The Real Estate Regulators of Canada is an organization comprised of the various provincial regulatory bodies including RECO,
They have a publication concerning proper professional behavior. This is what it says:
“What should Consumers expect from Real Estate Brokers?
RERC/ARCIC is a collaborative forum, which mission is to enhance its members’ effectiveness to achieve and sustain regulatory excellence. RERC/ARCIC supports its members in the regulation of the real estate industry by, being collaborative, inclusive, and outcome oriented, by developing common occupational and practice standards and strategies to address common regulatory issues, by supporting members as effective stewards of the public interest and speaking as a trusted voice for its members.
When asked how RERC defines professionalism, we first point Canadian consumers to the information available from their respective provincial regulatory organizations. Each of the jurisdictions have their own unique enabling legislation and each regulatory organization interprets the legislation and sets standards for industry professionals trading in their jurisdiction. There are, however, many common themes and principles shared by Canada’s real estate egulatory organizations.
Consumers can expect the following conduct from professional real estate brokers:
- Respect for the rule of law
- No discrimination
- Undivided loyalty
- Avoid conflicts of interests and disclose conflicts of interests if they exist
- Provide competent service
- Understanding of the Roles
Consumers can expect the following attributes from professional real estate industry members:
- Good communications skills
- Good time management.
- Dress code
To learn more about expected professionalism from brokers and these key attributes and conduct, please click here.
Define what would constitute proper professional behaviour by licensees / registrants.
Define professionalism by:
• gathering information and surveying Regulators on what they expect to be proper professional behaviour
• identifying proper professional behaviour
• share and publish results
Merriam-Webster defines professionaiism as, “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person”
From reference.com: Professional behaviour is a form of etiquette that applies to business people and those who engage others in this setting. It requires an individual to remain honest open, dedicated to corporate mission and aware of the thoughts, feelings and needs of others. Professionalism is linked strongly to respectful and courteous behaviours.
Maintaining a professional air is important during regular operations and times 0f great stress. It is easy to lash out or act in an unprofessional way during trying times. Professionalism requires that all members of workforce restrain themselves and act in a respectful manner at all times.
Acting in a manner that denotes professional behaviour requires that people in the workplace are aware of the guidelines associated with positive engagement and appropriate conduct. Training on this topic is a common staple in enterprise settings in order to comply with harassment and fair workplace standards. This makes professional behaviour important to an individual’s career and the safe operation of a company.
Information gathered from RERC member jurisdictions in May I June 2018 in advance of the annual meetings heid in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Feedback fell into two distinct categories with a couple of jurisdictions mentioning both.
1. Professional Conduct: Member jurisdictions referred to fiduciary obligations, standards of professional conduct, and Codes of Ethics. Some 0f the most common principles are; acting in the best interests of clients; providing competent service in areas in which industry members are skilled and knowledgeable; maintaining confidentiality; and avoiding conflicts of interest.
2. Attributes 0f Professional Behaviour: Member jurisdictions also referred to attitudinal characteristics embraced and demonstrated by professionals. Some of the most common attributes are; honesty; respect; civility; good communications skills; time management; integrity; dress; accountability; and commitment.
During a Research Committee meeting on 28 June 2018 the committee members agreed our next step is to create a document or list containing elements 0f both professional conduct and professional attributes for review during the next committee meeting in early August 2018. For discussion purposes, the list follows.
RERC is a collaborative forum to enhance our members’ effectiveness to achieve and sustain regulatory excellence. When asked how RERC defines professionalism, we first point Canadian consumers to the information available from their respective provincial regulatory organizations. Each of the jurisdictions have their own unique enabling legislation and each regulatory organization interprets the legislation and sets standards for industry professionals trading in their jurisdiction. There are, however, many common themes and principles shared by Canada’s real estate regulatory organizations.
Consumers can expect the following conduct from professional real estate industry members:
• Respect for the rule of law — public confidence in the real estate industry requires industry professionals to respect and comply with the law. This includes the enabling legislation in each jurisdiction and all other laws.
• No discrimination — real estate industry professionals do not discriminate against anyone for reasons 0f race, creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, age, national origin, or physical disability.
• Undivided Ioyalty — real estate industry professionals always act in the best interests of their clients and place those interests above everything except the law.
• Confidentiality — consumers may trust and confide in real estate industry professionals with the knowledge their confidential information will not be disclosed unless required by law or with timely and informed client authorization. Real estate industry professionals will not use confidential information obtained from their clients for personal gain.
• Avoid conflicts of interests — real estate industry professionals must avoid situations in which their interests are in conflict with the interests of their clients.
• Disclose conflicts of interests —- in situations where conflicts of interest are unavoidable, real estate professionals must disclose the conflict to their client and seek to resolve the conflict to the satisfaction of the client before providing any further service.
• Provide competent service — real estate industry professionals must provide service only in areas in which they are skilled and knowledgeable. 0f equal importance, real estate industry professionals must not provide service in areas in which they do not possess appropriate skill and knowledge, and I or it is outside their scope of practice.
• Roles understood — real estate industry professionals must ensure their roles are clearly understood by consumers including how they will be paid for their services. Consumers can expect the following attributes from professional real estate industry members:
• Honesty — while honesty is a fiduciary obligation, in the context of professionalism, real estate industry professionals conduct themselves honestly when in care and control of money, property, and information. Honest conduct is truthful, trustworthy, and genuine. Dishonest conduct deceives or manipulates the truth by lying, misrepresenting the facts, or omitting material facts.
• Respect — real estate industry professionals always maintain a mindful and respectful attitude to others, especially during stressful times.
• Civility — real estate industry professionals use appropriate tone and language in their dealings with others and do not swear. They act courteously, seek to understand, apologize for errors or misunderstandings, and keep their personal opinions of others private.
• Good communications skills — real estate industry professionals speak and write clearly, and in language, others can easily understand. They are attentive and patient listeners when others are talking or explaining things.
• Time management — real estate industry professionals are punctual. They manage their time well and are mindful of their clients’ time and that cf third parties.
• lntegrity — real estate industry professionals exhibit conduct that conforms to an accepted standard cf right and wrong. Ethics, morals, and good character are closely related to integrity.
• Dress — real estate industry professionals dress in clean, appropriate clothing. They avoid clothing that is revealing, provocative, or includes offensive language or pictures.
• Accountability — real estate industry professionals take responsibility and are accountable for their actions.
• Commitment — real estate industry professionals are obligated to act in your best interests and dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.”
Most of this is relatively straightforward. For some reason, they really don’t mention the fiduciary duties at common law (as such) which are disclosure, obedience, competence, confidentiality, accounting and loyalty. There are two additional matters, namely act in the best interests of the client and have no conflicts of interest.
Not swearing at anyone and being dressed nicely seem to be pushing the envelope unnecessarily.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker