BylawsBelow you'll find policies regarding Inclement Weather, Education and Social Media/Internet Conduct.

A copy of the bylaws, which guide operations of SMAR, may be download here.

Note: The following policies pertain to closings & delays due to inclement weather:

  • If the College of Southern MD Charles County Campus is closed, all education classes and committee meetings are cancelled and the SMAR office is closed.
  • If the College of Southern MD Charles County Campus is set for “delayed opening,” all education classes and committee meetings scheduled before 12:00 noon are cancelled. Education classes and committee meetings scheduled after 12:00 noon will meet as scheduled.
  • Once the cancelled Continuing Education Class is rescheduled, registrants will be notified of the new date. If a Continuing Education Class has been cancelled due to the weather, registrants have the option of rescheduling the class or receiving a refund.
  • Please call SMAR’s main number, 301-274-4406, for a recorded message.  Messages will be posted no later than 7 a.m. the day of the inclement weather.

(Adopted by SMAR Board of Directors on February 18, 2010)

Refund/Student Cancellation

Updated & Approved February 18, 2016

  • If you have registered for a class and are unable to attend, send a written request via email to education@somdrealtors.com at least twenty-four 24-hour notice to the start of class to be eligible for a refund less a $5 cancellation fee per class. To use refunds paid towards a future class, registration must occur at time of class cancellation. Refunds will be issued in the same form of payment that was made. Please allow two weeks for processing.
  • If you fail to provide SMAR Education with less than a twenty-four 24-hour notice, or fail to attend, you will be liable for the entire course fee.
  • Students will be given a 48-hour notice via email if a class will be cancelled due to low registration. If a class has been cancelled and you are unable to attend the new rescheduled class date, you are eligible for a full refund.

Attendance

  • According to the guidelines set forth by the Real Estate Commission, you must arrive ON TIME in order to receive Continuing Education Credit or Clock Hours - NO EXCEPTIONS! ON TIME means you must be signed in by the time the class starts.
  • There is NO GRACE PERIOD! There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy. The Real Estate Commission has the right to rescind SMAR’s authorization to provide Continuing Education if exceptions are made to latecomers.
  • If you have registered for a class and arrive late, you may still attend the class but you will NOT receive Continuing Education Credit (Clock Hours).

Classroom Policy

  • Full attention must be given to the instructor and material for classes approved for continuing education. Sleeping, reading of non-class related material, use of laptops or anything that would distract or prevent you from learning is prohibited.
  • There are breaks. Cell phones/pagers must be turned OFF (not vibrate) while in class. Aside from breaks directed by instructor you are NOT permitted to leave the room during class unless it is an emergency. Refund Policy · Continuing education fees are not refundable. If you have registered for a class and are unable to attend, please call prior to the start of the class and you will be eligible for a “class credit.” A “class credit” (money you paid for a class) can be used to attend another continuing education class of choice at SMAR.
  • If you are late and have not called prior to the start of class, you are NOT eligible for “class credit.”
  • If you have registered for a class and are a "no-show," you are NOT eligible for “class credit.” If any of the policies above are not adhered to it will result in the loss of Continuing Education Credit (Clock Hours). 

The following body of policy was drafted by SMAR staff and approved by the SMAR Public Awareness Committee with a recommendation to the SMAR Board of Directors that they be adopted as official SMAR policies. The Board of Directors approved and adopted them in 2014.


Coverage
These policies cover people posting comments online pertaining to their profession as REALTORS® or as members of SMAR. This policy also somewhat covers Internet conduct outside of the REALTOR® profession that could still be perceived as a reflection on the REALTOR® brand or SMAR’s name.

Purpose/goal
These policies govern the publication of and commentary on the Internet by members of the Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS®, Inc. and its related companies (“SMAR”) when such comments may be perceived as reflecting on the REALTOR® image of the image of the Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS®.

Scope
REALTORS® provide the public with professional services. Your posts on the Internet are a reflection of you and of your profession. Even personal pages and accounts designed to be separate from your professional persona can affect the public’s perception of your professionalism and that of your colleagues. SMAR, MAR, and NAR have professional interests in maintaining a positive public image of REALTORS®.

SMAR respects the right of free speech. The goal of these policies is to raise awareness of risks, provide guidelines towards proper and ethical conduct while participating in online communication and to avoid unintended consequences. SMAR’s policies on Internet and social media conduct apply when the member’s activities may be perceived as a representation of the REALTOR® brand or of SMAR.

Awareness
Social Networking and Social Media site policies often change after content has been gathered and stored for a period of time. Most vendors make no guarantee that data deleted today will ever be deleted from earlier archives. Many vendors store and later gather general demographic and social trend data from archives for later sale. Often nothing guarantees this data cannot eventually be used to personally identify individuals. In some places social media postings and social media histories are already used when considering job applications and verifying mortgage applications. Assume everything you post may one day be made public for all to see and that it will be connected directly to you. Your posts are your legacy.

Policies for Online Conduct

Maintain Proper Accounts and Identities

  • Social media identities, logon ID’s and user names may not use SMAR’s name or logo without prior approval from the SMAR CEO.
  • Anonymous accounts are forbidden. Privacy settings on social media platforms should be set to allow anyone to see enough profile information to know who controls the account.
  • SMAR recommends other privacy settings that could allow others to post information or see information that is personal should be set to limited access.

Be Professional

  • When posting online, follow the same ethical standards that REALTORS® must follow during the conduct of business.
  • Make sure that blogging does not interfere with your job, personal safety or commitments to customers.
  • Your blog is not the place to “conduct business” with a customer.
  • Never discuss confidential details of a customer engagement.

Maintain Proper Etiquette

  • Respect your audience, SMAR, and your coworkers.
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully.
  • No discriminatory, sexist or ethnic slurs.
  • No offensive comments.
  • No defamatory comments.
  • No personal insults.
  • No use of obscenities.

Don’t Tell Secrets

  • Do not post information that you would not want the public to see.
  • Do not publish confidential information.

Confidential information includes:

  • Unpublished details about our software, logins, or product keys.
  • Unpublished details of current projects, clients, deals or contracts.
  • Unpublished financial information.
  • Unpublished research and trade secrets.
  • Unpublished meeting minutes, contract offers or correspondence.

Be Honest

  • Behave honestly
  • Post with transparency.
  • Use your real name, be clear who you are.
  • Identify that you are a REALTOR or work for or represent SMAR (if applicable).
  • Do not blog anonymously.
  • Do not use pseudonyms or false screen names unless there is a clear link to your real identity.
  • Do not intentionally say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading.
  • If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out.
  • In personal postings, make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of SMAR or any REALTOR® organization.

Respect Copyright Laws

  • Show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including SMAR owned copyrights and brands.
  • Never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work.
  • Always attribute such work to the original author/source.
  • Link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.

Protect SMAR Customers, Partners, Suppliers, and Fellow Members.

Many SMAR services and activities are supported by the generosity of its affiliate members. Indeed some SMAR events would not be possible without Affiliate support. Be aware of SMARs’ affiliate members in your professional interactions with social media.

  • Do not post material casting SMAR affiliate members in a negative light.
  • Positive comments singing the praises of member performance or support are encouraged.
  • Customers, partners or suppliers should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval.
  • Never identify an Affiliate, partner, supplier or SMAR member by name without permission.
  • If you must discuss a negative experience, do so without referring to the member by name or in a manner that allows the individual to be readily identified.

Support the SMAR Website

  • The SMAR website is the official web voice of SMAR.
  • Social media participation by SMAR members on behalf of SMAR is intended to supplement and support the SMAR website.
  • Don’t post anything in a professional capacity contradictory or in conflict with information on the SMAR website.
  • Do not disparage or criticize the website online.
  • Disagreements with the style or content on the SMAR website should be brought to the attention of SMAR’s CEO for resolution within the organization rather than through social media postings.
  • Do not create, use or support websites, pages, or accounts for web services designed to compete with, dilute, refute or contradict information on the SMAR website.

Be Safe

  • Be cautious about disclosing personal details, such as:
    • The ages and location of children.
    • Your age.
    • Your marital status.
    • People living alone.
    • Appointment details about when and where you will be alone.
    • Income or wealth.
  • Use your best judgment when dealing with controversial or inflammatory topics.
  • Do not post information that can aid criminals or encourages criminal activity.
  • Do not share account logins with others who can post in your name.
  • Do not post information that can be used by criminals to plan an attack against you or another.