NAR’s Pathways to Professionalism are professional courtesies REALTORS® should show to the public, property and their peers. While these should be honored, they are also voluntary and cannot form a basis for a Professional Standards/Ethics complaint. So, why do we care? Up to 80 percent of calls we receive focus on professionalism, or lack thereof, which is damaging to our industry and the REALTOR® brand. In this new series, focused on “True Tales of Professionalism,” we’ll examine some cringe-worthy, real life examples of REALTORS® who didn’t violate the Code of Ethics, but certainly missed the mark on professionalism.
Today, let’s look at #12 under “Respect for the Public”:
“Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and drive a clean car.”
As a REALTOR®, your job is different than most. You don’t have to visit an office every day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about the importance of presenting yourself professionally.
Here’s a complaint we received from a homebuyer:
We requested to see a property in Wrigleyville one Saturday afternoon. When our REALTOR® showed up, it was clear he was inebriated. He smelled of booze, stumbled throughout the building and slurred his words. Instead of showing us around, he went out on the porch and stayed on his phone before saying, “I’m headed back to the bar.”
Needless to say, this isn’t professional or acceptable behavior. Not only should you present yourself well when working with clients and colleagues, you should always carry yourself well when in public. You never know who your next client will be. When someone says, “I remember that person,” let it be for all the right reasons.
We strongly encourage you practice with Pathways to Professionalism in mind, which will ensure you are giving the highest level of service to your clients and, ultimately, protecting your reputation. After all, this business is built on respect and trust.