Expectations Create Disappointment Not Necessarily Frustration

Real Estate Agent with Dirt Road Real Estate SA676002000

Earlier this past week I had a conversation with Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana! We discussed expectations of and frustrations with the real estate industry and real estate agents. By the way if you haven't personally spoken with Anna, it would be worth your while to invest the time to schedule a phone conversation. She has incredible wisdom to share.


After this truly delightful and insightful conversation, I pondered my own internal beliefs or attitudes for greater clarity. What I realized is though sometimes my blog postings may appear to sound like frustration, they truly are more about disappointment.


As a sales professional with five (5) decades of experience (actually more if you count selling penny candy at my father’s sundry store) and having a father who was the consummate sales professional, I am very disappointed when other sales professionals fail to be “professional.”


The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines professionalism as “professional status, methods, character or standards.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition reads “the conduct, aims or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.”


When we examine the word conduct, we learn it is defined as “personal behavior, way of acting; bearing or deportment.” (


Professional development or continuing education classes about real estate are not directed towards personal behavior(s). These classes are to fill critical knowledge gaps.


As we grow older, professionalism is usually not learned in the classroom. No, professionalism is learned from early childhood as we observe our elders' "way of acting."


Professionalism is an attitude reflected in our behavior. Professionalism is an internal code of conduct and from my understadning why we have the Code of Ethics.


A study published by Forbes in 2018 that ranked selected U.S. professions in terms of honesty and ethical standards revealed the following from Low/Very Low to Very High/High


Nurses: 2% low/84% high (The highest profession)

Accountants: 7% low/42% high

Bankers: 21% low/27% high

Real Estate Agents: 19% low/25% high

Lawyers: 28% low/19% high

Car Salespeople: 44% low/8% high

Members of Congress: 58% low/8% high (The lowest profession)


The good news is real estate agents rank higher than Congress relative to honesty and ethical standards. With one out of four surveyed believing real estate professionals are honest and ethical, this industry has a way to go to be viewed as an honest and ethical profession.


Personally, my expectation after reading, learning, and embracing the Code of Conduct was other real estate agents and Realtors would have a similar behavior. I was quite excited to see a Code of Ethics being part of this industry. Hence my disappointment during these first few years to learn that is not the case.


At the end of the day, I will continue to write and share my expectations and sometimes disappointment. I believe each of us can make this profession even better by our own attitudes and hence demonstrated behaviors showcasing our professionalism as Realtors and real estate agents.


Graphic courtesy of

Posted by

Leanne M. Smith, MS, GRI, rCRMS

2018 KGVAR Rookie Realtor of the Year-55+
219.508.2859 MST
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Leanne Smith - so much of the professionalism is something from our background.  Like you mentioned with your father.  My parents instilled professionalism in me.

May 24, 2020 07:16 AM
Leanne Smith

Good morning Grant Schneider Our early childhood has a far greater long lasting impact than we ever could imagine.

May 25, 2020 05:44 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

That's very encouraging!

Real estate agents rank higher than Congress relative to honesty and ethical standards. With one out of four surveyed believing real estate professionals are honest and ethical, this industry has a way to go to be viewed as an honest and ethical profession.

May 24, 2020 08:42 AM
Leanne Smith

Looking for the positive always helps Sham Reddy CRS 

May 25, 2020 05:43 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I think when greed gets in the way, people lose sight of the true goal.... most know right from wrong; the golden rule; and have common sense..... my mother was a bank officer for decades.... all of my financial habits come from her.... top credit rating was a requirement.... for all of it, I'm thankful.... 

May 24, 2020 11:22 AM
Leanne Smith

Very insightful about greed Barbara Todaro My sense greed also goes to internal measurements such as "being top producer." If the goal lacks ethical behaiors, the end result suffers.

May 25, 2020 05:42 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Leanne -  love the beginning of  your professional career by selling candy in your Fathers' store and learning from him!! Fabulous way to start! Some of us learned early on, others didn't have that good fortune.  I watched my Father conduct business from a young age and was fortunate to have such a role model, as I did with my Mother too. And I agree with you - professionalism is an 'internal way' of conducting business. The Code of Ethics is an excellent guideline for agents.  Over the years I know from the very start of a transaction if the agent comes from professionalism or not.  And it's always a pleasure to work with top notch true professionals. It was great to chat with you the other day!  You have a lot of wisdom to share and I look forward to reading more posts.  Thanks for the kind words - much appreciated!


As for where our profession lies on the 'totem' pool -  that doesn't surprise me as I've seen many surveys over the years. Many of us have worked hard over the years to up-level the professionalism of our industry and we'll continue to march on, won't we!  What is crazy to me is that congress comes in dead last now (or maybe it has for years?).  Those folks need a wake up call and the sooner the better.  End of rant LOL!

May 24, 2020 11:43 AM
Leanne Smith

Well as the former govenor of IN told local citizens "You deserve all the crummy government you elect." So appreciate your comments as well Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana! 

May 25, 2020 05:41 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Leanne - as usual, an interesting ride when you take us on a journey of discovery.  Not just the world of sales but the universe of being.  

May 24, 2020 04:02 PM
Leanne Smith

So true Michael Jacobs thank you

May 25, 2020 05:39 AM