News from the Chicago Chapter

Educating Members on Ethics: IREM 2018 Global Summit Perspective

Posted by [email protected] on 10/12/2018 12:00 am  






By Kimberly Sisney, CPM®
Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation
2012 President IREM Chicago


Ethics are the moral principles that govern a person or group’s behavior. IREM® was founded on the importance of high standards of business ethics in real estate.

I had the honor of chairing the IREM® National Ethics Committee for 2018.  One of the roles of the Ethics Committee is to continually find ways to educate our members on their ethic obligations – and in turn, help to spread that distinct advantage of IREM® members to our clients, tenants, residents, and the industry at large.

The Ethics Committee met during the 2018 IREM® Global Summit in Hollywood, Florida.  In our meeting, we had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Yasuto Ute, CPM®, Vice President of IREM® Japan.  Last year Japan was recognized as an IREM® Country with three chapters.  They also now have their own ethics committees and ethics boards.  The conversation was riveting, and all were engaged as we learned about our colleagues’ challenges with how common cultural practices in Japan raise questions about upholding certain articles of the IREM Code of Professional Ethics  (Code).

One of the take aways from the conversation, which applies to all members is that being ethical sometimes requires educating owners on the Code.

As our membership continues to grow internationally, questions may arise regarding conflicts between a country’s laws and the IREM’s Code.  If the Code conflicts with the laws of a member’s country, the member is to follow the law over the Code.  However, if the law is silent or the law agrees with the Code, the Code is to be upheld. 

More than half the Ethics Committee members also serve on our Ethics Boards responsible for ethics enforcement.  They carry out this task with great care, confidentiality, objectivity, and due diligence.  Since the 2017 Global Summit, the initial review board, The Ethics Inquiry Board, reviewed 9 complaints and 90 new membership applications that answered affirmatively to a character and fitness question on the application.  The Ethics Hearing and Discipline Board has heard three ethics complaints and will hear three more before year end. 

It was a privilege to attend the IREM 2018 Global Summit in Hollywood, FL and to represent IREM Chicago.