What it Means to be an Ethical Real Estate Agent

Lee Davenport, Ph.D Code of Ethics, ethics, Ethics & Policy, Fair Housing 3 Comments

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Lee Davenport

By Lee Davenport, PhD

Should the public trust the real estate industry?

As quiet as it’s kept, salespeople of any industry can get the nickname of “sleazy” or  “swindler” because that is not just the name of a Netflix show (for those of you that have seen the Tinder Swindler).

For some of us, just hearing the words “Used Car Salesman” conjures up bad and maybe vivid personal memories of a time when buyer’s remorse was a gut punch. No shade to car salesman, though.

For our industry, it’s also been, shall we say, complicated due to some agent, lender, and other vendor participation in now illegal UN-fair housing acts like steering, blockbusting, redlining, and downright housing exclusion.

This isn’t something that’s in the past, either. A 2021 Report by the National Fair Housing Alliance, found that over 28,000 UN-fair housing violations were reported. That is mind-boggling!

Consequently, for some in the general public, there is a real trust issue when it comes to real estate pros.

Most of us realize that just because laws exist, doesn’t mean that violations just poof, bam boom, bibbidi-bobbidi-boo disappear. Laws are not magic. We know that from shows like Dateline and basically anything on the ID channel. Those tv shows indicate that laws don’t necessarily stop crimes, but they MAY provide restitution — IF—  there is proof and— IF —the violator is caught (those are big “ifs,” though).

Unfortunately, ethical standards and fair housing regulations are no exception. Laws don’t necessarily stop UN-fair housing, but ethical agents can. This is why it’s so important to help clients understand the value of working with a REALTOR®. The National Association of REALTORS® has a code of ethics that all agents are held to, and the association requires that agents take a Code of Ethics training every three years.

#WhoWeR, Ethically Speaking, with Leigh Brown

Most of us do our best to act ethically, especially when serving our clients. If you have questions about what it means to be an ethical real estate agent, rest assured. There are experts in the industry and they’re here to help!  In this Atlanta REALTORS® Rundown podcast interview, hear from the GOAT of ethical training classes, THEE Leigh Brown as she discusses:

  1. What does it mean to be an ethical real estate professional?
  2. How can leaning into the REALTOR® Code of Ethics protect and improve our reputations and the industry?
  3. What do we get wrong ethically speaking?
  4. What are some strategies to help us level up ethically speaking?

Dive Deeper into Real Estate Ethics

Be sure to tune into the National Real Estate Ethics Day broadcast on July 7, 2022, which fulfills the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics triennial requirement.

By the way, #WhoWeR proceeds for this broadcast go to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, which is in year 21 of supporting our neighbors’ housing needs after a natural disaster.

Register your Local REALTOR® Association at https://nationalethicsday.com today!

Dr. Lee Davenport is an Atlanta-based real estate coach who trains agents, teams, brokerages, and other business organizations on how to use today’s technology to work smarter. Join Lee’s free RE Tech Insider’s Club by visiting www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR.

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Comments 3

  1. Are any other REALTORS members out there troubled by the constant lecturing from “our” trade magazine especially from authors who aren’t REALTORS® themselves? Seriously, why are we paying outsiders to write about matters when experts on those matters exist within our membership?

    I guess I should try my hand at preaching and lecturing to hairstylists, mechanics, chiropractors, etc… I am sure they would welcome my advice and take no issue with their trade group paying for my “two cents!”

  2. Ethics? In Real Estate? What a joke!
    I get on average 2-3 emails per week either from NAR, CB, the State Realtors Association or the local board concerning ethics and professionalism within the industry.
    It makes me want to puke!!

    It’s all bark and NO BITE, just like a chihuahua.

    Where the hell is the enforcement?!?! At any level?! This industry has become a joke. So much so that after only 4 1/2 yrs. in, I’m ready to get out. I would venture to say locally, 60% – 70% do not deserve to keep their license base on professionalism alone.

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