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The Ethics Of Trash Talking In Real Estate


Whether in your job or personal life, you should always aim to be the bigger person. Life’s unfair. Negative things happen. It can be hard to take the high road though. While it’s OK to vent to others, gossiping or saying untrue (and harmful) things about others is never a good look. And in the real estate industry, it’s frowned upon. It’s considered unethical and could be cause for administrative action.

That’s right — badmouthing another real estate agent could come at a cost. You could face punishment including license loss.

According to the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics, Article 15, Realtors are to avoid making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals or their businesses. This applies whether you make false or misleading statements in person, in writing, or by technological means, such as the internet. If a Realtor does make a misleading statement, they have a duty to remove the statement or publish a clarification about the statement once the Realtor is made aware that the statement is false or misleading.

You may feel compelled to trash talk an agent once you find out they are taking away a client. This can be a frustrating situation. You may want to seek revenge. But before you do, think about the ethics involved. Is it really worth it to lose your license and pay fines over this?

Real estate agents can also get sued for unethical behavior. Lawsuits can be expensive and time-consuming. They can also cause damage to one’s reputation.

Instead, concentrate on your own abilities and experience. Think about how you can provide the best service to the client. If you feel the urge to say something negative, stop and think first. Instead, focus on positivity. You did the best you could to retain the client. If they decide to choose someone else, let them. In fact, say some nice things about the other company.

Be kind and professional at all times. Leave the trash talking for the sporting events. It’s not a good look when trying to help clients buy or sell a home. Remember to take the higher ground and be the better person. It’s not easy, but it shows morality, respect, and class. You can bet that clients will remember that.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Real Estate Broker License Lawyer

Real estate is a competitive industry, but agents need to act appropriately. Trash talking and lying are not ethical forms of behavior.

Confused about your ethical responsibilities? A Tampa real estate broker license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can help you stay on track. I have been involved in several hundred license discipline proceedings before the Florida Real Estate Commission and was the attorney for the Greater Tampa Realtors for 18 years. Fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633 to schedule a consultation.