Realtor Ethics, MAR Installation Luncheon and Open House Hours

Good day MAR members!

It’s official: Happy Holidays! With a late Thanksgiving this year, it will be a mad dash in the coming weeks as we try to cram five weeks of the holiday season into a little over four weeks. I myself tried to get a little extra exercise this past weekend, but mother nature got in the way with this pesky weather. We certainly need the rain, so no complaints here. My lawn is green again, which probably makes my neighbors happy.

I texted one of my clients who bought a house this year that happens to be in a flood zone: make sure your sump pump is working! When he asked why, I told him it was supposed to rain Marin-style this week. While it’s been a slow and steady rain so far, the internets are telling me that big things might be in store for us mid-week. So clean those gutters, test the sump pumps and clear the drains.

We have this nice Maui-like rain flow…no cold. The last few years, it’s been downright frigid this time of year, with temps regularly getting down into the 20s every morning at my house. This year, there has only been one morning in the 30s, and at 39 degrees it’s a far cry from the dry, cold winters we’ve been having. Personally, I don’t care if it freezes once this winter, but a nice cold snap would get rid of the flies, which seem much more numerous this year. When breaking down and purchasing a fly swatter a couple of weeks back, the woman at Fairfax Hardware told my wife that there has been a crazy run on fly swatters this year…worst ever. She theorized it was because of everyone’s fashionable backyard chickens…

LAST CALL FOR MAR INSTALLATION LUNCHEON

There are still spots left for next Tuesday’s MAR Installation Luncheon. Come join in on the fun as we install MAR’s 2015 President Matt Hughes and the rest of his leadership team. You’re in for a treat with Imran Poladi as the installing officer and MAR member Kevin Patsel as our Master of Ceremonies. Imran is always inspiring, as a super successful REALTOR® and a young man who has battled cancer and come out on the winning end. MAR will also be presenting the 2014 awards, including the coveted REALTOR® of the Year, and the Marin Women’s Council of REALTORS® will be installing WCR 2015 President John Zeiter and his leadership team. You can click HERE to register.

BROKERS’ OPEN HOUSE HOURS UPDATE

Last week, I wrote again about the hours throughout Marin on brokers’ open houses, and encouraged all of you to keep your houses open the first week for the full scheduled time of the tour. Just as last time, a bunch of you reached out to thank me for bringing up the issue, particularly that of the increasingly popular and ever-annoying 11-1 brokers’ tour during the first week of a listing.

Thank you also to MAR Board Member Sylvia Berry for bringing to my attention the revised hours of the Novato Tour. Apparently, our Novato members recently voted to change the hours of the Novato tour to 10 AM-1 PM, which moves the previous start and finish back 30 minutes.

Thanks again to everyone for your feedback on this issue!

REALTOR® ETHICS

Last year, MAR’s 2013 President Jack Wilkinson talked a lot about Realtor ethics. Jack is very proud of his Realtor pin, and takes the increased responsibility of being a Realtor very seriously. Without a Realtor designation, you’re simply a licensee…someone who has to obey the law but who can shrug off the added responsibility that the Realtor Code of Ethics brings.

2013 was the year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Realtor Code of Ethics. Be proud of your Code of Ethics. It differentiates us from the other licensees who have the freedom to run a “looser” business model. There is accountability, and consequences for bad behavior. MAR runs a Grievance Committee and a Professional Standards committee under the leadership of our Professional Standards Administrator Linda Bianchi. If you have a beef with someone, there is a forum and a process to get that issue heard and resolved within the constructs of the Realtor Code of Ethics. This includes members of the public: they too can have any grievance addressed.

By and large, the members of the Marin Association of Realtors are a pretty darned ethical group. When I go away to CAR, I hear stories of questionable behavior that I honestly don’t hear about here. Ethical lapses do occur, however. Earlier this year, I learned that an agent who had clients in backup position on one of my listings went into escrow on another property two days later with those same clients and remained in backup position on my listing for two more weeks. No harm was ultimately done, as the primary buyers purchased the house, but this was bad behavior to say the least.

It’s good every once in a while to review what we stand for. The Realtor Code of Ethics is also a long list, an 8-page pdf that deals with the added responsibility of being a Realtor. As we reflect on our year and plan for 2015, take a minute and review the Realtor Code of Ethics. You can read it here, and I’d describe it as a good use of your time.

That’s it for now. I hope to see you at next week’s MAR Installation!

I wish you a safe and prosperous week.

Blaine

Blaine Morris

2014 President