Join EDGE (Ethics, Diversity, Goals, Excellence) NEFAR’s new professional society
To be a successful REALTOR® in Northeast Florida, it is important for real estate professionals to adhere to high ethical standards and understand how to do business in a progressive multicultural environment. Joining Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® new professional society, EDGE, is the way to demonstrate to your clients that you have reached this pinnacle of professionalism.
Designed to educate REALTOR® members in a way that enhances their professionalism, EDGE represents an acronym that stands for Ethics, Diversity, Goals, Excellence. The new society is open to all NEFAR REALTOR® members who complete six specific certifications, including several sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS®, and have obtained a minimum of 30 points by completing several approved courses during each three-year renewal period. Also, it is imperative that EDGE members are not found to be in violation of the Code of Ethics during the previous five years.
“Continual work to maintain and improve professionalism within our membership is vital to our industry, but it is also an investment of time and money on the involved member’s behalf. We believe it is important for those members to be recognized for their efforts and provide them the opportunity to distinguish themselves as achieving this professionalism award and status to their customers and to the public.” — Missi Howell, president of Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS®
Certifications required to achieve the new award are:
At Home with Diversity (AHWD)
AHWD is a NAR certification that helps REALTORS® develop an increased awareness of cultural and personal biases that may inhibit them from fully embracing diversity and creating multicultural real estate businesses. In the class, participants learn inclusive, multicultural marketing and advertising strategies and how to formulate an inclusive business plan to help them negotiate cultural barriers within a rapidly changing real estate industry.
Not a course, class, or designation, C2EX is more of an “endorsement” that REALTORS® can promote when serving clients and other REALTORS®. To earn C2EX, REALTORS® begin by logging on to c2EX.realtor and taking any one of 11 self-assessments to measure proficiency in 10 aspects of professionalism (11 for brokers), ranging from customer service to technology. The platform generates a customized learning path and recommends experiences and resources to enhance the REALTORS®’ individual skillset. As industry standards and best practices evolve, new content, reference, and resource materials are added to the platform so that REALTORS® who have already earned their C2EX endorsement can keep their skills and knowledge up to date.
Implicit Bias Training
NAR’s Implicit bias video, Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing, which runs for 55 minutes, illustrates how the human brain’s automatic, instant association of stereotypes with certain groups can cause people to unfairly treat people who are different. Scientific evidence also suggests such bias can persist despite best intentions and often without conscious awareness. The video helps viewers to develop strategies to override bias to convey respect, ensure fairness, and improve business relationships. The video is a precursor to a more in-depth training curriculum being developed for real estate brokers to deliver to their licensees.
NAR launched Fairhaven, a new fair housing simulation training for REALTORS®, by using the power of storytelling to help them identify, prevent, and address discriminatory practices in real estate. In the innovative online experience, agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination within the homebuying process. Participants also walk in the shoes of the homebuyer who faces discrimination. The training provides customized feedback that can be applied to daily business interactions.
Gold Key certification
NEFAR’s eight-hour Gold Key course assists REALTORS® in developing and implementing business strategies – the “keys to success” – that help to make their business and personal actions more professional every day.
Code of Ethics training or Business Ethics
Take a Code of Ethics course that is required and approved by NAR and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for license renewal education. This does not include the free NAR Code of Ethics course because that course does NOT meet the business ethics requirement by DBPR.
EDGE members must also continue to maintain and renew their commitment to professionalism by obtaining a minimum of 30 points from completing the following approved courses every three years.
Examples of courses that may be used for renewal:
- Code of Ethics renewal – 3 points
- Professional Standards training – 5 points
- 14-hour license renewal – 3 points
- Affordable Housing Solutions – 5 points
- Assistance Animals and Fair Housing – 5 points
- Breaking Barriers – Fair Housing – 5 points
- Did you serve? Identifying homebuying advantages for vets – 5 points
- Diversity: Your Kaleidoscope of Clients – 5 points
Checklist of requirements to join EDGE
To apply candidates should submit an email to designations@NEFAR.com with the following documentation:
- Certification of Completion of AHWD.
- Copy of Certification of Completion of C2EX.
- Copy of Certificate of Completion of Code of Ethics or a copy of applicant’s license renewal business education.
- Written statement of commitment expressing that the applicant operates his/her business with integrity and ethics while respecting others.
- Copy of a one-page written paper expressing what was learned about the applicant’s personal bias from NAR’s Implicit Bias video and what really needs to change for the applicant to become more professional in his/her business.
- Certificate of Completion of NAR’s Fairhaven simulation.
- Certificate of Completion of the Gold Key certification along with a list of the changes needed in the applicant’s personal behavior and business so he/she can be recognized as a true professional in the real estate industry.
- Verification that the applicant has had no violations of the Code of Ethics in the last five years.
- Verification that the applicant holds an active NEFAR REALTOR® membership.
- $25 FDLE background check fee. IMPORTANT: In the application email please indicate that you authorize NEFAR to obtain a FDLE background check to verify the applicant has no convictions that may reflect discredit to the purpose of EDGE.
Once your application email has been submitted a member of the EDGE task force will review your information and send you an invoice for the $25 background check fee.
All applications are subject to approval by the EDGE task force within 30 days of receipt of the application.