REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards for their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. - Preamble to Code of Ethics
That’s what this week’s ABoR Town Hall was all about. At this interactive forum, members responded to questions related to ethics and professionalism through text message polling. Three distinguished panelists shared their opinion on what professionalism means in the industry and how it can make all the difference between a smooth or troubling transaction.
John Horton - John Horton Realty
- Doug Oldmixon - Executive Director of Texas Real Estate Commission
- Avis Wukasch - Chair of Texas Real Estate Commission, Executive Committee and Broker Member of Keller Williams Realty
- Steve Crorey - ABoR Foundation Board Member, Sierra Homes Realty
75% of audience members said that brokers are responsible for professionalism in the industry, compared to TREC, NAR, or ABoR.
Texas law states that brokers are responsible for all the activities of their sponsored agents. The Texas Real Estate Commission expects brokers to take responsibility and fulfill their duties to the highest of standards. The best way to accomplish this is for brokerages to have effective systems and policies in place with quality control measures so agent activity is monitored.
In the real estate community, there’s been debate on how much professionalism training should local associations provide and where broker responsibility stops. Steve Crorey believes that it’s all about team effort.
“It starts with NAR, our big brother, providing the Code of Ethics. It trickles down to TREC for educational and standards requirements, and lastly TAR and ABoR to have classes and forums,” said Crorey. “But it’s ultimately up to the broker to implement all the things you’ve learned along the way and help agents to be better professionals.”
The art of communication: Is it diminishing?
When you want to reach out to someone close to you, your initial method of contact is probably text messaging. However, when it comes to business, it’s important to take a conscious effort and pick up the phone. The real estate industry is now seeing three different generations of REALTORS® working in the industry at the same time, all with different preferred methods of communicating. Something as small as a phone call can make all the difference when establishing your rapport and forming relationships with other agents.
Avis Wukasch passed on great advice that she received from her first broker on how establishing relationships with the agents on the other side of a transaction are more meaningful than you think.
“You will likely do one, maybe two transactions with a client, but you might do 50 transactions with another agent. Although you represent the client side, your relationship with the agents needs to be long-lasting,” said Wukasch. “That telephone call might mean something one of these days.”
Transactions should be mutually beneficial
“Make sure you leave a little something on the table for the other side,” said Doug Oldmixon.
Oldmixon explained the quote by saying that in a deal, you don’t get to take everything and give nothing. Make sure you’ve done a professional job of representing your clients and the other agents’ interest. Making a smooth transaction with professionalism is worth it compared to that extra money.
Both parties should feel good about the outcome of a transaction that can be solved with respect, tact, and forward thinking. Oldmixon said that real estate professionals will be successful in the business if they look for a win-win situation with each transaction.
It comes down to the golden rule – treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Working in real estate is unique because as John Horton stated, “We are competitors who cooperate.” Taking the extra step to write a handwritten note, pick up the phone, and keep all parties interests at heart, will set you apart from the rest. Your rapport in the real estate community is important for your continued success. Remaining a professional individual will take you farther in your career that you’d imagine.
If you weren’t able to attend the town hall, you can watch it on our YouTube Channel. Looking for more resources on how to conduct yourself professionally in all parts of business? The National Association of REALTORS® has a great video and reading material on how to do just that. Stay up-to-date with industry trends and hot topics by attending our monthly forums. Register for upcoming ones at ABoR.com/Forum.