Know Your Code of Professional Ethics
Relations with Other Members of the Profession
"A MEMBER shall not make, authorize or otherwise encourage any false or misleading comments concerning the practices of Members of the Institute of Real Estate Management. A MEMBER shall truthfully represent material facts in their professional activities. A MEMBER shall not exaggerate or misrepresent the services offered as compared with the services offered by other real estate managers. Nothing in this Code, however, shall restrict legal and reasonable business competition by and among real estate managers."
Most real estate managers realize the need to conduct themselves professionally at all times when dealing with colleagues. IREM has taken this common-sense approach a step further by making this a requirement, as detailed in Article 5 of the IREM Code of Professional Ethics, shared above. By doing so, IREM has defined behavior that might otherwise fall into the abyss of "gray matter," which is abundant in professional relationships.
While it is everyone's goal to work well with peers, IREM requires it and advises members, "don't burn any bridges, as you never know when you may need that person down the road." This statement has never been more accurate than in today's economy. Professionals are mov ing between companies as well as finding new and innovative ways to service clients. It is very possible that a former professional adversary may be a co-worker tomorrow.
It is more important than ever to think carefully about your interactions with fellow real estate professionals, both within your company and elsewhere in the industry. As tough situations come up, don't hesitate to seek advice from your company's human resource department and review your employee manual occasionally as a reminder of corporate goals and expectations. Human resource officers are expert at listening to difficult situations and giving ethical advice that will comply with company policy. If there is no human resource officer available, you can contact IREM for confidential advice.
It is up to you, as a real estate professional and as an IREM Member, to choose the best course of action when faced with "gray area" situations. For example, if you and a competitor are bidding on the same job, is it appropriate to detail numerous negatives about the other company or an individual? Is it appropriate to discuss only certain aspects of your company, and leave out some other important facts when hiring a new employee?
IREM has a very structured ethics policy that includes a hearing board and disciplin - ary procedures. It is better to be cautious when interacting with fellow professionals now so you don't have to answer a formal complaint later.
IT IS UP TO YOU, AS A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL AND AS AN IREM MEMBER, TO CHOOSE THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION WHEN FACED WITH "GRAY AREA" SITUATIONS.
MARY FAITH RADCLIFFE, CPM (MRADCLIFFE@RCPMANAGEMENT. …