Real Estate is one of the world’s finest, yet most gruelling industries to break into. It is forever growing and there are always new rules and regulations created to ensure that ethical behaviour in real estate agents is met.
In 1992, the EAAB, also known as the Estate Agency Affairs Board, introduced an immeasurable Code of Conduct to ensure estate agents are abiding by the rules and warrant that their duties are being upheld to the standards that are set. Real estate is a prestigious institute and just like any other profession, first impressions count. Exemplary standards are expected and observed by its individual members. This code of conduct involves ALL aspects of what’s required from an estate agent and ways to establish formality in the ever growing industry.
What is expected?
Being an estate agent is more than just flashing an impressive smile and showing clients around to possible new homes and aspects of the homes being sold. It’s about establishing a mutual ground with an individual, both buyers and sellers, creating a comfort zone and tuning in to exactly what he/ she is looking for.
This is about finding the perfect place for a client to settle and be comfortable in making one of their biggest purchases in life, or selling a once owned environment with all their memories and possibly new ones to come.
More than that, it is also expected that members conducted themselves professionally and treat every client with dignity, carrying out their duties as property professionals.
Real Estate agents are frequently perceived negatively in the public’s eye and some consider them to be money-hungry individuals, only in it for the “quick buck” and with a mindset like that, it could cause difficulties in the process of “sealing the deal”, thus the Code of Conduct was created to uplift the standard of professionalism. This helped improve the image of the industry.
More than the basics of business etiquette, there are a number of financial regulations and lawful contractual terms that have to be conducted within the framework.
What does it involve?
It includes guidelines about how to deal with clientele, general duties as an estate agent, a framework for communication, as well as other general fields that are conducted as an estate agent, e.g. mandates and contracts. Note that the Code of Conduct is not the same regulatory document as the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976.
There are some basic entry requirements that are required and include consumer education, the professional image that is expected and should be promoted, an extensive training programme on ethics and more.
Having people skills and a general sense of affiliation would greatly benefit any individual considering a career as an estate agent or property consultant.
If real estate is the career an individual would like to pursue, The Code of Conduct should, and most probably will, become second nature, if it isn’t already.
If for whatever reason an individual feels that an estate agent , property broker or property consultant is not conducting business in an ethical manner, then they are welcome to contact the EAAB on 087 285 3222 or visit their website on www.eaab.org.za/home or download a copy of the EAAB Code of Conduct .