15 Reminders for Treating People Right

March 1, 2003

NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice are guideposts for professional conduct in real estate—but they don’t address basic rules of business etiquette. So here is our answer to Miss Manners. Post these rules in a prominent place in your office—and, gentle readers, refer to them often.

  1. Always follow the Golden Rule.
  2. Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.
  3. Schedule appointments and property showings as far in advance as possible; call if you’re delayed or must cancel an appointment.
  4. Enter listed property before the prospective buyers to ensure that unexpected situations, such as enthusiastic pets, are handled appropriately.
  5. Leave your business card at showings if you’re not prohibited from doing so by local rules.
  6. Never criticize property in the presence of the owner.
  7. When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell or knock before entering. Knock before entering any closed room.
  8. Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and maintain a clean car.
  9. If sellers are home during a showing, ask their permission before using the telephone or bathroom.
  10. Advise other brokers’ clients to direct questions to their agent.
  11. Communicate clearly; avoid jargon.
  12. Be aware of and respect cultural differences.
  13. Show courtesy and respect to the general public.
  14. Be aware of and meet all deadlines.
  15. Promise only what you can deliver and keep your promises.