An A to Z Guide to Ethical Estate Agency

How the Best Estate Agents Usually Behave

We’ve worked with independent estate agents since 2010, and during those years, we noticed something very odd.

The public perception of estate agents is often that they’re dodgy, smarmy and not to be trusted.

This is totally at odds with our experiences working closely with many agents over the years.

The best we’ve had the pleasure to work with are hardworking, honest and above all else, they always act ethically.

It’s why we’ve created this guide below.

To celebrate the good guys and girls and share some of what makes them outstanding at what they do. Because the ethical ones are usually very successful.

This A to Z guide is designed to be read in less than five minutes, but if some of the ideas within it are followed, it could help your agency have a far brighter and more sustainable long term future.

Let’s start.

A – Accountability: Be accountable for your actions and decisions, and be transparent about your agency’s processes.

B – B Corps: Consider becoming a certified B Corp to show your agency’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

C – Community: Build relationships with your local community and support local causes. The best agents are ALL heavily involved within their communities.

D – Diversity: Promote diversity and inclusion within your agency and the wider industry.

E – Environment: Reduce your impact on the environment by implementing sustainable practices and aiming to become a carbon-neutral company.

F – Fees: If a client can’t find your fees on your website or marketing materials, they’ll often have doubts about what else you’re not being upfront about. Share them openly.

G – Giving back: Give back to society through charitable donations or volunteering your team’s time and expertise.

H – Honesty: Provide honest valuations of properties and ban misleading or deceptive practices.

I – Integrity: Operate with integrity and honesty in all your dealings with clients, colleagues and your community.

J – Just pay on time: Pay your team and suppliers fairly and on time, every time.

K – Knowledge: Stay informed about ethical issues and best practices, and share your knowledge with others.

L – Localism: Wherever possible, aim to buy locally to support the local economy and promote businesses in your area.

M – Minimal waste: Minimise waste in your operations and encourage sustainable consumption. This also helps your bottom line.

N – No discrimination: Ban discrimination in your hiring practices and workplace culture.

O – Open communication: Ethical estate agents prioritise open communication with clients, providing regular updates and feedback throughout the buying or selling process.

P – Privacy: Respect your audience’s privacy rights and protect personal data in compliance with GDPR.

Q – Quality: Ensure services are being continuously improved and benchmarked against other top customer service-driven companies (not just other agents).

R – Responsible marketing: Avoid misleading or deceptive marketing practices and claims. ‘We’ve hundreds of buyers waiting for a home like yours.’ Really?

S – Social responsibility: As an ethical local business, the social impact your agency can have is bigger than you’d think. By remembering the responsibilities we have within our communities, we can build better businesses.

T – Transparency: Be transparent about your agency’s practices, especially around contract terms and termination periods.

U – Universal values: It’s not rocket science – embrace universal values such as honesty, fairness and respect for others.

V – Values-driven: The best agencies have their values clearly defined and on show. They live by these values and use them as the compass to keep them on track and doing the right things.

W – Wellbeing: Take care of your team personally as much as professionally by encouraging healthy working practices and a supportive working environment.

X – eXamine: (OK, we struggled with X) … Examine every aspect of your supply chain and business practices to identify areas for improvement from an ethical, performance and sustainability perspective.

Y – You: As the agency’s owner or management team, it’s up to you to set the tone of ethics that you want to ring through every aspect of your business and its approach.

Z – Zero tolerance: Adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards unethical behaviour and hold yourself and your team accountable to high ethical standards.

If you’d like the PDF version of this guide, please ping me an email saying ‘Doing the right things.’

Thanks for your time.


PS: If you’re interested in finding out more about our new Ethical Agent Network, let’s talk.