Just finished an office meeting with most of our agents in attendance. I always look forward to discuss the many hot topics and trends that are presently evolving within the present marketplace. Being in a room together also creates the synergy and feedback that is needed compared to one on one conversations.
I had a feeling today’s meeting would display emotion and even be somewhat controversial and obviously, that’s ok. We welcome open dialogue that always pushes us to think, feel and take action on what’s best for our business and industry. With so much in the media, it wasn’t surprising that the theme throughout the meeting always circled back to ethics and integrity in the field.
Make no mistake, I am of the sincere belief that most in our industry are hard working and professional individuals. They care about their business, their clients and their reputation. It’s just the unfortunate reality that in today’s society the bad is what tarnishes the shiny many.
I share these comments often; Policies are made when brains run out and you can’t teach integrity and or ethics. At this stage of our life and especially with so much money at stake, integrity and ethics are either within you or are not. I believe that even though it would be a great start to add many more courses for entry to our industry and add more “in class” continuing education to maintain a license, this will still not solve the challenges faced with the unethical people that exist. There is no question the time is now to welcome rules and penalties to punish the behaviour so intensely, that they simply can’t operate in our industry any more. This includes making the Broker of Records more accountable and responsible with who their hire and how they manage. Just hiring bodies is a tremendous fail and a approach that we will never be party to. Sadly, it is also very possible that the present penalty amounts may have become the “cost of doing business” for some and this is completely unacceptable. Any comments that others are not playing by the same rules, is not an excuse. If we do not take responsibility for our actions, the way we operate and are regulated will look very different very fast.
I would be remiss if I didn’t provide an example from our meeting that was a hot button. The “Coming Soon” sign.
While this is a very smart idea to expose the property while being prepared for sale, witnessing more and more properties being posted to MLS on the first day as “Sold” is concerning. This marketing approach is:
1. Not intended to get more leads
2. Not intended to show the property to your clients and not others
3. Not intended to double end the property.
A “Coming Soon” property is in essence an exclusive listing and you are advertising that it will be on MLS within a reasonable time period for all to see. Being involved in any of the above 3 examples defeats what the intent is and creates a bad impression that infuriates the public and agents. If I wasn’t a REALTOR and saw a “Coming Soon” sign, I would leave and not bother calling until the sign was removed or saw it on MLS. If a client has been advised of the differences, would entertain showing the property and would further entertain offers beforehand, simply remove the “Coming Soon” sign.
Let’s play by the rules that we advertise and promote. Let’s educate and lead the consumer how our industry works. Let’s not ever provide a reason for a media story. Otherwise…..even more new rules will be Coming Soon!
Broker of Record/Owner
RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc., Brokerage