White Diamond’s Melissa Hornbeck Joins Professional Standards Committee
Melissa Hornbeck of White Diamond Realty is making a positive impact in the American real estate industry by dedicating her time and attention toward improving how her profession serves both clients and communities. Beginning in January 2023, Melissa Hornbeck will serve a three-year term as a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Professional Standards Committee.
This 100-member Committee’s responsibilities include ensuring that the NAR’s Code of Ethics is interpreted and understood in a uniform, consistent fashion nationwide. The Committee also continuously reviews the NAR’s Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and Case Interpretations to ensure that they remain meaningful and accurate. They also provide publications and develop expert instructors, as well as enforcement of the Code of Ethics. For example, the NAR holds the authority to enforce professional standards through substantial fines, suspensions, and termination, plus public notice of any violations. As such, the NAR plays a major role in protecting consumers and boosting communities, which Melissa Hornbeck explains are both foundational elements of her own business practices.
“One of the aspects of White Diamond Realty that I hold most dear is our reputation,” says Melissa Hornbeck. “That reputation was built on how we treat people, which is why our core business values include always acting with integrity. However, you cannot make integrity the core of any nationwide profession without first establishing strong moral and ethical standards. Having an opportunity to continuously improve such standards with NAR fits perfectly into my own vision for how we do business at White Diamond Realty.”
The NAR’s Code of Ethics ensures that consumers are served by requiring REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients’ best interests. As such, this Code serves as a reminder of the duties all REALTORS® have to clients, customers, and the public. For example, NAR members have online access to a guide that spells out what’s right and wrong when it comes to social media, listing displays, data privacy, copyright protection, and other quickly changing issues. It’s up-to-date and always evolving, because the Code, along with the Standards of Practice (which fleshes out the concepts established in the Code), are maintained, and continuously improved by the Professional Standards Committee.
The Professional Standards Committee also establishes programs and provides training materials and assistance to Member Boards and State Associations. These include online code of ethics courses for new Realtors®, as well as training for existing members. Topics covered include Duties to Clients and Customers, Duties to the Public, and Duties to REALTORS®.
Given the importance of this national role, the NAR maintains some serious requirements for participation on committees. Before being selected and approved, each member must prove their relevant experience, level of commitment, and capabilities to NAR leadership. White Diamont Realty’s Melissa Hornbeck is the latest West Virginian to join the Professional Standards Committee, but she is not the first.
In her new role, Melissa will work with another NAR member from the mountain state — Mark Mansour of Old Colony REALTORS® — who currently chairs the NAR’s Interpretation and Procedures Subcommittee and still contributes to the Professional Standards Committee as an ex official at large. The subcommittee he chairs makes recommendations to the full Professional Standards Committee, who then decide whether and how to adopt the recommendations.
Before beginning her new role, Melissa Hornbeck will first serve out the rest of 2022 as a member of NAR’s Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee. In fact, she has served on local and state boards in both Maryland and West Virginia and is a multiple recipient of both National Sales Excellence and Quality Service awards. For example, she was recently honored with the 2022 Rising Star Award from the West Virginia Association of REALTORS®. She is also very active in the local community, where her current and past roles include:
- Volunteer advocate, Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center (RDVIC)
- Secretary, Coalition for Housing Action Partnership (CHAP) board of directors
- Secretary, Red Cross Allegheny Highlands Chapter board of directors
- Chair, Red Cross Allegheny Highlands Chapter Philanthropic Committee
- Co-chair, Government Affairs Committee – The Morgantown Area Partnership
- Morgantown Area Partnership Board of Directors
- Member Morgantown Area Partnership WINGS committee
- Morgantown Board of REALTORS® (MBOR) Past President; Board of Directors; Chair of Education & Strategic Planning committees
- West Virginia Association of REALTORS® (WVAR) board of directors
- WVAR Vice-Chair Government Affairs committee; member Education, Professional Standards, & REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC)
- RPAC Major Investor
- Member-at-Large National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Federal Financing & Housing Policy committee