In layman’s parlance, the terms ‘real estate agents’ and ‘realtors’ are often used interchangeably. But as the inevitability of growth of real estate sector is clear and more professionalism is bound to arrive in the sector, distinguishing between the two is a sine quo non for both investors and consumers.
A ‘real estate agent’ or a ‘real estate salesperson’ is anyone who earn the license of a real estate agent/salesperson etc. Whereas ‘realtors’ is a copyright terminology, which stands naming those particular ‘real estate agents’ who are essentially a member of National association of realtors. The basic premise behind creating such an umbrella organisation was to inculcate professional discipline amongst the real estate agents, increase transparency in their functioning, streamlining their governance structure and prevent professional misconduct towards investors/consumers. Enforceability of these aforementioned objectives was censured by enacting, adapting and adhering to a set of code of ethics which acts as guiding principles and magna carta for such agents post getting their membership of the association.
These code of ethics are a set of 19 canons of professional ethics that needs to be strictly followed by the realtors. Such bullet codes include in them inter-alia avoidance of any exaggeration and misrepresentation by the realtors, non-concealment caveat, avoidance of conflict of interest by inculcating transparency, separate accounts for financial transactions, strict adherence to the law of the land.
Imbibing these professional code of ethics amongst its functioning, realtors are vowing to change their image from mere agents to ‘knowledge professionals’ which facilitates the development of real estate in India by giving a shot to the professionalism of the service which competes amongst a more professional and ethical global market. In addition to that, such strict commandments provide a safe-umbrella for the investors/consumers which essentially boosts their confidence by upbringing the prerequisites of a professional transaction of property. Such self-regulation exercises tends to also decrease the litigation in the courts of law, and thus facilitates swifter mobilization of real estate resources which is a sine qua none for the development of this sector.
In addition to it, it also acts as a credible voice to realtors of India which in furtherance acts a pressure group to appeal for demands from the legislature for a fruitful and progressive development of the sector. Such arrangement makes a win-win situation for both the agents and the clients, thus resulting in creation of a coherent network providing swifter and transparent functioning of the unit.
Moreover real estate agents also accrue great benefits by acquiring this membership and getting branded as a realtor. Such benefits include projection of a credible image of a realtor in the market, networking opportunities, international recognition and visibility, platform for lobbying with the Govt. for benefits, streamlined and time-tested standarded procedures, opportunity for skill upgradation and more importantly a platform for conflict resolution and grievance redressal. In addition to it realtors are also invited to national conventions of realtors which in a learning, rejuvenating and professing experience for the members wherein intricacies and expert discussion on the development of the sector are carried out.
At present, emanating from the lacunas in the system such as professional misconduct, misrepresentation, falsified advertisements, issues in banking transactions, delayed delivery of services etc. impedes the growth of real estate sector. Hence incidence of more realtors is a requirement of the market, thereby conversion of real estate agents to realtors is a call for the good for the sector and the economy therein. Adding to it, the newly legislated real estate regulation bill is all set to overhaul the sector, but without inputs and cooperation from the retail sector of the real estate market, effectiveness and efficacy of such legislation is bound to suffer. Therefore as more and more real estate agents resort to getting their memberships from the NAR, thereby adapting to their code of ethics and professional conducts therein, would ensure a more transparent, streamlined and rapidly progressive growth of real estate sector in India which having more than 160 forward and backward linked industries would give a booster shot to the erstwhile slumped sector, and thus would become a torch-bearer to the growth story of Indian economy in this Asian century.