How you present yourself to others in the business world speaks volumes. As times change and technology evolves, we are constantly adjusting to broader and quicker modes of communication. As agents are busy adjusting and keeping up, one thing remains, the importance of professional etiquette.
All of us, in every profession, are responsible for upholding a level of etiquette.
Keller Williams associate Catherine Richardson of Stamford, CT, has taken on the subject of etiquette in real estate. “Our industry gets a bad rap, and sometimes for valid reasons,” she says. “It’s a subject that hasn’t been addressed, but it needs to be. It’s about respect and being considerate.”
“When I first became an agent in 1998 I saw immediately that etiquette has slipped through the cracks. I also looked around and realized we need to raise the bar in our industry,” Richardson says. The matter interested her so much that she recently wrote a book about it – Real Estate Etiquette: A Realtor’s Guide.
In her book, Richardson talks of personal accounts which led her to write on this topic. Issues such as not getting phone calls returned (even on referrals), offers “presented” via text message, agents not speaking highly of their clients or listings while not in their presence, and more made her realize the industry as a whole was suffering and that everyone could benefit from some polishing up.
Richardson aims to help agents clean up their game, whether it is brushing up on common sense decencies or bigger aha moments within these broad topics:
- The Homeowner
- Best Practices
- Good Business
“If I had to choose, the chapter on the homeowner is probably one of the most important,” Richardson says. “Agents must put themselves in the homeowner’s shoes. Selling a home is a complicated and emotional process for people to go through. Agents need to be sensitive to the homeowner, respectful to the home itself and the process.”
“My rule of thumb: talk and act like the homeowners are watching you. Do the right thing – represent the property with integrity and as someone who is being paid thousands of dollars to do the job.” - Real Estate Etiquette: A Realtor’s Guide
The quickest read in the book is Chapter 6: Honesty, which is just 31 words total. “Honesty is the best policy. Always has been, always will be. Lie and it will come back to bite you. Period. End of discussion. End of chapter. Always tell the truth.”
"Your book is truly a gift to our industry and one that I think all professionals should read." Mo Anderson