Apply Now for GAAR Ombuds Volunteer Positions
Q. What is the Ombuds Program?
A. The Ombuds program is a member benefit that provides you and the public with a confidential low-level conflict resolution service. The Ombuds service is free of charge that assists ‘visitors’ to the program (REALTORS® or the Public) by offering a non-escalating, off-the-record resource that gives timely answers to general real estate-related questions and explores options, approaches, and alternatives available to help visitors resolve matters without resorting to more formal channels.
Q. Who is an Ombuds?
A. An Ombuds is a REALTOR® in good standing who volunteers their time & skills for the betterment of the REALTOR® community; they aren’t advocates, legal counsel or judges. An Ombuds is a highly trained impartial facilitator who assists visitors in problem-solving. They do not judge an issue or tell people what to do! The desired result of an interaction with an Ombuds is a ‘win-win’ outcome that could keep a ‘deal’ alive, restore communication, salvage relationships, or stop minor disputes from becoming lawsuits or formal ethics complaints. If you are interested in becoming an Ombuds, review qualifications and submit your application before the deadline.
The Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® (GAAR) is now accepting applications from REALTOR® members who are interested in serving as a volunteer Ombuds. The Ombuds Program is designed to supplement the existing set of dispute resolution processes currently available at GAAR (i.e., ethics hearings, arbitration, and mediation). The Ombuds Program is a less formal, more expedited means of resolving issues and conflicts between REALTOR® members, members and their customers/clients, and members of the public. This position will report to the GAAR Board of Directors or its designee and will report trends and themes periodically to the GAAR Board of Directors and others as requested. Successful candidates will receive comprehensive Ombuds training prior to assuming the Ombuds role and will receive ongoing training tailored to their role.
The GAAR Ombuds provides highly confidential, neutral, and informal advice and information regarding any issues relating to general real estate transactions or issues arising out of working with a member of the GAAR REALTOR® community. The Ombuds will serve as an independent resource to discuss options and to provide answers and referrals to other appropriate resources.
An effective Ombuds will quickly assess a variety of situations and respond in a professional manner, using excellent communication and alternative dispute resolution abilities. The primary goal is to establish and maintain an effective connection with the visitors, the Ombuds will also stay appropriately detached from the visitor’s issues and concerns (must remain neutral!).
Ombuds serve on a rotating basis and usually no more than a couple of hours per week. Primary contact with the parties in a dispute (referred to as “visitors”) will be via telephone; case tracking will occur remotely.
Required Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
- New Mexico licensed real estate practitioner and REALTOR® member of GAAR for the previous five (5) years, with no ethics violations in the previous three (3) years.
- Thorough knowledge and experience with state real estate laws, regulations, and practices.
- Demonstrated experience in facilitating communications and intervening with individuals in conflict.
- Have a good understanding of GAAR’s professional standards processes, and NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
- Excellent demonstrated communications skills, including active and patient listening, along with effective presentation skills.
- Ability to build rapport, generate trust and confidence, and demonstrate sincerity and neutrality.
- Record of reliability and responsiveness; good follow-through on commitments.
Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
- Experience serving on the Professional Standards or Grievance Committee.
- Experience conducting arbitration, mediation, formal or informal complaint resolution, customer service support, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
- Completion of communication, mediation, or conflict resolution training.
- Online application deadline: Friday, September 17, 2021
- Interview/Orientation Session: Week of September 20, 2021
- Mandatory Training for Accepted Volunteers: October 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2021 via ZOOM Teleconferencing. All four Training Sessions (20 hours total) must be completed to become an active Ombuds volunteer.
How to Apply
- Open and then download the application onto your computer.
- Complete the downloaded version and save it to your computer.
- Email the saved version as an attachment to email@example.com by September 17th.
If you have further questions, contact Melody Mar, Director of Professional Standards at 505-724-3466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.