Thursday, March 22, 2012

For Safety's Sake #9: Safety and the REALTOR Code of Ethics

One doesn’t necessarily pair ethics and safety in the same thought process, but bear with me.

We all take the required quadrennial ethics class, checking it off of our “To Do” list and assuring ourselves that not only do we not need it (although the CE credits are nice), but also that it’s a bother, because we--sterling folks that we are--would never commit an ethics violation.


Well, guess what? We do.

I’m not going to embarrass us all with a long list of the unintentional slips that we make in our attempts to put deals together. Most of us probably never realize, except in retrospect, and with a sigh of relief in not being called on it, that we’ve made a mistake. We’ve jeopardized client confidentiality. Haven’t done our due diligence, met deadlines or disclosed all we should have

Then there are the larger breaches, the ones committed intentionally.

It is a safety issue. Your career could very well depend on your knowledge of and adherence to our REALTOR Code of Ethics.

What is important enough for you to safeguard in this economic climate if not your job? These days when consumer confidence is at an all-time low? How important is it to you to get it right?

You don’t take chances when you cross a busy street. You don’t take it for granted that all the traffic is going to stop or that all drivers know that pedestrians have the right of way. You could be facing an out-of-state driver. Someone from away who’d say “We don’t do it like that where I come from”.

Be alert. Be the one who gets it right. The one whose own sense of fairness and personal ethics go safely hand in hand with and even beyond that of the National Association of REALTORS.

Don’t take a chance with your integrity.

Know your Code of Ethics. It is a beautiful document of which you should be extremely proud. Carry it with you. Give a copy of it to clients and customers.

If the Preamble doesn’t send a little shiver down your spine, you may very well be in the wrong profession.

And, for Pete’s sake, and yours as well, take the class more than once every four years. Four years may be too long to wait.

Submitted by Mary Kuykendall. Mary is a REALTOR in Bangor, Maine, and the Greater Bangor Association's 2011 REALTOR of the Year.

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