California association publishes members’ ethics violations

The California Association of Realtors is implementing a new policy: It’s publishing on its website a monthly summary of disciplinary actions by the California Department of Real Estate (the rough equivalent of DPOR and VREB here in Virginia).

In California (as, I suspect, most states), that information is publically available. CAR is just making it easier to find. The change is a result by an association ethics task force that recommended, among other things, that "Punishment for unethical behavior should be published and significant enough to deter future unethical behavior."

In Virginia, that information is also available, but it’s not quite so easy to find. VREB used to run the list quarterly in its "VREB Speaking" newsletter, but that hasn’t been published in a while.

(Instead, the easiest way we’ve found is to go to the License Lookup page and search on "Real Estate," sorting the results by date. Clunky, but mostly effective.)

But California is doing more. Rather than just publish the bare-bones information ("Jane Doe was cited for blah-blah-blah"), the staff there goes through the hearing documents and tells the full story — context is often critical, and it makes the site less of a gossip fueling station.

Guess what? We’ve been doing that, too — we’ve been publishing the most interesting VREB cases in the "Life Lessons" sections of every issue of Commonwealth for years, including the stories behind the discipline. The only difference? We change the names. ;-)

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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One Response to California association publishes members’ ethics violations

  1. Remember, you can always check the VREB meeting minutes to see every disciplinary action ordered against licensees (just go to the Meetings & Minutes tab on the board page at It’s the bare-bones info–which regulation violated, sanction imposed–so you would then need to go to License Lookup and download the actual order to get the full story on what happened.

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