Last week in New Orleans, Realtors from all across the United States met to vote on proposals to raise the bar for members’ professional standards.

Ed Fuller

Ed Fuller

They agreed to create a new Code of Excellence that will encourage agents to go above and beyond the National Association of Realtors’ Code of Ethics.

For more than a dozen years, the association has taken measures to encourage professionalism, including passing a Code of Ethics training requirement, rolling out new designations and certifications, and establishing a master’s in real estate program through Realtor University.

Under the aspirational Code of Excellence, Realtors would develop and maintain competencies that directly relate to the relationships they establish and build in the course of carrying out their jobs. These competencies include taking an active role in promoting property rights; building safe, prosperous communities; and staying current with technological and business trends that relate to the real estate profession.

Another proposal approved will require Realtors to complete education in the Code of Ethics and the Code of Excellence, when fully adopted, every two years instead of every four.

And, as consumers increasingly rely on ratings in selecting professionals with whom they do business, the National Association of Realtors will also construct a rating template for use by sites and organizations in evaluating Realtors.

This will provide consumers with a rating of agents that will be uniform and accurate, and include information that the industry and clients consider most important.

Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.