The following excerpt is taken with permission from guidelines posted by the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®.
In real estate, as in life, the Golden Rule applies: Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Real estate professionals should abide by the three Cs: Courtesy, Communication, andCommon Sense. Just ask yourself how you would like to be treated. Treat your colleagues, clients and customers that way. It’s not only nice; it’s smart. Good ethical standards can and do lead to more business, while behaving badly may have a very negative effect on your career. Remember: real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation and business for years to come.
The following points of etiquette may seem obvious to ridiculous and even insulting. What REALTOR® would trample on a client’s neighbour’s flowerbed? What ‘professional’ would show up on the doorstep of another agent’s listing without advance warning at nine o’clock at night and ask the seller to show him the house? Yet we’ve heard complaints from both REALTORS® and the public regarding every single one of these “no-no’s”.
Read it and weep, but most of all remember: in professional life, where career and business depends on the way you deal with your peers and clients, courtesy is of paramount importance. Here are some tips from the “Courtesy” section of the Miss Real Estate Manners document produced by the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®.
- When you page a fellow REALTOR®, please leave your full name and office. (“Hiya, Joey boy! Call Bob!” doesn’t cut it. Who the heck’s Bob?)
- Promptly return phone calls. REALTORS® who don’t return calls (or answer e-mails) are not only rude, they are standing in the way of business getting done and damaging their reputation and career
- If you say that you will call someone by a certain time, call!
- Avoid making late-night phone calls about things that can wait until the morning. Some people go to bed earlier than you and don’t appreciate being woken up.
- If it’s too late to call a client, it’s too late to call a colleague. REALTORS® sleep too. Respect and consideration for your fellow REALTORS® is worth more than making a phone call . . . or even a sale.
- Do not make “urgent” phone calls or leave “urgent” messages unless the matter is really urgent. Remember the boy who cried, “Wolf!” one time too often.
- If a seller you’ve had your eye on decides to list with somebody else, guess what? Respect and reinforce that decision! A professional attitude on your part will generate more business for you in the future than sniping about the competition in the here and now. The public doesn’t like negative advertising or attack strategies – not from politicians, not from REALTORS®. Take the high road.
- And, speaking of your competition, don’t badmouth them. Speak respectfully about your competition and you will come across as professional; bash them and you come off sounding, well, like a thug.
- Do you like people wasting your time? Of course not! So don’t waste theirs. Arrive on time or, if you are running late or have to cancel an appointment, politely advise the other party as soon as possible. (Remember: Do unto others…!)
- Have you ever been stood up for a date? Remember how it felt? If you have an appointment to show a house and, when you arrive, your client refuses to look inside, you might be tempted to just drive off. Don’t. The owner might be sitting inside, waiting for you. The polite thing to do is to park the car, go up to the front door and make your apologies to the owner. He may not be happy, but at least he can get on with his life … and you will have done the decent thing. If the same thing happens and the owner is not at home, call and leave a message, letting him know that the house was not viewed.
The above tips are excerpted and reprinted with permission from the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. Read the full Miss Real Estate Manners document.