Putting the “Professional” into Industry Professional Image

Putting the “Professional” into Industry Professional


Would you balk at the sight of your accountant swearing loudly over the phone? Would it bother you to hear your lawyer screaming at a receptionist while you sit in the waiting room? Such unprofessional behaviour might lead you to think lower of these professionals and possibly their industry as a whole.

Increasing professionalism within Alberta’s real estate and mortgage brokerages has become a focus for the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) and industry associations. Increased professionalism and accountability helps build consumer trust and confidence in industry professionals. It’s a win-win for individual professionals and the industry as a whole. But professionalism isn’t limited to interactions between industry professionals and their clients; being a professional goes beyond dealing with clients or customers. Professionalism should be the hallmark of all your working relationships, including those with RECA and your industry associations.

Renewals are in full swing, and RECA is receiving more than 300 calls or emails each day. We’re not complaining, but it does make for a hectic time of year. So, how does relate to the need to be a professional?

With the increased call and email volume, it’s more likely that an industry professional looking for renewal assistance is going to have a brief period of time on hold or will have to leave a voice mail. Most industry professionals realize this is the busiest time of year for RECA and their patience is greatly appreciated. On the other hand, unfortunately, there are those who choose to deal with the brief wait in a belligerent, hostile and generally unprofessional manner.

Industry members must not engage in conduct that undermines public confidence in the industry, harms the integrity of the industry, or brings the industry into disrepute. Individuals licensed in other regulated professions have similar rules and standards; in fact, an Alberta accountant’s unprofessional behaviour in her personal life ended up before the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Council’s Statement on Self-Regulation prescribes that industry professionals are to act with a professional mindset. The standards of conduct of all industry professionals collectively determines the value and integrity of the industry.

Whether anyone is watching or not, professional behaviour in all of your interactions is an important part of being taken seriously as a ‘professional.’