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What Makes You a Professional REALTOR®?

The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that a profession involves the application of specialized knowledge of a subject to a fee-paying clientele. According to Wikipedia, a profession is a specialized occupation characterized by intensive training and subsequent licensure by a regulatory body.

The word is derived from Latin, meaning to swear an oath. That oath is based upon adherence to ethical standards which include client confidentiality, truthfulness and striving to be an expert. There is also a stipulation about upholding the good name of the profession.

Starting to sound familiar? Your REALTOR® Membership defines you as a professional. SAR, with the state and national REALTOR® organization, has been doing so for over 100 years.

Along with this overriding benefit, there are tangible savings, discounts and value that you receive through your Membership in the REALTOR® organization.

One Key Element of a Profession is Education
Excellence in educational programming is a prime and perennial benefit of SAR Membership. You can take all of the courses that you need for license renewal at a Member discount of at least $10 each course. You are also entitled to knowledgeable advice at no charge on how to renew your license.
 
SAR has an aggressive committee that continues to churn out fresh ideas about the courses you need in an ever-changing market. The Real Estate Training Institute, Broker Training Institute and other live courses taught by seasoned Members are unique to SAR.

We have the resources to bring you the entire Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (G.R.I.) Designation each year. The Commercial Division has also received national attention and is bringing Certified Commercial Investment Manager (C.C.I.M.) Designation courses to Sacramento.

Open Forums bring more information your way each month. The Real Estate Finance Forum reports on the full spectrum of lending instruments and rates available. The Public Issues Forum (formerly Legislative) invites elected officials to share their views and issues with you. The Broker/Manager Forum is led by your President-Elect Ron Greenwood and provides updates to help you make informed business decisions.

The Fall Conference (was Business and Technology Expo) will again generate more knowledge through exhibits and presentations by national speakers to keep you ahead of your clients.

Another is Legal Interpretations and Self-Regulation
How much does it cost to call a lawyer about an issue concerning a transaction or an individual involved in the transaction? How many times a year do you need to make those calls? As a Member, you can make them at no charge by calling the Legal Hotline at the California Association, where 15 seasoned real estate attorneys are available to help you.

You can also get free advice by attending the Membership meeting each year when Gov Hutchinson, who heads the Hotline, speaks at SAR. Breaking legal news is given by Past President Dave Tanner at Broker/Manager Forum.

Self-regulation through a code of ethics is a central characteristic of a profession. Did you know that the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, adopted nationally in 1913, formed the basis of real estate departments and standards in each state?

The Code and the administration of Professional Standards at SAR raise the level of conduct in the marketplace and provide Members with cost-saving in house dispute resolution services. You can take advantage of inexpensive and expert Mediation with others and it can even be arranged for your clients. You also have available the arbitration and ethics complaint process and the new Citation program to keep your professional activities running in a fair and efficient manner.

All Professions Have Power
The California Association estimates that the REALTOR® Action Fund saves each Member nearly $13,738...

  • $4,589 by lobbying that stops point-of-sale mandates
  • $4,783 by lobbying to retain the deductibility of mortgage interest
  • $812 saved by blocking frivolous lawsuits.

SAR, the California and the National Associations of REALTORS® all have qualified staff who lobby and advocate on behalf of you, the Member. Think of $197 – The True Cost of Doing Business - as an insurance policy to protect your profession from onerous regulations. You also help your clients because the REALTOR® organization is unique in going beyond its Members’ issues to protect private property rights as well.

Each Profession Relies on Specialized Tools and Information
As a Member, you save $599 on Winforms alone. There are products bearing the REALTOR® logo that are exclusive to Members only. You can realize big savings through Member discounts of 10 to 70 percent on other products through the SAR Retail Center and its affinity programs with such companies as Office Depot. Stop by the Center or visit realtysupplycenter.com.

You stay current through the newsletters, magazines, email updates press releases and statistics provided and compiled exclusively for REALTORS®. The free library is available at SAR and each level of the federation has Members-only areas of rich websites keeping you ahead of consumers on real estate-related matters. Visit saccommercial.org, car.org and realtor.org to find all of the information that you need to remain current in the profession.

Professional Groups Have Strength in Numbers
Guaranteed health coverage is a highly valuable aspect of belonging to a group of professionals. You are eligible for medical, dental and vision coverage through SAR and the State Association.

Networking – perhaps the most important activity that a client-based professional can pursue – is available at little or no cost to you at SAR. Through the Open Forums, Main and Regional Membership Meetings, courses and events, you have numerous opportunities each week to meet other professionals from all specialties in the industry.

You also have a trained and dedicated staff of 24 individuals here to serve you, Monday through Saturday, with your professional needs.

Public Service and Altruism
This work is an important characteristic of a profession. Since you earn fees from clients in the community, professionals render service in the public interest.

In the April 10, 2009 issue of The Sacramento Business Journal , SAR was ranked 14th among philanthropic corporations in Sacramento and was the only trade association to make the list. This ranking does not take into account the thousands of hours of your volunteer work or the time and money that you give to the CanTree and SAR Scholarship Trust and outside of Sacramento to the C.A.R. Housing Affordability Fund and in aid to stricken communities.

The effort and heart that SAR Members give back to the community underscores your professionalism and truly makes Sacramento a Better Place to Call Home.