Editor’s note: Inman News received a pile of mail today from readers who wanted to either praise or condemn today’s story, ‘Rookie Realtor says no ethics in real estate‘. Here is a selection of letters:

Dear Rookie,

Editor’s note: Inman News received a pile of mail today from readers who wanted to either praise or condemn today’s story, ‘Rookie Realtor says no ethics in real estate‘. Here is a selection of letters:

Dear Rookie,

What, you mean to tell me that in every industry, including and especially the “news reporting industry,” there are not good people and shady people? Substitute any industry into this article and re-run. Are you, as what I thought was a “news reporting agency,” becoming an opinionated basher of Realtors?

I am disappointed that you’d even run such a nasty commentary.

Bruce B. Hailstone

Dear Rookie,

You can’t sell a house for the life of you, so you blame it on the fact that all of your “competition” (there is no competition by the way–only yourself) is unethical.

Your job is dying, and you are going through the five stages. It appears you are at “anger” right now.

Soon you will accept that you can’t provide an adequate service to consumers who need to buy or sell real estate, and you will move on with your life.

By the way, if McDonald’s turned you down, the janitorial business is always looking for good workers, if you don’t mind scrubbing toilets and working nights. Be careful though, I understand it’s a cutthroat business. I read the competition likes to steal the urinal cakes. You might want to write your name on them so you can prove they really belong to you.

Lee Anderson
Associate Broker
Century 21 Premier Service
Spokane, Wash.

Dear Rookie,

I’m not a new Realtor, but I couldn’t agree more. The problem is that the commission does not deal with problems between agents. However, most of the time it’s only another agent who knows how unethical the other agent is behaving and what effect it will have on the clients. Also, if an agent is unethical towards another agent, they don’t suddenly change their behavior to their client and act appropriately, so the commission is not protecting the public as they are supposed to.

Unfortunately, I think the agents who cling to ethics and respect for their clients go out of business quickly or don’t have the business they need to thrive.

Gayle Adcock
Realty Executives
Durham, N.C.

Dear Rookie,

I agree with Rookie, but from a different slant. I don’t care when a Realtor last read the Code of Ethics. I always have maintained that “it ain’t ethics if it has to be written, it’s regulation.”

All we need is a simple sentence, such as all religions, even atheists, profess: The Golden Rule, not The Rule of Gold.

Andy Maierhofer
Maierhofer & Associates/Metro Brokers
Centennial, Colo.

Dear Rookie,

You ought to try becoming a member of your Professional Standards Committee at your association before you make your decisions regarding ethics and Realtors. You might be surprised how many of us take it seriously in spite of the market fluctuations.

Gib Souza
RE/MAX Executive
Livermore, Calif.

Dear Rookie,

I am sorry but I don’t see the humor or the truth in this letter.

Carol Boji
RE/MAX Classic

Dear Rookie,

Speak for yourself. I’ve been in the business for over 13 years. I’ve practiced the code in spirit and the letter, and nearly everyone I’ve come in contact with does, too. And if you break the code you’ll have your customers, your managing broker, the state and the NAR breathing down your neck in no time.

I’ve watched plenty of people try their hand at this business. If you maintain your focus, which should be in prospecting right now, you can be successful. But if you lose your focus and dally around with inconsequential activities, then you better plan to eat beans from the food bank.

Steve Hammerquist

Dear Rookie,

As an experienced broker of some 34 years, I have to say your observations are right on. In no other business does there seem to be such an undertone of contempt for ethics, professionalism and fiduciary responsibility as there is in the real estate business. While I and my immediate business associates fully subscribe to and comply with the Realtors Code of Ethics (it is a section of our operating policy manual), rarely have I seen Realtors take appropriate punitive action on their own.

To maintain other designations I am forced to pay Realtors dues on which I can no longer place any tangible value. Unfortunately, the real estate community as a whole is no better than the Enrons of the world, and until some major scandal or client deception is uncovered, the prevalence of greed will continue to overshadow the minority of professionals who, in my experience, exhibit the highest standards of conduct and behavior.

I encourage you to stay the course. In the end you will benefit emotionally and financially for abiding by principals that allow you to sleep at night and contribute to the ongoing confidence and loyalty of those you have served.

Todd Brunst
Summit Commercial Real Estate Services

Dear Rookie,

I have been a full-time real estate investor and landlord for the last 17 years and feel much the same.

I believe the root of the problem is the entire commission-based pay system. It is far too tempting to flex the rules for personal gain.

Good article and keep up the standards!

Richard Castleberry
Chico, Calif.

Dear Rookie,

Enjoyed your article somewhat, but suggest that you need to use all caps for Realtor. Did they forget to include that in your class?

Many agents, young and old, bend when they shouldn’t–you are right. Keep up the good work and follow the code.

Linda Rike
Linda Rike Real Estate


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