Exam process revamped
There are no longer proctored exams required for continuing education students in classroom, webinar and distance learning programs. Only home study courses will require taking a proctored exam.
“The whole point of the proctored exam is that we need that third-party verification that the person took the class,” Allison says. “Under this new law, we acknowledge that there are other ways besides a proctored exam to verify that somebody took the course.”
Another part of the bill clarifies permit practices for leasing agents. Leasing agents practicing under temporary 120-day permits will have to be enrolled in a pre-licensing course within 60 days of beginning leasing activities.
“There are more protections for consumers, particularly surrounding leasing agents and what they can do,” says Mark Coleman, president of the Realtor Association of the Fox Valley. “For example, an apartment complex is being developed and they’re leasing and they’re hiring leasing agents. For Realtors acting as leasing agents, there are some consumer protection provisions being put in. That will affect a very small segment of the practitioners.”
IDFPR will notify managing brokers when a licensee is subject to disciplinary proceedings or has had disciplinary action taken against them.
“They’re making it easier for the consumer to go through the ombudsman, where they can take an ethical complaint directly in to the IDFPR and have it heard without having to go through an association,” Coleman says. “We’re making it easier for the consumer to be better protected as they interface with real estate acquisitions and dispositions.”
Thomson says CAR uses an online portal where agents can file an ethics complaint that, if approved, could result in a hearing and potential disciplinary action for the subject of the complaint. The association’s professional standards staff are all certified professional standards administrators through NAR.
“Many members feel uncomfortable filing ethics complaints against colleagues, as they may then face them in the field in the future,” Thomson says. “We implemented an ethics citation program that allows members and the public to file anonymous complaints, helping to overcome this challenge. The response to this program has been very positive.”