CODE OF ETHICS
Code of Conduct:
A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities and proper practices for an individual, party or organization. Related concepts include ethical, honour and moral codes. The code of conduct can also be considered a guide of principles that is designed to help professionals conduct business honestly and with integrity. As a part of the code of conduct, there is a code of ethics that outlines the mission and values of the business or organization, how professionals are supposed to approach problems, the ethical principles based on the organization's core values and the standards to which the professional will be held. Breaking the code of ethics can result in termination or dismissal from an organization. A code of ethics is important because it clearly lays out the standards for behaviour and provides a preemptive warning for breaking the code. A code of ethics issued by a business is a particular kind of policy statement. A properly framed code is a form of legislation within the company that is binding to its employees with specific sanctions for violation of the code.
Four Honourable Principles of GREL Ethics:
GREL Principle of Ethics I
Individuals shall honour their responsibility for the welfare of persons they serve professionally or who are participants in any kind of service they are providing in the capacity of a real estate business.
GREL Principle of Ethics II
Individuals shall honour their responsibility to achieve and maintain the highest level of professional competence and performance.
GREL Principle of Ethics III
Individuals shall honour their responsibility to the public by promoting public understanding of the profession, by supporting the development of services designed to fulfill the needs of the public, and by providing accurate information in all communications involving any aspect of the business.
GREL Principle of Ethics IV
Individuals shall honour their responsibilities to the profession and their relationships with colleagues, students, and members of other professions and disciplines.
The preservation of the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles is a vital obligation of any firm or individual connected with the real estate industry. Real estate professionals should practice their profession in a way that contributes to the implementation of customs and codes and in compliance with the principles of human dignity, truth, justice and strengthens the confidence of the society. The real estate professionals themselves are responsible for these obligations and maintaining professional conduct and behaviour. This ensures high standards of behaviour while supporting members in fulfilling their roles in rapidly changing environments. A violation of any rule should not cause action against GREL nor should it create any presumption. A violation of a rule will result in a suspended Licence and in extreme cases, the Licence will be revoked. The rules are designed to provide guidance to professionals and firms, as well as provide a structure for regulating conduct through disciplinary agencies. A violation of a rule may be evidence of a breach in the standard of conduct. Through this code, the institution can ensure that the highest standards are consistently maintained among its members. All members must commit to uphold and maintain the standards set out in the code, which includes the spirit of the code as well as its written terms, and must agree to comply with all reasonable requests to investigate breaches of the code. Members must act in good faith and take all reasonable steps to resolve disputes and breaches of the code before official complaints for breach are made to the Professional Conduct Committee.
Extension of Code:
The provision of this code will apply to all members of GREL community. Nothing in this code is intended to affect the provisions of the associations or board rules around the world, members who are affiliated with any additional association or board, are bound to act in accordance with these codes as well. Violation of customary rules will be considered as a member violation.
No member should deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, colour, religion, sex, disability, marital status, nationality, sexual orientation, or gender identity. GREL members shall not participate in any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of discrimination.
In their professional practice all members shall actively pursue ethical logic in their daily practice. Members should introduce new and more accomplished ethical elements into their practice at all times.
Chapter I Professionalism and GREL membership:
Article 1 Professional Competence
A professional shall provide competent representation to a client, which requires relevant knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation. Members are expected to master certain managerial competencies including mobilizing innovation and change, managing people, tasks and communicating within the customary professional boundaries. These standards enable the professional to maintain technical competencies, communicate with clients and deliver professional services effectively. Under GREL, the individual will be highly competent and responsible for their actions.
1.1 Professional Obligation
Members should avoid actions or situations that are inconsistent with their professional obligations. If members find themselves in such a situation, they should remove themselves from it as soon as possible. In the most serious circumstances, they should withdraw from their contractual obligations. Members should not be party to any statement that they know to be untrue, misleading, unfair to others, or contrary to their own professional knowledge. Members should seek appropriate advice when faced with a situation that they recognize as being outside their own or their organization's experience, knowledge or competence.
Article 2 Validity of membership
No member shall continue their practice under GREL if they have not renewed their membership, as per their annual renewal. Licence holders must renew their membership to be considered an active GREL licence holder, regardless of the edition type.
ARTICLE 2(A) Period of membership
Members can hold the Licence for a period of 1 year from the date of certification completed. Licence will holder will have a period of 90 days to be able to complete their licence from the date of purchase. Once complete, licence holders have agreed to pay the annual renewal fee for continuous use of their account and to maintain an active licence.
Chapter II Professional Dignity:
Article 3 PERSONALITY
A member shall be mindful in their practice to preserve personal dignity as well as the dignity of the real estate profession. Professionals are also expected to uphold this behaviour in their personal lives beyond the practice to maintain the good reputation of the Licence.
Members shall always observe the rules of good manners and should be distinguished for their humane approach and respect of human dignity. Members should maintain a high level of cultured relations between people as well as for assertion of educational influences.
Members shall remain unconditionally and fully independent from any external influence when deciding how to represent their clients appropriately, responsibly and efficiently. All activity shall prove sincere and strengthen the loyalty and professional solidarity in their mutual relations with others.
Members are expected to act with integrity in all their professional activities. This means acting with honesty, fairness and impartiality at all times and not allowing themselves to be improperly influenced either by self-interest or the interests of others.
3.4 Beliefs and Values
Members are expected to understand and manage the impact of their own beliefs, values and behaviours in their business dealings and interactions with others. As well as use sound professional judgment when endorsing, advertising, supplying or selling particular services or products. And, provide truthful and accurate information including when advertising and promoting services. Members should disclose any financial benefit that they expect to receive through endorsement or advertising, declare any conflict of interest, and recognize the potential impact of their personal behaviour, lifestyle and activity outside work.
Chapter III Relation between Clients, consumers and Members:
Article 4 Cooperation
A member shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client's best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.
4.1 Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority
Members may take such action on behalf of the client as authorized to carry out the representation. A member shall not work with or assist any client that they know is involved in criminal or fraudulent activity.
4.2 Mutual Assistance
Members shall assist each other in every practical way and shall conduct themselves with loyalty towards their fellow members and their institution.
4.3 Members and Investors
Members shall not become involved with any kind of investments that come through illegal sources under International law. Note: Illegal means any kind of source e.g. money laundering, human trafficking or any other which under their state laws are illegal or under International law.
Article 5 Respect For Members and Associations
Members must be respectful to each other and shall not intentionally seek to damage other members’ reputation or business. Members must not deliberately approach another member's client with an intention to damage their reputation.
5.1 Associations Memberships
Members must be respectful to their association and bound to follow rules laid out by the association of their state.
5.2 State Authority for GREL
Members shall hold the real estate Licence of their state for practice where statutory bodies have the authority to issue Licences. Members will abide by their local authority and follow their guidelines.
(a) No member shall continue practice under GREL if they are disqualified by their state authorities.
(b)No member shall hold the GREL brand if they are boycotted in their own state associations.
Article 6 TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS
Members shall act with personal and professional integrity to clients. In practice, all members shall never lose their independence and objectivity, and shall always remain decent, kind and realistic in relation to the opposing parties.
6.1 Client instruction
Any member shall keep their clients informed of their performance and action, and shall instruct them on the actual situation and all issues related to real estate business.
6.2 Representation Cost
A member shall inform the client of the approximate representation cost as well as of the respective risk of any project related to real estate.
Article 7 Confidentiality
Members shall maintain complete confidentiality at all times and treat any information that may come to them in the course of their work as privileged information, not to be communicated to any third party. They shall also require all those assisting them in their work to be similarly bound.
7.1 General Privilege
No member shall derive any gain from privileged information acquired in the course of work undertaken. Additionally, no member shall disclose privileged information about other members.
Article 8 Conflicts of Interest
A members personal, private, religious, political or financial interests should not conflict with their duties and obligations to their clients. If such a conflict should arise, it should be declared to the client and if the conflict is unacceptable or cannot be resolved, the member should withdraw from the contract and contractual obligations.
Chapter V Regulatory Compliance:
Article 9 Maintain Legal and Regulatory Compliance
In the ordinary course of business members will conduct their business activities in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations in all jurisdictions in which they operate, including laws and regulations on bribery, corruption and prohibited business practices in the countries in which they conduct business. The GREL certification will not make any offer, payment, consideration or benefit of any kind that constitutes an illegal or corrupt practice, either directly or indirectly.
9.1 Members Adhere to Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Requirements
9.2 False Statement
A member shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals or their business practices.
9.3 Misuse of Brand
No one shall misuse the brand's name. Strict legal action will be taken as per their state laws and international law against any individual whose intention is to misuse the brand’s name or damage company’s reputation.
Article 10 Legal Assistance
No one shall engage in activities that constitute as unauthorized in the practice of the real estate business.
Chapter VI Corruption and Bribery
Article 11 Acting Corruptly
The Institute shall regard members as acting corruptly if they give or offer a gift or advantage to someone with the intention of persuading them to act against their professional obligations or the interests of those to whom they owe a duty. Members who request or accept an act of bribery shall be regarded as acting corruptly in every matter related to real estate industry and will be accountable as per their own state laws. No member shall accept remuneration from any party that could be construed as a bribe.
Article 12 Amendments
This code may be amended from time to time by a majority decision of the institute's members or at an annual or extraordinary general meeting, provided that due notice in writing is given.
Article 13 Advertising
In advertising their services, members must ensure that the information they include is factual and relevant, does not mislead and is not unfair to anyone else. All marketing and promotional material should be legal, decent, honest, truthful, and respect the principles of fair competition.
13.1 Use of Brand’s Name In Advertisement
No one shall use the name of the brand in advertising if they are not a member of GREL or if their membership has expired or if any disciplinary action has been taken by the organization.
Article 14 Reporting Misconduct
Members who know that another member has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct has acted in a way that questions their honesty or trustworthiness as a member in all respects whether they are an association or GREL member, shall inform GREL immediately.
Article 15 Extreme Misconduct
It is professional misconduct for a real estate professional under GREL to violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another; engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; state or imply an ability to improperly influence a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law. A member shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for their client, without the client's knowledge and consent.