Real Estate Agents and Ethics
By Sadiya Anjum
Ethics are a set of principles about right conduct and behavior. Business ethics dictate right conduct when it comes to interacting with colleagues, competitors, clients or the public. It is a responsibility that every individual must bear if he is to succeed without trampling over others. For real estate agents, the competition is so tough that it may seem like a dog eat dog world out there. But ethical conduct is not just the right thing to do but it can help you succeed in the long run.
Most people when looking to hire real estate agents want someone who is ethical and trustworthy. Creating an impression of ethical behavior will automatically put you on the short listed candidates for hiring. The code of ethics for an agent are listed by your own company, the area or state regulatory agencies, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) or other such association.
Each association or board will have its own code of ethics laid down for its associates and employees. Depending on the association you belong to, you must adhere to their rules and regulations. But most of these codes have a common thread that run through them. They all demand rightful and proper representation of the client and agreeable behavior when you are on the job.
As an agent you must remember the term ‘representation’. When a client hires you, you have a responsibility to him and his requirements. Letting slip personal details such as the reason (divorce, bankruptcy etc.) for a client selling his home is a breach of confidence. A client looks not just for representation but someone they can depend on since home selling/ buying/ renting is a major decision for people. If you can deliver this, you have a high chance of further recommendations by that client.
You are more than a salesperson, you are accountable to another person. But representation should not lead to deceiving other parties; fair representation with honest conduct with all parties is what is required of any agent.
Ethical conduct also plays a major role when it comes to dealing with other agents and agencies. Never criticize another agent especially to the clients of that particular agent irrespective of the lousy job he may be doing. Offering professional advice to another’s clients is another no-no. False statements about other agents or even yourself are unacceptable.
As far as marketing your services goes, general advertising is acceptable. But if you call or send official mailers to a person who is a client of another, this will be frowned upon. It is an obvious act of stealing clients that is unethical.
Remember your ethics when it comes to the small details; for instance your client should understand documents or what he is getting himself into before he signs anything. Ethics are not just about conducting yourself right, they are ultimately the key to your success. The small details you pay attention to will help you perform better on your job. With unethical conduct, you are jeopardizing your reputation. People like those individuals who respect others and are honest in their conduct. Follow the codes of ethics to create good impressions, build your clientele and succeed in your job.
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