Code of Ethics of Approved
1. Legal Law
Members will at all times obey the law applicable to estate agents in their state.
2. Moral Law
Members must be aware that legal does not necessarily mean ethical. Many unethical business dealings are legal. Members will use moral laws based on “doing the right thing” by all people with whom they do business and with whom they work. Members are expected to use their character and good judgement to know what is morally right.
Members will treat all staff with respect and will expect the same from staff members toward each other. A happy work environment is the starting point for creating happy clients. Members will not tolerate rudeness and sloppy client service by any staff members. The leader will set a good example and will at all times be committed to building and maintaining a happy team environment.
4. Staff Rewards
Team members will receive above award salaries with bonuses paid regularly based on attitude and performance. This applies to all staff. No person should be paid on commission-only. Members will meet regularly with all staff, on a ‘one-on-one’ basis. Members will ensure that staff have regular periods of rest and will be considerate of the personal lives of all staff.
5. Staff Difficulties
Members will act promptly and fairly in the event of difficulties with staff. Unethical or dishonest behaviour by any staff-member must lead to immediate disciplinary action and notification should be immediately given in writing to APPROVED of the circumstances of the behaviour. If a staff-member, of more than six month’s service, becomes seriously ill or has a serious illness in his or her family, the Member is expected to continue paying the full salary and entitlements to the team member for at least six months and, if necessary, to offer additional financial, personal and moral support to the team member.
Members will ensure that the presentation of their offices and their staff meets the standards befitting of one of the best real estate offices in the world.
7. Client Care
Members must, at all times, give priority to the interests and happiness of their clients. In the event that the Member is incapable of keeping a client happy, the Member will withdraw his or her services from the client. Members are required to adhere to the APPROVED Code of Client Care.
8. No Risks
Members will never create a situation where the agency can profit if the clients of the agency suffer financial loss if their property is unsold. If the agent is not confident of effecting a sale, the agent should decline to accept the client.
The agency may conduct auctions provided that the agency is prepared to guarantee that no consumer – either sellers or buyers – can lose money as a consequence of the auction. The agency must refund any lost expenses to unsuccessful buyers at auctions.
Members will ensure that all people who inspect a property have been identified and are in a position to buy the home should they so desire.
11. Qualifying of Homebuyers
Members will ensure that all homebuyers are fully qualified before being shown properties for sale. Members should make office appointments, at a time to suit the buyers, so that stress and frustration of clients is avoided through unnecessary inspections.
Members and all sales staff are required to study and have a knowledge of marketing and to ensure they are always aware of the most cost-efficient and effective ways of marketing a residential home. The member should take great care to avoid damage to the value of a client’s home with typical real estate advertising.
Members and all sales staff are required to study and have a knowledge of negotiation and to have completed the real estate negotiation skills tests required by APPROVED.
Members are required to study leadership and management by completing the required management courses of APPROVED. In addition Members should keep themselves up-to-date on all changes to the law and improvements to the System. Members should ensure that all their staff are highly trained. Sales staff should attend a minimum of 100 hours of training annually. Support staff should attend a minimum of 50 hours of training annually. All training courses should be approved by APPROVED.
Members should provide all clients with the guarantees required by APPROVED, and will immediately act in accordance with the terms of the guarantees if required to do so. In the event of a dispute, the Member will accept the decision made by APPROVED regardless of whether this decision benefits the Member.
Members should not accept properties for sale unless they are certain they have an excellent chance of selling the property. Members are required to have high list to sell ratios as recommended by APPROVED.
17. Client Explanations
Members are required to ensure that their sales staff explain all relevant points of method of sale, marketing and total fees, to clients before the clients make a decision to list or sell their property. The APPROVED presentation should be clearly presented to every homeseller. Every point should be covered.
18. Real Estate Institutes
Members may belong to Institutes if they choose. However Members are not permitted to use Institute material or systems unless such material offers benefits which are clearly in the best interests of the clients. The same provision applies to real estate franchise groups and marketing networks.
19. Fees and Charges
Members should not charge ‘up-front’ fees for any reason. All fees are payable by clients at the time of a completed sale. In cases of permanent hardship, Members should make NO CHARGE for their services. In cases of temporary hardship, Members should offer a payment plan on terms to suit the client. Under no circumstances will interest be charged, nor will Members lodge a caveat or make any ‘lien’ or ‘charge’ against the title of the clients’ property.
20. Other Agent’s Clients
The Jenman System has a NO-APPROACH policy toward clients of other agents. In light of recent court decisions, it is legally permissible to make all sellers aware of alternate services. However, Members must not harm the interests of any homesellers. Interfering with sales in progress by another agent is not recommended unless the Member is prepared to make good any loss which may occur to a homeseller as a result of such interference. In all circumstances, the interests of the homeseller must come first.
Members must advise clients of all offers made on their properties. Members must never submit an offer to a client which is lower than the amount offered, nor will Members ever submit any false or ‘dummy’ offers. Members should recommend that all offers are to be submitted by way of a Buyers’ Price Declaration. The amount of any offers, whether present or past, whether accepted or rejected, must not be revealed to other buyers at any time. The Member must ‘protect’ the value of the clients’ property.
Members are to be courteous and considerate when looking for business. If a homeowner requests no contact, the Member will respect the request. Under no circumstances can an agency approach a homeowner in times of sadness or bereavement unless that homeowner is a friend or past client of the Member and there is no mention of business.
A Member must keep confidential the personal information provided by a client. The reason a home is being sold is generally of no relevance to anyone other than the client. In cases of sales of homes of well-known or prominent people, a Member must never reveal the identity of the client unless the client expressly instructs that his or her name be revealed.
24. Personal Interest
A Member, or an immediate relative of a Member, is not permitted to buy through the Member’s agency. This provision applies to all staff in the agency.<
Members must take care not to give investment or legal advice without advising the recipient of such advice to seek independent advice, preferably from a lawyer or a qualified investment adviser.
Members should not remain silent about, nor accept or tolerate, unethical behaviour in the real estate industry.
27. Civic Duty
Members have a civic duty to their local area and should always be ready to help with a community emergency. Members are expected to be fine examples of good corporate citizens.