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.” (Dictionary.com)
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