REALTORS® are a group of real estate professionals who are active members of the Canadian Real Estate Association and agree to a REALTOR® Code of Conduct by being a member. This code of conduct affirms that consumers can expect a high level of professionalism and integrity from each member, and the REALTOR® community delivers on that commitment every day across Canada. In the pressure and pace of the real estate market, however, it can be easy to forget that fellow members deserve the same professional courtesy in communication so let's consider some reminders about the best practices around member-to-member communication.
The Golden Rule
It may seem cliché, but it stands as a valuable reminder that the golden rule is not only for elementary schools. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” is a valuable yet simple principle of good human practice in life and business alike. Despite the common interpretation of the golden rule as being a present imperative to only do things correctly in the moment. There are times when you may blow it and say or do something you realize after was not professional. The golden rule applies to apologies and reconciliations too. I know when I feel like I have been treated roughly, but when it follows with a humble acknowledgment and apology it always amazes me at how quickly my inner angst dissipates.
Don't Assume Intention or Motivation
For some reason, we all feel like we can read minds in tense or diverse situations. How quickly we tend towards the declaration “I know why they did that” or “they said that because” or the like. The reality is that none of us can know the intentions or motivations of another individual and in my experience, once the facts of the other side are known it is rarely as egregious or malicious as we imagined it to be. Give the other member the benefit of the doubt that they are operating in a professional matter based on the circumstances that you perhaps can’t see, and open dialogue to determine if you can find out more information about their view of a situation. I have met members from across the province in every region and board and have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have the desire to do the best they can for their clients and the industry. So, sometimes a simple conversation can help straighten out an issue.
Humans are highly relational and communicative creatures and for this reason, we function best when communication is comprehensive. Many of our amazing technologies today allow for an increased quantity of communication but a decreased quality. In a face-to-face conversation, you get the facial expression, body language, voice inflection, and a high volume of words spoken which allows for a quick connection at a deeper level. In a phone call, you get at least voice inflection and a high volume of words, but as we move to email, you get the word volume but no voice inflection, and worse yet text messaging where even the word volume is limited. As you can see there are logical reasons why communications breakdown when the ability to communicate information to another is simply not possible. Always seek a higher level of communication, especially where controversies, like storms are developing on the horizon.
Bullies are Bad for Business
The old saying that “when you fling mud at someone everyone gets dirty” is true in this regard. Although no one is likely kicking sand in your face at the beach, or stealing your lunch money anymore, bullying can come in sneakier forms today. Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical, and/or social behavior that intends to cause physical, social, and/or psychological harm, and this does manifest itself in business when tensions flare. Unfortunately, in a business context, it not only destroys member-to-member relations but also makes the industry look petty, devaluing the professionalism of the industry in the eyes of the consumer. If you are going to be something, be kind and professional.
In a fast-paced industry such as real estate, tensions and stresses are very real and sometimes passions can rise. In those moments a pause to remember that all members want to do right by their clients, and members working well with fellow members in those difficult moments can help reinforce the professional reputation of the industry. Keep open and active communication with fellow members and transactions will always go smoother making the clients the ultimate winners.
Provincial Practice Advisor
Bryan has many years of experience in the real estate industry including over 10 years as a former broker in the Edmonton Region.
Email: email@example.comPhone: 403-209-3619