October 5, 2008

The One That Might Cost You Business?

Have you ever heard the saying "easier said than done"? One might apply that comment to a physical task such as high jumping, swinging a golf club or running a marathon. They might use that statement when speaking of time management, financial savings or political claims. You might also see how that statement could be uttered when people read our 13th Business Principle.

As people of integrity, we conduct ourselves with the highest ethical standards.

I have found it certainly is one of those principles that everyone wants to piggy back on and say that is how they run their businesses as well as the way they live their lives. I have also been alive for almost 41 years now and a full-time Realtor for over ten years and I see too many people who live "below the line" or have selective amnesia of this concept.

In most situations in real estate there is black and there is white. Anytime you have a system with black and white, people love to find areas of gray. There might be some things that are light gray while others are very dark gray.

I just know this...if you truly run your business by holding firm to your ideas of integrity and ethical standards, it will cost you business. Are you okay with that? I hope you are because these definitions seem to be very subjective to each person.

Do you review your Code of Ethics each year when they are published in REALTOR Magazine?
Have you ever questioned another Realtor's behavior or business practices?
If you felt they were acting in a manner inconsistent with the Code, did you utilize the proper protocols provided by your Board of Realtors to report this potential violation?

I often wonder why people feel they have been treated in an unethical manner by Realtors of other companies yet aren't as quick to point the finger at fellow agents within their own company. I would like to think that is because our own agents act ethically 100% of the time as that would mean our leadership, training and culture is doing what it is supposed to do.

But I also know that we are all humans and our perceptions and realities differ from person to person and from day to day.

In my humble opinion, it comes down to two things; The Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have done to you) and Personal Accountability. Worry about yourself first, second and third and only then should you spend your time worrying about another.

I challenge all of you to continue to hold your expectations and services high above the line of ethical integrity. It will make you, your company and your industry better. And if an opportunity comes along that tempts you to go "below the line" have the courage, strength and trust in yourself to walk away and find the opportunities that are plentiful and await you "above the line."

Pay attention the next time you sit in one of the mandatory Ethics CE classes, read the Code of Ethics when it arrives in your mailbox next January, and most importantly, live the Code of Ethics in your daily activities.

What's your take on this Business Principle? Do you think there is a "line" when it comes to ethics? Are you comfortable walking away from those situations that might tempt you to go against your beliefs? Please leave me a comment.

Until next time...Build relationships...Solve Problems...and Have fun.