Why professionalism matters

If you were about to stride out of the office for an important client meeting and your shirt was hanging out of the back of your pants, wouldn’t you want a peer to tap you on the shoulder and tell you? Or would you prefer that they let you walk around looking sloppy or like an amateur? Well, think of the Board’s new “It’s all about RESPECT” campaign as that friendly tap on the shoulder!

Over the next ten weeks, the FVREB’s Professional Standards Special Committee is inviting you to explore what defines professionalism for our members and why it matters.

As we all know, professionalism is not just about the rules, the fines and the regulations around real estate. It is also about the small but critical things we do, such as:

  • speaking and acting with courtesy,
  • alerting each other if something in the contract or other dealings doesn’t look right (or about the untucked shirt),
  • helping to make each other’s showing, transactions, offers and other interactions easier,
  • and above all, demonstrating respect; which explains the name of the campaign.

Whether you have decades of experience or just a couple of years, you would likely agree that there are one or two areas of your professional practice that could use some brushing up.  Through the “It’s all about RESPECT” website and through articles in NewsReal, we will tap into what it really takes to be recognized as a true pro in this industry.

We hope the RESPECT campaign will also encourage Realtors to support one another’s professionalism goals – which is essential if we want to achieve higher standards as a group. Anytime a Realtor breaches the principles of professionalism, we all lose something whether that’s in the eyes of our peers, our clients or the general public.

By sharing our experiences, successes and mistakes, we can work together to raise the level of professionalism in our industry.

And of course as with any worthwhile campaign, there is the chance for prizes and minor fame, thanks to a Kudos Challenge that gives you the opportunity to send in kudos about peers who demonstrate respect in a way that you appreciate and admire.

Over the last few years, the Professional Standards Special Committee, working alongside Professional Standards Manager Dennis Wilson, has focussed on developing initiatives to strengthen professionalism with improved education and greater promotion.

Last year, they unveiled the 5 Guiding Principles of Professionalism of FVREB which are as follows:

  1. Clients come first: communicate and listen; exceed their expectations; be honest and set clear expectations for services; treat everyone with fairness and respect regardless of the potential outcome/commission and of course, follow through on your promises.
  2. Be an industry expert: fine-tune the skills of your trade (i.e. negotiation, marketing, and sales); stay up-to-date on your education; know your local market, research statistics, and monitor trends; be aware of and understand the impacts of current events, real estate issues and changes to legislation.
  3. Reflect a high standard: use exceptional manners and etiquette, dress appropriately, use proper speech and body language; keep your tools and image tasteful (i.e. business cards, website, social media presence); exercise integrity by obeying laws and guidelines and keep your word – always do what you say you will, when you say you will do it; promote professionalism by complimenting other experts and confronting unacceptable behaviour.
  4. Communicate clearly, accurately and thoroughly: communicate often and set expectations around frequency; use active listening skills; keep clients informed and empowered to make the right decisions; adapt your style of speech and body language to suit your clients, their age and their culture; write it down to avoid miscommunications; continually seek and graciously accept feedback.
  5. Honour your community: speak courteously and generously when referring to your peers/broker/profession; don’t slander the competition; refer to others if you don’t have the expertise needed; assist your colleagues when possible and actively participate in giving back to your community by sharing your skills, time or resources.

These 5 Guiding Principles were designed to be simple, memorable, and to include clear examples of how you would demonstrate the principles in your day-to-day activities.

We hope you have fun with the RESPECT campaign and get involved. It’s a chance for a refresher and to recognize when our peers also put these principles into practice. Every small effort helps strengthen a culture of professionalism amongst Fraser Valley Realtors.

Visit the RESPECT website for more articles and videos or to send in kudos about an awesome Realtor.