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RESA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct



Members of the Real Estate Staging Association® are required to conduct their professional business in a manner that shows respect for clients, colleagues, fellow members, business vendors, and the profession. 


Members agree to uphold the Code of Ethics, bylaws, mission, and vision of the Real Estate Staging Association®. 


1.0 Responsibilities to The Public


1.1 Members will comply with all federal state and local laws with regard to the formation of their business. 


1.2 Members shall not use misleading advertising promotions.


1.3 Members will only use examples of their own work in their portfolio and online postings.


1.4 Members will not act in any way that violates or may appear to violate antitrust laws.

1.5 
Members will not use AI generated images in their portfolio or online and say or insinuate they are examples of their staging work. All AI generated images must be labeled as such.

1.6 Members using virtual staging photos or renderings must be disclosed as such.



2.0 Obligation to Clients


2.1 Members have an obligation to communicate clearly and truthfully to their clients in both verbal and written communications regarding contract terms, fees, and conditions. 


2.2 Members have an obligation to never disclose confidential information about clients to other parties. 


2.3 Members have an obligation to conduct themselves with honesty, integrity, and professionalism at all times. 


2.4 Members shall not promise clients or potential clients a specific outcome regarding the use of staging. 


2.5 Members will consider the health and welfare of their clients when creating policies and procedures for client projects. 


2.6 Members have an obligation to not accept a project unless they are confident and competent to perform the required services. 


2.7 Members are required to perform to the best of their ability when servicing client projects. 


2.8 Members shall not deny equal professional services or discriminate against any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. 



3.0 Obligations to Colleagues and Other Industry Professionals


3.1 Members shall not intentionally make false or misleading statements in any form that discredits or defames the character of another colleague or industry professional. 


3.2 If a member is working for another company they must receive written permission to use photographs of their work product if they wish to use it outside of the employing company’s objectives. 


3.3 Members will follow all employment laws, regulations, and hiring practices. 



4.0 Obligations to the Profession


4.1 Members have an obligation to conduct their business practices with honesty, integrity, and professionalism. 


4.2 Members shall continue to improve their skills and knowledge with regard to the profession. 


4.3 Members when possible will be encouraging and helpful to other colleagues and industry professionals. 



5.0 Obligations to Employers


5.1 Members who are separating from an employer shall not take any proprietary information, designs, reports, notes, client lists, photographs without the permission of their employer. 


5.2 Members will not disparage, reveal confidential or proprietary information about the employer to others. 

 



RESA® Ethics/Grievance Procedures

 

Complaint Process: 

 

Complaints must be submitted with a valid name, phone number and email in order to be considered. If the reporting person wishes to remain anonymous to the person they are submitting the complaint against, they are required to provide indisputable proof of a RESA® COE violation to be provided using the form provided. The petitioner must be available for further clarification or communication from HQ, the National BOD or the Ethics Committee. Complaints without valid contact information will not be considered.

 

The petitioner should exhaust every avenue to resolve the dispute on their own. Grievances should not be taken lightly and great thought and care should be taken before filing a grievance. 

 

 

 

6.0 Procedure for Filing an Ethics Complaint When there is a Petitioner and Respondent

6.1 The individual against whom an ethics complaint is made must be a current member of RESA®.

6.2 The complaint must be made by filling out a written ethics complaint form within 90-days of the incident.

6.3 The RESA® Board of Directors will review the complaint and determine if the complaint may violate the COE. If the board determines the complaint does not violate the COE the petitioner is notified. If the board determines there may be a violation of the COE, the board will appoint an Ethics Committee that will review the complaint.

6.4 The Ethics Chairperson will be established in order to oversee a committee in accordance with the RESA® bylaws.

6.5 RESA HQ will forward the petitioner’s complaint to the member for a written response. The member will have 21 days to respond.

6.6 Upon receipt of the member’s response the ethics committee will review their response and if the COE was violated they will make a recommendation to the board.

6.7 The board will receive the committee’s recommendations. The board will decide what, if any, disciplinary action will be taken. Any action involving termination or suspension of membership will require a hearing of the Board of Directors in compliance with RESA's bylaws.

6.8 Both parties will be sent a PDF letter via email advising them of the outcome of the committee’s findings.

 

WITNESS STATEMENTS: 

If you have witness statements they must be written and signed by the witness. They must also be willing to go on record and may be asked to provide information via phone or Zoom.

 

Legal Issues: 

The Ethics committee cannot determine “legal issues”. Should either party feel their issue is of legal merit they should consult legal counsel. The committee will only determine if the Code of Ethics was violated and determine an appropriate resolution and discipline, if warranted. 

 

Time Frame: 

While every effort is made to ensure a speedy process. The Ethics Committee will provide a written report with their determination to the National Board of Directors for approval. 

 

Communicating the Outcome: 

HQ will distribute the Ethics Committee’s findings to both parties. If disciplinary action is required, it will be communicated to the parties involved. 

 

Ethics Committee Requirements: 

● Must be a RESA® Member 

● Must not have any previous Ethics Complaints 

● Must sign a Confidentiality Agreement 

● The Ethics Committee members will be anonymous to the Petitioner and Respondent and shall remain anonymous during and after the proceeding. This is to preserve the integrity of the committee, prevent “tampering” from petitioners and respondents and to prevent fallout should either party disagree with the outcome. 

 

 

Appeals 

If due process was not followed or if new information comes to light within 30-days that would have changed the final outcome. An appeal may be filed with the RESA® National Board of Directors. 

 

Disciplinary Actions 

 

Verbal Warning 

General Advice on how to handle differently in the future or advised by the Ethics Committee not to repeat said behavior in the future. 

 

Written Warning 

The Ethics Committee may deem a grievance so severe they do have the ability to issue a written warning upon unanimous vote by all members of the Ethics Committee reviewing the grievance. A written warning consists of instruction on said behavior and stipulates prohibited behavior in the future. 

 

Expulsion from Membership 

After 3 written warnings regardless of the subject matter the member will be expelled from RESA® Membership for the term of 1 yr. If the member returns to RESA® and receives 3 more written warnings they will be expelled from RESA® for life. 

 

Automatic Expulsion 

If the Ethics Committee feels the situation calls for immediate expulsion they will take the situation to the National Board with a recommendation for expulsion. The National Board will vote and determine if the situation warrants immediate expulsion. Majority vote determines the outcome. 

 

Tracking Violations 

Violations will be tracked in the Notes Section of the Member Profile on the RESA® Site. This section is not available for view by the public or members and only viewable by admin staff. 

 

Questions Should Be Directed To: Shell@RESA®-hq.org 

 

To File an Ethics Complaint Fill Out the Form Below