Put Yourself in Their Shoes
| February 23, 2015
It’s a competitive market out there and brokerages use a variety of advertising to help them get noticed. This could include incentives, guaranteed sales programs, “discounts.” There’s really no limit to the creativity of our industry professionals.
While creativity is great of course, everyone has a stake in ensuring that creativity is within the rules.
It’s not unusual for the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) to receive “anonymous” complaints about industry professional advertising. The complaints typically come in because one industry professional doesn’t believe another industry professional’s advertising complies with the rules.
RECA applauds anyone who wants to make the industry better.
As an industry professional, if you see advertising that may not be appropriate (i.e. an incentive isn’t brokerage-wide)—you are taking the right first step by identifying a potential problem.
The second step is key: you should contact either the industry professional who’s doing the advertising or their broker and talk to them about it. Do this before taking your concern to RECA. By talking to the individual or their broker, you may have just helped someone who was unaware of the advertising rules and hopefully built some goodwill in the process.
On the other hand, if you have tried talking with the individual or the broker, still believe there is an issue, and are not receiving cooperation—forward your complaint to RECA and document your efforts to resolve the issue.
The spirit of self-regulation is looking out for each other. Put yourself in their shoes. If someone noticed an issue with your advertising, what would you want them to do? Would you want them to notify RECA right away? Or would you rather they call you and discuss their concerns?
Helping a fellow industry professional can make a transaction go smoother, provide better service to the public, and ultimately improve the image of the industry. Next time you notice a potential issue with a peer, take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Become a mentor. Lend a hand. In the end, everyone benefits.