Late last year, OREA Real College began a project to determine the feasibility of developing a set of professional standards for REALTORS®. The standards would represent the hallmark of professionalism in our sector. Rather than requirements, these would be standards of excellence that real estate professionals would aspire to, practise, and achieve.
In February, we determined feasibility and proceeded with development and compilation of the Standards of Professional Excellence for REALTORS® in Ontario. Our goal is to complete development and begin distribution of the standards with precise measures before the end of this year.
There are seven proposed standards, each accompanied by an action statement that is both descriptive and reinforcing. One document features the Preamble, Standards of Excellence and Action Statement Descriptors. This is the core document, as the Preamble and Standards of Excellence must be able to stand alone for impact and display purposes. A second document additionally includes measures for each standard. This is under development. We believe that these Standards of Excellence should be measureable in order to be credible and effective. The measurement tools provide for self-measurement by the registrant, measurement by brokers and/or measurement by the College. Measurement enables us to track application and efficacy and, potentially in the long term, changes in registrants’ conduct.
We have just started Phase 3 of the project, covering Steps 9 to 17 in the timeline. In this phase, we will conduct three major activities: Development of the measurement tools, further engagement of members in the project, and implementation of the first wave of a communication/distribution strategy to build awareness and support for the standards. In December, we also plan to conduct spot research to test the immediate reaction of brokers and registrants to the standards, as well as identify early application experiences.
The Board of Directors will be provided with another update on this project in the fall.