Pathways to Professionalism
[free, full color marketing brochure]
While the Code of Ethics establishes enforceable, ethical standards governing the professional conduct of REALTORS®, the following list of courtesies is a voluntary commitment. For real estate professionals, it’s the little things count the most when making a good impression on clients and business associations.
I. Respect for the Public
- Always follow the “Golden Rule” – Do undo others, as you would have done to you.
- When working with clients or customers, take care not to abandon them by taking frequent or in-depth cell phone calls.
- Respond promptly to all inquiries and requests for information. Have backup coverage to assist when you are unavailable.
- Communicate with all parties in a timely fashion.
- Enter listed property first to ensure that unexpected situations (such as pets) are handled appropriately.
- Never criticize a property in front of the owner.
- It is far better to say “I don’t know, but will find out” than to make statements that you will have to correct later.
- Always source your statements if your knowledge is a result of another’s comments or representations.
- Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and have a clean car.
- Communicate clearly; don’t use jargon not readily understood by the general public.
- Be aware of and respect cultural differences. Make an effort to understand diversity issues.
- Show courtesy and respect to the public.
- Be aware of and meet all deadlines.
- Promise only what you can deliver and keep your promises.
- Explain all contracts, forms and disclosures clearly and encourage clients to ask questions on any item that is not completely understood.
- Conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.
II. Respect for Property
- Be responsible for all visitors to a listed property; never allow buyers to enter or tour a property unaccompanied.
- When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell upon arrival and knock before entering any closed room once inside the home.
- When the seller or seller’s agent is absent, be sure to turn off lights, shut windows, and lock doors after a showing.
- Tell buyers not to smoke in listed property.
- If the seller is home during a showing, ask permission before using the phone or bathroom.
- Use sidewalks; ensure there is safe and clear access to property; if weather is bad, take off shoes and boots inside property.
- When a property is vacant, check that heating and cooling controls are set correctly and check outside of the property for damage of any kind.
- Never post a for-sale or arrow sign on any property (including city/town property) without the express permission of the property owner.
III. Respect for Peers
- When calling a cooperating broker, state your name, the name of the company you work for and your role (buyer, sub, or transaction agent).
- Schedule property showings as far in advance as possible. Ask for an alternate contact number (cell phone) for the seller / sellers agent, incase you need to reach someone about an impending showing.
- Call immediately if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment.
- Be considerate of others schedules when making back-to-back ‘tight’ appointments.
- If a prospective buyer decides not to view a home, promptly explain the situation to the listing broker.
- Call the listing broker to report the results of any showing and any feedback received.
- Notify the listing broker immediately if anything appears wrong with the property.
- Notify the listing broker if there appears to be inaccurate information on the listing sheet.
- Share important information about a property, including the presence of pets; security systems; and if sellers plan to be present at the showing.
- Show courtesy, trust and respect to other real estate professionals.
- Never criticize the actions of another Realtor® to your clients or customers.
- When approached by a potential buyer or seller, always ask if they are already working with another agent exclusively.
- Advise the clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or representative.
- Market your own skills; Don’t disparage another to get ahead.
Create Your Own Personal Service Standards
Establishing service standards, or operating benchmarks, is an effective way to control risks because it lets your clients know, up front, what to expect from their brokerage relationship.
Simply answer these questions, put it on paper, and commit to and work by the promises made.
- How rapidly will you return phone calls and respond to e-mail requests?
- How frequently will you contact clients and customers with progress reports?
- What specific services will you provide to the seller during the selling phase—a marketing plan, conduct open houses, list the property on the MLS, create a virtual tour of the property to post on the company Web site?
- What specific questions should you ask in qualifying buyers and sellers?
- What specific services will you provide to buyers when they are customers?
- What specific services will you provide to buyers when they represent them as a buyer’s agent?
- How rapidly should offers be presented?
- What specific services will you provide to the seller during the closing phase—schedule inspections; follow-up on loans, title insurance, and other documents required for closing; attend the closing?
- How will you ensure that you make proper disclosures & obtain necessary acknowledgements?
- What specific services will you provide after the closing takes place?