Promoting professionalism and courtesy in our industry

Columbus REALTORS® President Sara Walsh created the “Raise the Bar” Presidential Advisory Group for finding ways to promote a greater level of professionalism and courtesy for our industry here at the local level. I am honored to co-chair this special committee with Barbara Lach.

The advisory group includes the following members and staff: Ben Calhoon, Stan Collins, JP Faulkner, Sonja Hefner, Steve Heiser, Ben Hemmert, Greg Kullman, Susan Mullenix, Donald Payne, Jr., Angie Travis, Charlotte Van Steyn, Sue Van Woerkom, and Katie Zachrich. Sara, Barbara and I are thankful for the dedication of these individuals to this committee and its mission.

We would also like to express our appreciation to the Board of Directors for its support of this new special committee.

The mission statement of this committee is “To identify methods to increase member commitment to, and participation in, best ethical practices and professional conduct for the benefit of the real estate industry and the public.”

The committee began meeting in February to discuss current observations and suggested remedies to issues many of us have been experiencing in our interactions with our peers. While the committee members agreed these issues were observed in both new and experienced agents, it was concluded that the first step the committee could put forward would be to influence new members during the new member orientation classes.

Columbus REALTORS® has offered New Member Orientation for decades and, although there have been various incentives in place over the years to encourage attendance, it has never been a strict enforcement of the requirement to attend. After suggesting a possible enforcement mechanism to the Brokers Advisory Council and finding them in agreement with the suggestion, the Raise the Bar Committee recommended that our Board of Directors make attendance at New Member Orientation a requirement for continued access to the electronic key system. This action was ratified at the Board of Directors meeting on May 23, 2018.

Therefore, beginning Sept. 1, new REALTORS® will be required to take Columbus REALTORS® New Member Orientation within 30 days of obtaining their electronic key box access. After 30 days, if the member has not attended New Member Orientation, key box access will be turned off until such orientation has been completed. Once an online orientation is available, new members will be required to take the orientation prior to obtaining key box access.

The committee is continuing to research and pursue other possible improvements for the benefit of our members and the public, and we welcome the input of our fellow members. Please feel free to reach out to me, Barbara or any of the committee members with any ideas you may have that would help fulfill the mission of this committee.