How Ethical is Your Real Estate Business Really?
CRM for real estate
We are not trying to suggest your agency has the morals of an alley cat. It’s merely a thought-provoking question; one that (if answered honestly) might go some way to improving your agency’s customer service levels. Most businesses think that they are operating ethically, but on further analysis, there are often a few grey areas.
As customer relationships are of the utmost importance, it pays to periodically analyse what you could be doing better as a business. There is an author by the name of John Maxwell. He wrote a book called ‘There’s No Such Thing As Business Ethics’. In that book he makes the case that business in general is usually unethical. Is it true?
What he’s actually saying is that there should be no difference between the ethical principles in businesses and the ethical principles of our daily lives. It’s a simple case of ‘treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.’ Why should business ethics be any different to personal ethics?
Are all businesses really unethical?
Well, no – but the majority are. It seems generally accepted that many businesses will lie (to some extent or another), whether it’s about quality, value, profit margins… whatever it is, maximum profit is the priority, so twisting the truth in order to secure the most profit is seen as almost inevitable, however unsavoury.
Obscuring the truth to whatever degree (whether the recipient is a customer or a competitor) is ‘the norm’. The attitude that “business is business” seems to pave the way for unethical behaviours.
How would things change if the customer’s needs were actually put first? For a start, the reputation of individual and collective businesses would be far better, and people would be less suspicious when interacting. This should result in more transactions, and a thriving economy.
Codes of ethics are established for a reason
There are countless trade group and professional codes of ethics out there to refer to. They apply to all industries, and whatever variations are found within them, the points are generally the same. It’s strange that they should be complex at all, when you think about it. Are ethics really that difficult to understand?
What codes of ethics do is simple: they offer businesses direction and highlight issues that may otherwise have been totally overlooked while all eyes were on the accounts. Business circumstances may be different to the circumstances of everyday life, but the ethics will translate; codes of ethics are there to offer that translation.
Having employees study an industry-relevant code of ethics is a great idea. It offers guidance as to professional etiquette and conduct, as well as specific ethics. If all employees study this, there is less grey area about how to behave within the business. It also provides clarity in relation to everyday business operations.
How can ethics be improved for Real Estate agencies?
When customer service is paramount, it’s simply a case of shaping your operations so that the customer has the best experience possible. It makes perfect sense from a business point of view – no explanation is necessary. For instance, turning up late to appointments – or missing them entirely – is shabby conduct. Not caring about this is unethical.
Similarly, allowing your team to function without any particular code of ethics or internal structure can result in chaotic communications, miscommunications and varying standards. All this leads to upset customers. What can be done about this? Well, how about using powerful real estate customer relationship management software?
As Optima-CRM for real estate focuses on proven practical elements that help your agency to get control over your teams and your entire business. If this doesn’t help your business ethics, we don’t know what will. Give us a shout for a free demonstration… it’s as good a start as any.