Under all is the land.
Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.
For the past couple of days, those words..."Under all is the land" have rumbled through my mind. Not unlike the manner in which an intermittent bolt of thunder and lightning resonates an echo which meanders into the distance.
I frankly admit that when I entered into the real estate profession over 15 years ago, I had limited comprehension of how the unwise allocation of ownership could threaten the SURVIVAL and GROWTH of free institutions and indeed our civilization. As a new agent, my job just did not seem to resonate with that sort of significance or prominence.
I've recently finished reading Michael Lewis' book, 'The Big Short' and have started on another book, 'Housing Boom and Bust' by Thomas Sowell. It is unsettling to read about how the on-going devastation of the sub-prime mortgage disaster and the foreclosure crisis continues to traumatize our nation. And although, much of the focus in the last few years has been on the mortgage lending industry and Wall Street, I think it behooves us as an industry to examine ourselves & our responsibilities as stated in the Code of Ethics.
Did you know you have a Moral Responsibility as a Realtor®? One which extends beyond the boundaries of ordinary commerce and which has grave social and patriotic responsibilities? Did you know that it is your OBLIGATION to study and remain aware of issues of concern to the welfare of the public, our industry and land owners AND to be willing share the fruit of your knowledge and experience with others? Read about this here...
I wonder how our industry would conduct itself if we truly understood how fundamental real estate is to the welfare of our nation? It is noteworthy to consider that the most significant issue to threaten the very survival basis of our economy has been the collapse of the housing industry. This feat was not accomplished by the collapse of the manufacturing sector, the shipping of jobs overseas or even the wild shenanigans of Wall Street.
In a few weeks, we will be celebrating the July 4th weekend which commemorates our nation's Independence. Amidst the pomp, parades, picnics and apple pie we might all take a moment to think about all that being a Realtor® signifies. If we continue to think and behave as though this job is all about getting the next transaction to close or finding the next willing body to purchase or sell...we're in the process of loosing sight of who we are and what we are called to do.
During one of the most critical times in our nations' history, please remember that our jobs as Realtors® support the under-girding of our nation. ' Under all is the land' is a reminder that the day to day activities of Realtors® support the economy AND the moral fiber of our country. Our patriotic duty is just as significant as that required of our lawmakers, civic leaders and military personnel.
This year, the real estate board in Grand Rapids, Michigan will require all agents to complete Quadrennial Code of Ethics Training consistent with guidelines established by the National Association or Realtors®. I think that this training is one of the most important aspects of raising the bar of professionalism within our industry.
If you haven't done so in awhile, I'd encourage you to review the Code of Ethics in it's entirely. I hope you'll come away with a reinvigorated perspective. At times we have a tendency to loose our way amidst the difficulties and challenges of life. It is in these moments that we are well served when we are reminded of our higher calling and our responsibility to serve others. Never forget, WE ARE REALTORS, that's not just what we do...it's emblematic of WHO WE ARE.