I’m not much of one for ripping articles out of magazines, but a few months ago I tore an editorial out of an industry publication because there were sentiments in it that resonated with me. I kept the article, and today I am sharing a few of the author’s insights – as well as my own – with you.
The following question was asked of Steve Brown, 2014 President of the National Association of Realtors. “Isn’t the real estate industry just like any other business? Don’t we have a product to sell? Isn’t the industry based on profit and loss and market share just like any other business?”
I am joining Steve Brown in his response, which essentially was, “No…The answer to your question is a resounding no!” As a Real Estate Professional and a businessperson, of course there are business models that underlie how I perform. But those models do not address the “why” of what I do, and I believe it is in the “why” that real estate is differentiated.
In 1924, the National Association of Realtors rewrote the preamble to its Code of Ethics, and the new Code begins, “Under all is the land.” Following that phrase, the Code of Ethics sets out the business as well as social responsibilities of Realtors. The Code recognizes that land carries intrinsic value, whether it is used for residential, commercial, institutional, farming, or other purposes. Real estate professionals are charged with overseeing the transactions that safeguard the land’s value. In addition, however, land and its ownership carry social and emotional meaning for most.
Land ownership expresses value in many ways. People dream of places to make beautiful, places where they can give physical expression to personal values, places where they can live out a specific lifestyle or conduct a profitable business. They also dream of security, both financial and physical. And for many, the ownership of land is an expression of accomplishment for the world to see and appreciate. Property ownership is a physical expression of deeply embedded thoughts and feelings, and for many it is also one of the most significant financial investments they will make in their lifetime.
So is real estate a product like any other? No, it’s not. It is finite. It can be nurtured, or it can be rendered useless. It is tied to hearts, minds, cultures, and pocketbooks. Many of the thoughts and feelings tied up in land ownership are similar across a wide range of boundaries around the globe. There is nothing else like it, and working in the real estate industry is a job like no other. And for me, it is because it is NOT “business as usual” that I am involved. I love working to safeguard the land and its value as well as the social, emotional and financial investments people make. I work in this industry because I truly love being engaged in ALL the facets of helping people make their real estate dreams come true!