Charita Cadenhead, of Bham Wire Realty in Birmingham, Alabama has made some excellent points in her recent post on ActiveRain. There are alot of folks who really don't know what our REALTOR Code of Ethics demands of Realtors. Charita has brought a few of those to light!
Client or Customer? If You Don't Know, Then How Do You Expect Consumers to Know?
It seems to me that while reading posts on ActiveRain, I read where agents refer only to "clients" and NEVER "customer." Should I assume that we all only work with "clients" or do we work with "customers" as well? Or could it be that some:
- Just do so without thinking?
- Don't know the difference between the two?
- Want to sound more important by using the word client?
- Want to give the impression that we only work with buyers that sign Buyer Agency Agreements (even though that isn't always true)?
- Have forgotten that technically there is a difference?
Personally I think that the use of the words customer and client in real estate is for the benefit of agents only and a bit ridiculous to me. I mean consumers really don't give a damn. They just want to be treated fairly and we owe that to anyone that we work with regardless (or irregardless which should be removed from the English language) of whether they are clients or customers.
At any rate, you can call them what you like. I'm not really bothered by it like some. I'm just being the typical wordsmith here and thought the topic was a good one to chew on for a minute.
But since definitions exist in the world of real estate, we may as well know what they are and how they are applied.
Just in case you've forgotten or haven't read the Code of Ethics since Shep was a puppy, here's a little refresher:
As used in this Code of Ethics, “client” means the person(s) or entity(ies) with whom a REALTOR® or a REALTOR®’s firm has an agency or legally recognized non-agency relationship;
“customer” means a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s firm;
“prospect” means a purchaser, seller, tenant, or landlord who is not subject to a representation relationship with the REALTOR® or REALTOR®’s firm;
“agent” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting in an agency relationship as defined by state law or regulation; and “broker” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting as an agent or in a legally recognized non-agency capacity. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/07)
Charita Cadenhead, Your Metropolitan Birmingham, Alabama Real Estate Broker of Choice
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