“Keeping it Legal and Ethical” is only a start.
In every professional discipline, there are Legal boundaries over which we must not cross lest we find ourselves in front of a judge or answering to fall-out from government “oversight organizations” such as the IRS, (in my field) The Tennessee Real Estate Commission, and Local, State, and National regulatory agencies.
These are LAWS and like’m or not, we must do whatever it takes to keep our businesses in compliance . . . These are NOT optional (Just as running a red light in traffic is not optional without consequence).
By definition, most Professional Organizations require their members to subscribe to a “Code of Ethical Standards” which adds a dimension of behavioral boundaries as an over-lay on the Legal Boundaries aforementioned.
For REALTORS, the National Association of REALTORS requires all members to subscribe to the NAR Code of Ethics to be enforced by local association Chapters. Any REALTOR member and any member of the public can file a grievance with the local Association in the event of an alleged breach of ethical conduct.
Of note . . . Not all Real Estate Sales Licensees are REALTORS . . . but ALL REALTORS are licensees. A Licensee cannot use the term REALTOR without being a member of the association.
So . . . Although it would seem logical that with these LEGAL and ETHICAL boundaries, the consumer/client/patient would be able to trust that all professionals in the field would behave and consistently do the right thing.
The truth is that no governmental authority could possibly cover all the bases to protect the general public from every conceivable legal pitfall . . . nor could an association anticipate every facet of ethical compromise . . .
so . . . It is completely possible for a “Professional” to stay between the lines Legally and Ethically yet develop business practices that look, smell, and feel slimy . . . Lacking integrity . . . not doing the right thing.
IN my business of Real Estate Sales and Brokerage, there are many ongoing very Spirited “conversations” concerning the practices of some agents who seem to be pushing the envelop of ethical conduct . . . they’re right on the fringe but still on the technical side of Legal and Ethical.
In this camp of those who are playing on the fringes, they tend to tell all of the “nit-pickers” to quit being such archaic fuddy-duddies . . . Loosen up . . . these are simply ways of doing business that are resulting in a steady flow of new customers.
Talk to any Fuddy-Duddy out there, and she’ll tell you that what those guys are doing is WRONG (even if it DOES fall within the Legal and Ethical guidelines). “These practices are UNFAIR and potentially damaging to the reputation of the profession as a whole.”
I see both sides of this coin. Often getting creative with business practices stirs the pot as other professionals REACT to seeing THAT fish swimming in their pond.
When the market heats up (Inventory is low and competition for new customers increases), this sleeping giant awakens as everyone begins to scramble to secure their slice of the pie.
My observation is that the Professionals who understand the notion of SPECIALIZING in a Niche segment of the market seldom get their feathers ruffled by these creative business practices because they are not in competition with EVERYONE . . . Their focus is on serving their loyal “Tribe” of long-time customers/clients.
Yet sometimes I find myself shaking my head as I wonder why anyone would ever choose to do anything less than the “Right Thing” if for no other reason than to preserve personal integrity.
Integrity is what MATTERS most to me in business.
The fundamental Philosophy of Pareto Realty is one of Niche Specialization and a pure “Build your own tribe” approach to creating a solid real Estate Sale Career that’ll stand the test of time.
This whole thing deserves a conversation, and I’m offering to host that conversation for any of my peers who would like to join me at Panera Bread on White Bridge Road Wednesday August 14 @ 10 AM.
A part of this conversation/Mastermind will also include some discussion of our lack of housing inventory in Middle TN.