Are ethics stronger today?

In my Broker’s Law class the other day, the teacher made an interesting comment. She said that ethics today were stronger than they ever have been. I disagreed somewhat in class, but vehemently inside.

In a very-unscientific analysis, I turn to Google Trends to see what trend, if any exists – perhaps a slight downward curve across the board.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the most simple business practice is to be honest in all that one does – at the very least a track record will be there to call upon in the future.

When the “The University” starts negotiating various degrees of honor with regards to the “seriousness clause,” something is terribly wrong.

Why bother with an honor system at all? This story, from the UVA Magazine, is a fascinating read that provides valuable insight into today’s definition of “honor”.

“I think a lot of people are unwilling to hold someone accountable for an honor offense unless it’s a serious one,” one juror told the Cavalier Daily. “It was just a homework assignment.” (emphasis mine)

I can just imagine it – “It’s just an $180k condo, it’s not like it was a $600k house …” Please.

The culture of cheating and therefore dishonor starts early. Why so much reluctance to nip it in the bud?

Realtors are held to a high standard and deservedly so. The transactions we manage and consult on frequently represent the single-largest transaction an individual or family will ever do. The Realtor Code of Ethics is eight pages long.

The perception of the deterioration of ethics is not endemic in any one industry – be it real estate or the corporate world. It’s just that we seem to have lost our way.

A Google search reveals very few posts that discuss Realtor ethics in a positive light. Same with corporate ethics. Real estate is just like any profession – there are good Realtors and not-so-good ones. C’est la vie. Best to be one of the “good ones.”

Greg makes some good points about the Realtor Code of Ethics at Blue Roof.

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