Robert Fulghum Rules WAVRMA
In his wildly successful book "All I really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten", author Robert Fulghum lays out some rules, some of which can even be applied to something as mundane as a trade association.
Share Everything. Play Fair. Don't hit people. Don't take things that aren't yours. (Among others.)
We like Mr. Fulgham's ideas, so the goal of WAVRMA is for vacation rental property managers, and those who work with them, to work together, share ideas and benefit from association. We ask members approach the association with an open-mind, a willingness to work with others, a desire to serve the industry. We won't disqualify anyone for any reason, even if you choose not to share.
From a practical standpoint trade associations must also abide by certain federal and state laws so that the "Play Fair" rule is adhered to. The federal Sherman Act prohibits certain kinds of sharing to insure that groups don't engage in anti-competitive actions.
The prohibited areas of discussion or activity are: price-fixing, division of customers, membership standardization and certification and industry self-regulation. The Act leaves room for members to grow and prosper but not at the expense of customers or competitors. To follow these rules scrupulously, here are the guidelines:
- Do not discuss pricing.
- Do not discuss profit levels.
- Do not discuss an increase or decrease in price.
- Do not discuss standardizing or stabilizing prices.
- Do not discuss pricing procedures.
- Do not discuss cash discounts.
- Do not discuss credit terms.
- Do not discuss controlling sales.
- Do not discuss allocating customers or markets.
- Do not complain to a competitor that his or her prices constitute unfair practices.
- Do not discuss refusing to deal with a corporation because of its pricing or distribution practices.
- Do not attend informal sessions in which any of the above subjects are discussed.
Membership & Industry Self-Regulation:
- Do not impose restrictions on dealing with non-members.
- Do no exclude members, especially if there is a business advantage in being a member.
- Do not limit access to association information, unless to protect trade secrets.
Code of Ethics:
- Do not require refusal to deal with any member violating the association's code of ethics.
- Do not arbitrarily enforce of the code. Based decisions on facts, not rumor or innuendo.
- Do not impose unreasonably severe penalties for violation of the code.
- Do not adopt policies which have price-fixing implications.