Ethics and Professionalism

Ethics & Professionalism

Apps Run on a Code

REALTORS® Work by a Code of Ethics

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics, adopted in 1913, was one of the first codifications of ethical duties adopted by any business group. The Code ensures that consumers are served by requiring REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests.

The Bakersfield Association of REALTORS® is responsible for enforcing the Code of Ethics among its REALTOR® membership. Many difficulties between real estate professionals (whether REALTORS® or not) result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them or with a principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action. If, after discussing matters you are still not satisfied, you may want to contact the Bakersfield Association of REALTORS® Ombudsman. 

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What is an Ombudsman?

An Ombudsman is a neutral party who can confidentially prevent or resolve problems and complaints brought against a REALTOR® member. The Ombudsman can field a variety of questions about real estate practice, transaction details, ethics, and enforcement procedures. They will not advocate for either party nor will they decide “right or wrong”. Instead, the Ombudsman will provide the parties clarity on the issues and recommend potential options for resolving the problem.

What does the Ombudsman do?

The Ombudsman will…

  1. Listen and help analyze a problem or complaint.
  2. Help to define and evaluate options.
  3. Provide informal solutions to problems.
  4. Make inquiries into a potential complaint.
  5. Initiate discussions with other involved parties.
  6. Provide additional information and resources that may be of help.

The Ombudsman will not…

  1. Provide legal advice.
  2. Take sides or advocate for either party.
  3. Compel or order that a certain action be taken.
  4. Conduct a formal investigation.
  5. Participate in formal grievance or arbitration procedures.
  6. Determine whether ethics violations have occurred.
  7. Keep formal written records.
  8. Render judgement in a particular case.

How do I ask for help?

The Ombudsman can be contacted by phone, email, or submitting an online services request: 

Phone: (661) 635-2052


Click here to submit your request online


About Our Ombudsman

About Kevin Palla

Born and raised in Bakersfield, Kevin Palla is a perennial Top Performing Commercial Real Estate Broker known and respected throughout the Agriculture & Real Estate Communities. He is a skilled negotiator with experience in various fields who exhibits strength and industry knowledge as a Broker with Cushman & Wakefield | Pacific Commercial Realty Advisors as a Land Specialist and in Farming as an Agricultural Consultant.

Since becoming a REALTOR®, Kevin has been actively involved in the Bakersfield Association of REALTORS®, where he most recently served as the Vice-Chair of the Grievance Committee. He previously has chaired the Commercial Investment Forum and the New Member Orientation Committees for 2-year terms. He also has served as an MLS Director and BAK Director.

Professionally, Kevin holds a Broker’s license in the State of California. Nationally, he is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers where he holds the professional designation of Accredited Farm Manager. Kevin has also completed Mediation Training for Dispute Resolution at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Pepperdine University School of Law.

In the Bakersfield community, Kevin is active with the Music Ministry and Men’s Bible Study Group at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Kern County Student Leadership. Kevin is a past Board Member of the Kern County Farm Bureau, the Bakersfield Heart Association, and the Kern County Make a Wish Foundation. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Management.

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