How to spot an ethical real estate company
Training in the real estate industry has come a long way and business ethics is now firmly entrenched as a core value but candidate agents who want to become successful and productive agents while maintaining a high ethical standard may still need to look below the surface when they decide which company to join.

So says Barry Davies, CEO of Chas Everitt International Franchising, who notes: “Most industry practitioners profess strict adherence to sound business ethics – and one would hardly expect less – but candidates may find it difficult to establish from a vision and mission statement whether a company will really match their own ethical standards.”

Brokers or agency owners who view values as important should have an ethics programme that is just as carefully conceived as their marketing programme, he says.

And he advises anyone who wants to enter the real estate industry to ask companies how they implement their stated values and what is done to reinforce them.

“Many company interviewers may not have the faintest idea how to answer such questions. And while it may not reflect on their own ethical standards, it is an indication that the particular company’s commitment to its stated values is less than overwhelming.

“Two simple questions will reveal the extent of this commitment: The first is how much time and resources are devoted to training agents in the necessary skills and methods to become successful agents. The next is how much time and resources are devoted to reinforcing stated values and the importance of ethical behaviour.”

He concludes that if the company is not dedicating much time to discussion and instruction on ethical issues, “chances are good that its commitment stretches no further than a framed statement hung on the office wall”.