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How to Market Yourself as an Ethical Real Estate Agent
October 19, 2021

How to Market Yourself as an Ethical Real Estate Agent

by The CE Shop Team

Ethical Agents Are in High Demand

Did you know that some agents violate the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Code of Ethics every day, often inadvertently? As such, real estate agents who know the Code of Ethics well and put their learning into practice are in high demand. It’s time to level up your marketing strategy, ethical agents! 

Let’s Get Ethical

How to Market Yourself as an Ethical Real Estate Agent

An honest approach to ethical business provides a unique value proposition for agents. After all, integrity and honesty are both listed in the top 10 things homebuyers should look for in an agent. If you’re looking to market yourself as a highly ethical agent, here’s how to get started.

Get the Cold, Hard Proof

If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk. The easiest way to obtain proof that you know your stuff when it comes to Ethics in real estate is to complete your National Association of REALTORSⓇ (NAR) Code of Ethics training requirement. NAR requires a minimum of 2.5 hours of instructional time centered on their Code of Ethics to be completed before 12/31/2021. Luckily, The CE Shop has everything you need to efficiently satisfy this requirement.

We offer four courses aimed at building your knowledge of real estate Ethics and satisfying your NAR requirement:

Ethics at Work

This 3-hour course empowers real estate professionals to recognize and respond to ethical dilemmas, inspiring consumer confidence. Course content also looks at several NAR Code of Ethics articles and draws from real-life ethical scenarios.

Ethical Excellence: Raising the Bar

This 4-hour course arms agents with the knowledge they need to help raise the bar and improve the reputation of the industry. Students will also reference the Code of Ethics and work through engaging real-world applications.

The Code of Ethics in Action: Real-Life Applications

As a real estate professional, you likely encounter unexpected ethical dilemmas as you go about your daily business. This course will cover NAR’s regularly updated Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice so you’re always prepared.

Code of Ethics: Good for Your Clients and Your Business

This course focuses on mediation, tips for applying the Code of Ethics’ principles and guidelines to your practice, and various activities and examples to illustrate the practical application of this new information and frame it in an everyday context. 

Offerings will depend on your market and license type, and each state may also have its own requirements when it comes to Ethics courses. Check to see if your local association accepts one of these industry-leading courses.

Note that all Ethics course completions are reported to the state for CE credit within the required time frame (where applicable). The CE Shop does not report Ethics course completions to NAR. Reporting Ethics courses to NAR is the responsibility of the local association, and you should check with your association if you have any questions.

Once you’ve completed your course, you can tout the fact that your Code of Ethics requirement is up to date on your marketing materials and beyond. The CE Shop even offers course completion certificates that are perfect for a social-media-worthy selfie. And, if you’d like to further boost your reach, tag us at #TheCEShop on social media so we can help you boast about your Ethical excellence.

Define Your Target Audience

Once you’ve secured the credentials, you’ll want to narrow down your ideal client base. Believe it or not, not everyone is in the market for an ethical agent. Thomas Satas, founder and CEO of Chicago-based Windy City Homebuyer, was hired by one such couple earlier this year. They were in the market for a $469,000 home and, upon learning that other offers were on the table, pushed Satas to offer a $525,000 cash deal with 30-day closing. The husband then revealed that he had no intention of actually paying that amount and continued pressing Satas to submit the bad-faith offer. He was forced to fire them as clients.

So, when it comes to marketing yourself as an ethical agent, the first step is determining your ideal audience. Would you prefer to work with non-English speakers, who may have been discriminated against in the past and could use your equitable approach? Perhaps you’d like to work with first-time homebuyers in need of an agent with a solid knowledge base and a strong moral compass? Or, are you passionate about helping those with disabilities achieve the dream of homeownership? Whatever your strategy, start by targeting the right groups.

Fine-Tune All Marketing Materials

To champion your ethical approach, you’ll want to ensure that any and all flyers, social media posts, advertisements, and other collateral materials are up to par. 

For example, a brochure guaranteeing $100,000 over asking price may not exactly align with your ethical side. Ensure honesty, transparency, and proper expectation setting are consistent throughout your campaigns. Avoid exaggerating, making false comparisons, or denigrating others. Your dedication to Ethics should shine through at each stage of your business. 

Lean Into Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Once you’ve proven yourself to be an ethical agent to one client, you have the potential to draw in many more. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful approaches to growing your business. After all, a client who was receptive to your ethical approach likely has friends, family, and other contacts with similar perspectives who may also be in need of a real estate agent. 

To make the most of a word-of-mouth marketing strategy, consider implementing a referral program, always ask for reviews, and consistently follow up with previous clients. That way, they’re not likely to forget your ethical expertise any time soon. 

Keep Up the Good Work

Unfortunately, real estate agents and the industry as a whole can sometimes get a bad rep, which just illustrates how ethical agents are critical in today’s hot housing market. Whether your marketing efforts pay off big time or not, focus on bringing ethical service to every single transaction in which you have a hand. Equally important, call out or report any unethical behavior you might see in the field. After all, it will take all of us to promote ethical business across the real estate landscape.

Ready to Get Started With The CE Shop?

Whether you’re a new agent looking to start award-winning Pre-Licensing education or an experienced veteran wanting to finish your Continuing Education, we’ve got a 100% online curriculum that’s one of the most diverse and groundbreaking in the industry. And if you want to network with your peers, join our Facebook group and get connected!