Real Estate Code of Ethics- Violations Going Public (Almost)

Have you ever heard the phrase, “A few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch?”

If you’ve ever had interactions with another agent who didn’t follow the Code of Ethics, violated TREC rules, or just didn’t keep up their end of a transaction, than you know exactly what we mean.

At Benchmark, we focus on QUALITY of agent, over Quantity of agents.  We even have a formal Agent Behavior Policy that requires our agents to operate morally, ethically, and legally – or they cannot stay. Combine that with a proprietary check and balance system to ensure our document compliance and you will see that we believe in always doing the right thing.  It’s just who we are.

Does that mean we are perfect?  Nope.  We don’t claim to be. When humans are involved in the process, sometimes humans make bad decisions.  But we try hard.  Towards that aim, we have established a proprietary “brain trust” that is available to our agents 24/7 to provide input on any sticky situation that they might find themselves in and in need of advice.  More importantly, one thing you will never hear about Benchmark is that our brokers are not accessible.  With multiple points of contact and tremendous depth of experience across the board, you will ALWAYS be able to get help when you need help.Real Estate Ethics- Benchmark Realty TN

Code of Ethics Violations Soon to be on Display

If you are one who pays attention industry news, you know there is a growing national movement that believes Ethical agent behavior should be defined and monitored on a larger scale. The National Association of Realtors® just approved a pilot program that will allow the California Association of Realtors® to publish the names and photos of members who violate the Realtor® Code of Ethics.  To us, this sounds suspiciously like a first step toward voluntary national regulation of our industry – sort of like what the Dodd-Frank Act does to the banking industry.

According to Kevin Brown, president of CAR, “We just want to shine a light on the people that misbehave in our industry.”

The list won’t be public (for now); it’ll only be available to other members. So what does this mean for you as a Tennessee Realtor®?  Your local associations are talking privately about doing the same thing, and TREC already posts the names of errant licensees on their website.  That website IS available to the public.

Some agents feel like this is a positive step forward, while others think it’s a bit too personal for public display. CAR’s idea is to not only keep unethical Realtors from gaining traction in their communities, but to use them as examples of what not to do.

This is just a pilot program, and it’s only in California right now. However, if it’s successful and gets positive feedback, it could quickly expand to other states. Generally speaking though, you have nothing to worry about if you’re an ethical, honest Realtor®.

Is There Such a Thing as an “Accidental” Ethics Violation?

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. But that does not excuse an ethics violation. Your best approach is to stay on top of the Code of Ethics…if you’re not sure about whether you should do something, STOP and ask somebody who knows.

One of the best ways to make sure you know what you’re doing is to participate in Benchmark Realty Agent Training. You can learn a lot at our Mastermind Meetings, Agent Orientations, Broker Forms Reviews, and our monthly Coffee with the Broker.  These growth opportunities are important not only because of the content we present but because they expand your networking with fellow agents.

Are You a Benchmark Agent?

If not, you’re missing out. We’re one of Middle Tennessee’s premier real estate brokerages, offering  100 percent agent commission. (No, you don’t have to clean your screen. You read that correctly.)

Call us at (615)371-1544, fill out the form below, or use our contact page to get in touch. We’ll be happy to schedule a confidential meeting where we’ll explain Benchmark’s Total Freedom concept and refresh your memory about that 100% commission.

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About the Author:

Phillip Cantrell is the CEO and Founder of Benchmark Realty, LLC.