Know Your Irem Code of Professional Ethics

Article excerpt

Article 9. Duty to Former Clients and Former Firms or Employers

A MEMBER shall act in a professional manner when, for whatever reason, relationships are terminated between a MEMBER and a client and firm or employer.

Never burn a bridge in life because you just never know when you might need that bridge again. In the world of real estate management there are many stories of property managers who are eventually employed by former tenants, clients or even employees.

A property manager is privy to financial and other confidential information concerning properties and clients that should not be divulged, especially when the manager ceases to work with the property. A CPM* has a professional duty to exercise caution in not divulging information that could have a negative impact on the property or its owners. For example, one should not share information that cannot be obtained publicly. Lease terms, such as expiration dates and rental rates of commercial tenants, could enable unethical solicitation of business with a competing property, giving unfair advantage that might cause the former client's building to lose rental revenue and face other hardships.

A CPM also has a duty to companies or employers for whom he or she has worked and pledges not to unethically solicit customers or clients. If a property manager has signed a non-compete agreement with an employer, he is bound to the terms of that agreement for whatever time period and terms stated.

In the absence of a non-compete agreement (or once it has expired), a CPM may make his services known to the public, including former clients, if done in a professional manner and not using information that isn't available from public sources. At no time may a CPM solicit business away from a current employer while still employed as an agent of that company. …

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