate professionals now that the professional standards apply to everything a REALTOR does, real estate related or not.
Laura explains why NAR’s list of protected classes in Standard of Practice 10-5 is more inclusive than a lot of states and addresses the subjective nature of determining intent as well as the concerns that 10-5 gives some REALTORS more speech rights than others. She also discusses the significance of removing the word ‘willful’ from NAR’s definition of public trust, introducing us to the concept of disparate impact—and why it may or may not apply to Article 10. Listen in for Laura’s insight on how 10-5 has further polarized the REALTOR community and get her take on the best possible outcome around the revised Code of Ethics.
Laura’s decade of legal experience with professional standards cases
Laura’s overview of the 3 major changes to the NAR Code of Ethics
Why NAR’s list of protected classes is more inclusive than most state lists
The significance of the word ‘use’ in Standard of Practice 10-5 (REALTORS must not ‘use’ harassing speech, hate speech, epithets or slurs)
The controversy around how 10-5 gives some REALTORS more speech rights than others
The subjective nature of determining an agent’s intent to harm, hurt or harass
How Laura thinks about the concerns of REALTORS on the political right re: implicit bias
The significance of removing the word ‘willful’ from the definition of public trust
The concept of disparate impact and why it may or may not apply to Article 10
How the change to 10-5 has further polarized the REALTOR community
Connect with Laura:
Connect with Rob and Greg:
Laura’s Code of Ethics Update Video
Virginia REALTORS Code of Ethics Resources
NAR’s Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice
Rob’s Post on an Alternative to the New Speech Code
Virginia REALTORS Diversity & Inclusion PAG
Rob’s Post on Disparate Impact