This is the seventh and final installment in a series about courtesy in real estate. It is taken from guidelines produced in the Miss Real Estate Manners document created by the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR). The following story in The REALTOR® EDGE newsletter is excerpted with permission from LSTAR.
- Oral agreements are meaningless and only create problems. Never, ever make oral agreements and assume they are binding. Follow precisely the regulations set forth in Bill 55.
- Explain what steps must be taken to complete and effect a successful closing.
- In any transaction or advertisement in which you are acting as a principal, disclose in writing your status as a registrant to sellers, buyers and other registrants.
- If a REALTOR® becomes aware of any practice that is damaging to the public or that may bring discredit upon the real estate profession, it is his/her obligation to report it to their local real estate board or RECO. You are not being a snitch. You are protecting and upholding the reputation of your profession.
- Accept and recognize cultural differences. Avoid voicing your personal views regarding other cultural, religious or ethnic groups even with customers and clients who appear to agree with you. You never really know when you might offend somebody. Besides, Canada is famous and well-respected for being both multicultural and tolerant; it is an ideal to which we should all aspire, especially in our professional lives.
- Return calls from other sales representatives promptly. They may have an offer or may need additional information to enable them to prepare an offer. Speak clearly and slowly when leaving a message on someone else's voice mail to ensure that the recipient understands your name, message and telephone number (with area code).
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- Receive private calls through your pager/cell phone to avoid tying up the office telephone or administrative staff.
- Subscribe to voice mail. This ensures that your callers never encounter a busy signal or are put on hold. Voice mail encourages callers to leave a detailed message to facilitate a faster response.
- Ensure that the seller has provided a security code or pass word for his/her alarm system. After use, ensure that a lockbox is secured properly.
- Ensure that all co-operating brokers who are visiting a house with an alarm system know how to turn the alarm off and on again.
- Remember to leave your business card when viewing a property. All appointments must be made as directed on the listing form. If you are unable to keep an appointment to show a property, advise the listing brokerage and/or seller (an appointment should be cancelled via the same method and person by which it was made). It should be remembered that it is very annoying to wait for prospective buyers who do not arrive. Always leave your business card once you have viewed a property – as a courtesy. Even with the electronic key boxes, a business card goes a long way.
- Follow the directions on listings for showings.
Members of organized real estate have long been concerned about their public image and, historically speaking, they had good reason to be. For many, many years, public ranking of REALTORS® has placed them very low on the totem pole indeed. That has started to change, thanks in part to CREA’s national advertising campaign and OREA’s REALTOR® value campaign, but also to the increasing professionalism of REALTORS® globally. If you wish to elevate the image of your chosen profession, set an example – walk the talk. Be courteous; communicate; and use common sense. In other words, be professional. You will not regret it.
The above tips are excerpted with permission from the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. Read LSTAR’s full Miss Manners document here.
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