Magazine article Journal of Property Management

ETHICAL CULTURES: Establishing and Developing Standards within Your Firm

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

ETHICAL CULTURES: Establishing and Developing Standards within Your Firm

Article excerpt

AS MANAGERS OF REAL ESTATE, WE'RE RESPONSIBLE NOT ONLY FOR THE HEALTH OF VALUABLE PHYSICAL ASSETS, BUT ALSO FOR COLLECTING AND SPENDING SUMS OF MONEY THAT ARE OFTEN SUBSTANTIAL.

More than once, we have had owners approach us about taking over their properties because they feel they are being victimized by their current managers. Although we think of ourselves as realists, it always comes as a shock.

During the interview process that brought me to my current firm, which manages one of the largest retail portfolios in the Northeast, I asked pointed questions about the bidding process. I was happy to learn that all bids are sealed and only opened in the presence of more than one person.

The bidding process was just the tip of the ethical iceberg here: we're known for making firm but fair leasing deals. We're known as a nononsense, "no favors" company that insists on the best work and will pay promptly for it. We're known for protecting our clients' money two signatures are required to move even the smallest amount of money. We practice complete account transparency, with clients able to instantly access all bank account information.

Along the way, I asked if my organization would be interested in applying for AMO* membership; I received a resounding, "Yes!"

It was clear that a culture built on high ethical standards was in place here at Levin, and there was strong support for keeping it that way. It is also part of every new relationship we enter.

I ask job applicants questions that establish their definitions of acceptable behavior in relation to tenants and suppliers. …

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