How Ethical Is YOUR Estate Agency?

Being entrepreneurial and ethical can work wonders 

I’ve worked with estate agents since 2010.

During that time, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly (in terms of how they act – not how genetics formed them).

I’ve spoken about this before, but there’s one thing that all the best independent agents I’ve worked alongside have in common.

They have an ethical approach to helping people move on to the next chapters of their lives, be they sellers, buyers, landlords or tenants.

Below is a dictionary definition:

Ethical: pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct, being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession.

And here’s my condensed definition based on my experience:

Ethical: They always aim to do the right thing even if it costs them time, money or extra effort.

With that in mind, I sat down with my Remarkable 2 (great bit of kit, by the way), poured myself some sparkling water (my latest addiction) and thought about what the most ethical agents do and how they behave.

Here are ten ways the best of the best show their ethical approach to agency. Note: Not all of them might do all ten, but they’re not far off ticking every box.

  1. They’re always honest and transparent – even when it involves tough conversations and hard decisions. They steer clear of bullsh!7.
  2. They invest in their team’s development and look after their people. Dave Gibbons from Courtyard Homes in the Northwest has introduced one of the most original and holistic approaches to helping his team perform at their best that I’ve come across in any industry. (Watch this space for a chat I’m having with Dave.)
  3. They pay their bills on time. Simple but speaks volumes about their organisation and culture.
  4. They’re classy and don’t slag off rivals publicly. They’re only human and may have a moan about competitors in private, but are above doing it to potential clients etc.
  5. They know their value. I’ve never worked or heard about an exceptional, ethically-minded agency doing things cheaply. I think agencies who highlight their ethics and values tend to attract clients who buy in (literally) to this approach and will pay accordingly.
  6. They’re generous with their time. The five best agents I know are also the most likely to give you 20 minutes of their time if you contact them asking for help or advice.
  7. They’re environmentally aware. While this is an area I think most of us as business owners can improve upon, the most ethical agents are seeking ways to lessen their impact on planet Earth.
  8. They ALL do more than their fair share for the communities they serve. And more importantly, they do it ‘just because’ it’s the right thing to do. I heard a marketing expert in the industry talking about anything you do for your community needs to be measured commercially – for me, that waters down your appeal to that of a flat Coke that’s been left out in the sun on Flying Ant Day (which is anytime soon according to the internet).
  9. Reviews leave clues – the most ethical agents are usually the best, and their reviews show this. Just check out Paramount Properties and Location Location – they’re not just doing good. They’re also very good at what they do.
  10. It all starts from the top. Most ethical agencies are run by good human beings. Their leadership sets the cultural rhythm the rest of the business dances to. ‘Cos if the boss is cutting corners and not giving a sh!te, why should anyone else care?

If you enjoyed this article, it might be worth hopping over to and downloading our free A to Z Guide to Ethical Estate Agency. To quote Wim Hof, ‘Download it. It’s good stuff.’

Thanks for reading.