Friday, December 27, 2019

(Stay On The) Pathways to Professionalism

As REALTORS®, we tout adherence to our foundational Code of Ethics - principles that set us apart from other real estate licensees.

Beginning with the lofty Preamble:

Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization ...,

it is essentially a rule-book. 

The courtesy and etiquette embodied by the Pathways to Professionalism exemplifies what it means to be a REALTOR® when out in the field. It is an appendix to the Code of Ethics and I include it with my listings as an attached document for Buyer's Agents to review prior to showing my Seller's home. 

Section III, #7. is one of my personal favorites. Colleagues, please, for the love of all that is professional, don't call me "hon." In return, I promise I'll never call you "dumplin'."

Pathways to Professionalism

I. Respect for the Public

1. Follow the "Golden Rule”: Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.
2. Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.
3. Schedule appointments and showings as far in advance as possible.
4. Call if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment or showing.
5. If a prospective buyer decides not to view an occupied home, promptly explain the
situation to the listing broker or the occupant.
6. Communicate with all parties in a timely fashion.
7. When entering a property ensure that unexpected situations, such as pets, are handled appropriately.
8. Leave your business card if not prohibited by local rules.
9. Never criticize property in the presence of the occupant.
10. Inform occupants that you are leaving after showings.
11. When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell or knock—and announce
yourself loudly before entering. Knock and announce yourself loudly before entering any
closed room.
12. Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and drive a clean
13. If occupants are home during showings, ask their permission before using the telephone or bathroom.
14. Encourage the clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or
15. Communicate clearly; don’t use jargon or slang that may not be readily understood.
16. Be aware of and respect cultural differences.
17. Show courtesy and respect to everyone.
18. Be aware of—and meet—all deadlines.
19. Promise only what you can deliver—and keep your promises.
20. Identify your REALTOR® and your professional status in contacts with the public.
21. Do not tell people what you think—tell them what you know.

II. Respect for Property

1. Be responsible for everyone you allow to enter listed property.
2. Never allow buyers to enter listed property unaccompanied.
3. When showing property, keep all members of the group together.
4. Never allow unaccompanied access to property without permission.
5. Enter property only with permission even if you have a lockbox key or combination.
6. When the occupant is absent, leave the property as you found it (lights, heating, cooling, drapes, etc.) If you think something is amiss (e.g. vandalism), contact the listing broker immediately.
7. Be considerate of the seller's property. Do not allow anyone to eat, drink, smoke,
dispose of trash, use bathing or sleeping facilities, or bring pets. Leave the house as you
found it unless instructed otherwise.
8. Use sidewalks; if weather is bad, take off shoes and boots inside property.
9. Respect sellers’ instructions about photographing or videographing their properties’
interiors or exteriors.

III. Respect for Peers

1. Identify your REALTOR® and professional status in all contacts with other REALTORS®.
2. Respond to other agents' calls, faxes, and e-mails promptly and courteously.
3. Be aware that large electronic files with attachments or lengthy faxes may be a burden
on recipients.
4. Notify the listing broker if there appears to be inaccurate information on the listing.
5. Share important information about a property, including the presence of pets, security
systems, and whether sellers will be present during the showing.
6. Show courtesy, trust, and respect to other real estate professionals.
7. Avoid the inappropriate use of endearments or other denigrating language. 
8. Do not prospect at other REALTORS®' open houses or similar events.
9. Return keys promptly.
10. Carefully replace keys in the lockbox after showings.
11. To be successful in the business, mutual respect is essential.
12. Real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation—and business—for years to come.

Kim Novak is a 24-year member of the
National Association of REALTORS®
Contact her at
or by call/text to (801) 726-1443

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