It all comes down to The Golden Rule

I have had many requests for repeats of previous Monday Morning Posts, so to answer one request ~ here is a Monday Morning exactly one year ago today…I wonder if much has changed?  You tell me:

Do you get as frustrated as I do when no one returns your calls for an appointment to show their listing?  Do you ever feel like strangling another agent when they refuse, yes refuse, to present your offer on their listing?  How about this one: a new listing comes in and you call immediately to show to your buyer and you call, you email, you schedule an appointment in ShowingAssist for several days and when you finally reach the agent, they tell you “Oh, my listing already has a contract!” Simply amazing!

You know what?  I am not alone in trying to swim in this sea of unprofessional real estate practices.  Last week, several notable Miami-Dade County Realtors got together last week to discuss business practices in our real estate community and I was fortunate to be invited to attend and lend my perspective from the FREC viewpoint. It was amazing, these Realtors have the same problems I have been ranting and raving about for some time.

I heard everything at this meeting. If we call the non-responsive agent’s Broker (who is responsible for every agent by law) the Broker usually doesn’t answer or  if they do, they say they will call you back.  Either way you never hear from them again. What about this one:  you work with the buyer that came to your open house, they tell you they don’t have an agent and you get them to the point where you know they will want to make an offer and then wonder of wonders, their grandmother has a license and she is writing the contract.

We discussed a wide range of business practices, or lack thereof, and quite frankly, a lot of these issues we are facing are against the law, violations of our code of ethics and last but not least: just plain common courtesy and respect for your peers. Many agents don’t want to file a complaint, they don’t want to take the time to either contact their REALTOR Association or the Division of Real Estate.  Either way, if that’s not done, the problems will continue.  Sometimes the offending agent doesn’t know what they are doing is wrong.  So how do we effectively attack this problem that is growing in our industry?  That is our challenge and our opportunity. Education is needed – for both agents and brokers.  It is the broker’s responsibility to educate their agents and it is also the agent’s responsibility to be educated and conduct their business ethically, legally, and professionally.

We didn’t solve the problems in our business at this meeting, but it’s a start, a beginning of candid conversations and possible solutions.  We have to start somewhere and if we aren’t willing to be part of the solution…well then, we need to stop complaining.  I will keep you updated on our progress which, I predict, will be slow and met with opposition from many.  But these issues within our industry didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved overnight.  I am optimistic, I have to be, I am a REALTOR –  it’s in my nature, it’s in my DNA.

It all comes down to something very basic,Tthe Golden Rule: “Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.”  The real estate industry would be a better place if we all remembered this.  It starts with us: you and me.  Let’s be extra good to each other, let’s be REALTORS!

Until Next Monday…

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3 Responses to It all comes down to The Golden Rule

  1. These are challenges that are shared by REALTORS all across Florida. Brokers have to step up to the plate and take responsibility to see that their agents are not only educated but they are professionals in every way….how they treat their customers and how they treat their peers. REALTORS have to be willing to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

  2. This is a great post, Matey. Happens too often for so many of us. And Deborah is correct…the training should come from the Brokers. Too often they sign ’em up and send them off with a pat on the back and say go get ’em tiger…with no training at all. NAR’s Pathways to Professionalism is great fodder for office meetings, for those GOOD BROKERS who have office meetings who still do some training, and who teach their agents to be professionals. No matter how many of “us” there are out there, it’s still a small community of REALTOR professionals, and we still talk. We know who does the job right, and who doesn’t. And your reputation should mean A LOT. It sure does to me. I take it seriously, therefore, if I can’t make the appointment, I call and cancel. If someone calls me, I call them back. If a buyer call, they don’t even have to tell me they have another agent…I ASK THEM. It’s called integrity.

  3. Ric Giumenta says:

    You are sooo right! I have been teaching ethics courses for a long time. I have chaired Grievance and ProStan Committees. I’ve always said educate first! Talk to each other; help them out. They may not know they are in violation. If the conversation does not go well, get a third party (DBPR or REALTOR Association) to decide! It’s the only way to clean it up!

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