Real Estate Today – What Would Emily Post Say?


Real estate has come a long way since my Grandmother’s days when she started her brokerage back in 1958. I know this because she is ALWAYS reminding me of it!

I have listened to her nostalgic stories all of my life, so when I first started in real estate, I wondered, how did they manage?  The monthly book of homes for sale that one sales rep would inevitably lose and mass panic would ensue.  No MLS® system to quickly access from any computer and no client searches.  Hand-writing clauses – no thanks!  How did they cope without Webforms®?  Or what about a handwritten mistake on a carbon copy…uuuugh.

She condemns the amount of paperwork we need to have signed, but most of all…she condemns the way we treat each other and the lack of etiquette in today’s industry.  I like to think she’s not speaking to me directly, but I know she is, in a way that only a strong matriarch can, and then offer you a cookie and lemonade.  I realized she was on to something.  Although the industry has improved in SO many ways, there are aspects that perhaps have not.  We are all guilty of an Emily Post sin every now and then, but is the industry getting worse?  Is it that we have so many rules that tell us the proper way to treat each other, we forget how to determine that on our own?

A recent National Post article about the demise of the mafia caught my eye, and it was because with the new generation there is “no honour among thieves.”   This made me wonder, have we lost the old school honour where a person’s word was as good as any clause in Webforms®, where a hand shake was as strong as a signature, and an offer or showing cancellation always started out with a phone call instead of an e-mail?  Although I’m happy with all of our advances and look towards the future, it doesn’t hurt to look back every now and then.


Sarah Kiraly, YPN Committee Member and OREA YPN Guest Blogger

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