Code of Ethics; Really?

Our last few blogs were dedicated to promoting the Atlanta sales market to agents throughout the United States.  Historically, we never promoted ourselves outside of Atlanta because the Wynd Realty business model isn’t allowed in most of America.   NAR rules. 

With agents across the U.S. realizing the Atlanta market is open we decided to run a series of national ad educational campaigns.    I honestly believe our industry would be better served under an FMLS-like, for profit, national system.  I know the remote agents on our roster, almost to a person, have said they wished they had FMLS “back home”. 

What did we learn from our national ad experiment?  The response we received was both interesting and wildly unexpected.   Soliciting responses from the general public is NOT something you want to do.  The vile that oozes from our society is say the least.  I doubt we do national advertising again.    

Despite us clearly stating Atlanta’s MLS was a “for-profit” company and NOT associated with NAR, about 30% of our responses accused us of lying.  “You can’t have an MLS without NAR”!   They simply refused to believe our agents are allowed to List homes, search properties and run statistical data for FREE!  NAR is nowhere around.   “That can’t be true!  You don’t know what you are talking about”!  You’re an idiot and should be killed”. 

Our biggest shock however was the number of responses, over 50%, that quoted NARs “Code of Ethics” as the reason to discount everything we were saying.  Without NAR, “you have no Code of Ethics”, which somehow immediately translates to our agents being criminal? 

Full disclosure: I took NARs Code of Ethics training when I first started my career.  I sat in a classroom with about 30 others.  We all played on our phones while an older gal droned on about yesteryear.  (Did you know real estate began as a trade for the ladies with the original commissions being fancy “floral arrangements”) Needless to say and I can attest to, no one receiving any training that day. 

Still, to leave the classroom we all had to line up to receive our “Realtor Pins”.  In a silly attempt at ceremony, NAR tried to make the formal accepting of the Realtor Pin akin to the putting on of a Masters “Green Jacket”.    It was like being in an actual Christopher Guest movie.

Be nice.  Be professional.  Treat others like you’d want to be treated.  Follow the Golden Rule.  But, until an agent has taken NARs Code of Ethics training, they’re probably just another “tat-face trying to steal your stuff”.    Yes, this is what have we become. 

NAR’s Code of Ethics is nice pie in the sky.  Cumbia everybody.  But it isn’t holy doctrine.  No one should war over it.  There are no magical powers in its scripture.  It’s silly.  And just because as a Brokerage we decided to NOT participate in NAR, doesn’t mean; “we don’t know what we are talking about and should be killed” 

Ironically as I write this blog, Wynd Realty is in an “ethics” clean-up from an ex-affiliate.    To my knowledge we have affiliated two professional criminals over our 15 years in business.  One was actually a pretty good sales agent but was sentenced to 6 years on a Social Security scam.  The other is still at large. 

From the time we affiliated our grifter to the time we caught onto his scam, he was able to wreak havoc on a number of transactions.   I am happy to report all have been resolved. 

On behalf of the Wynd Realty community I want to thank: Weissman Law, eCommission, Kimbrough Law, Atlanta Communities and Family First Financing.

As adults we realized the situation we all found ourselves in and together chipped in to help each other.   Nobody mentioned the “Code of Ethics”, because what we were dealing with was “real”.  There was no time to argue over semantical bullshit.  Besides, what serious person really thinks NARs “Code of Ethics” does anything to stop pre-mediated criminal behavior.   It’s crazy to think that it would! 

Overall, our local ethics issue was a faith restoring event.  Unlike our national advertising campaign which was more of a soul crushing dumpster fire.  Maybe we shouldn’t tell outsiders about how unique the Atlanta market is.  Hell, even our local paper, the AJC, will never tell the truth about our real estate market because they get paid NOT to!  Hmmm?  Maybe it’s the AJC who should read NARs Code of Ethics?   

Atlanta, remains the best kept secret in the real estate world. 

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