Industry Insights Legal Insights

The Code of Ethics and Your Professional Career

July 30, 2013

Author: Phil Weingrow, Vice President and Manager of Alain Pinel Realtors Oakland Hills – Montclair Village.

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics. Many believe that a document written 100 years ago couldn’t be very relevant in today’s new electronic world of “listed today, sold tomorrow real estate.” Here’s why they’re wrong:

  • Have you been put in the situation where a client who was afraid of losing out has asked you to write an offer on two different properties at the same time? 
  • Have you been encouraged to suggest to a seller that she sell her home off market so that you can double end a sale? 
  • Do you know agents who have often taken a listing that was tens of thousands of dollars overpriced just to beat out the competition? 
  • Has a seller ever contacted you, while having her home listed with another brokerage, asking you if you would talk with her about listing her home?

Do you know all of these except the last one are violations of the Code of Ethics? And the last one is only not a violation because the seller contacted you!  These examples are all contemporary issues that come up in our current fast-paced market. They are ALL covered by the Code – if not by passages written 100 years ago – then by revisions added over the years. In other words, the Code of Ethics is a “living document” that can maintain certain ethical standards and permit us to “call out” those who do not. In today’s competitive market, the code may even be more important than ever as agents and clients are tempted to make unethical decisions in order to get a leg up.
When we talk about Article 1 of the Code and its requirement that we be a good fiduciary to our clients, we are insuring that their needs and protection are paramount. Think about how the consumer might react when they are trying to gauge your trustworthiness or professionalism and you emphasize that when representing them you are always mindful of your duty and responsibility to them as outlined in the Code of Ethics. How many of your competitors do this? How many of your clients know about the Code of Ethics?
This is a simple and much underutilized differentiator between professional, ethical Realtors® and others.
It is important to let the public know who we are and how we function. We hold ourselves to a higher standard that requires us to be at the forefront of what is going on in our industry. We are not here for a quick buck, but for our careers – this is what we have chosen to do and this is how we conduct our professional lives.


About Author:

Philip Weingrow currently serves as Vice President and Manager of Alain Pinel Realtors Oakland Hills – Montclair Village. He has been a licensed broker since 1983 when interest rates were 14% and listings were only printed in books. He has since learned the value of technology in real estate business and currently runs a “paperless” office.
 

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