WHY BROKERAGES NEED TO FOLLOW THE CODE OF ETHICS FOR THE SUCCESS OF THEIR BUSINESS

Zhanna Yerkozhanova
Managing Director
The Loft Bureau Real Estate

As a start, I would like to quote the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Realtors (USA), released in 1913, which was one of the first codifications of ethical duties adopted by any business group:

‘The real estate agent should be absolutely honest, truthful, faithful, and efficient. He should ever bear in mind that he is an employee, that his client is his employer and is entitled to the best service the real estate man can give his information, talent, time, services, loyalty, confidence, and fidelity’. 

Imagine, over a hundred years ago, real estate business associations began to develop ethical guidelines. And there is a reason for that. 

When I first got into the real estate brokerage business in Qatar, I was quickly convinced of the great potential for growth in the market. The country was, at the time (and still is) perfectly positioned to attract foreign investment, given its economic stability and the prosperous lifestyle Qatar cultivates for its residents. 

The commitments made by His Highness The Emir of Qatar to expand freehold areas, as well as further develop programs to issue resident permits to foreigners, have become the impactful stimuli offered by the government.

And here numbers speak louder than words. According to the 95th issue of the Qatar Monthly Statistics bulletin released by the Planning and Statistics Authority, despite the pandemic, the value of sold real estate in 2021 rose by 28 percent, when compared to the previous year. This is evidence of improved buyer confidence stemming from several factors like increasing competitiveness along with the introduction of policies facilitating foreign investment.

The growing economy in Qatar has given impetus to healthy competition, with many players entering the ‘real estate arena’. And their business reputation began to take on significant importance. 

Any real estate market and the relationship between its stakeholders is a rather complex mechanism, and Qatar is no exception. Its growing activity has triggered the pressing question for real estate agencies: How to gain, and more importantly, to keep the trust of customers and partners, authorities in our fairly competitive environment?

Undoubtedly, those real estate companies that are associated with competence and decency, and which are committed to the high moral principles of doing business have become leaders in the long-term perspective. Moreover, realising their responsibilities to clients, colleagues and partners, they thereby participate in building a civilised and efficient real estate market which is an important factor for foreign investments.

Careful consideration of all stakeholders, identification and disclosure of the conflicts of interest, and maintaining confidentiality positively impact the real estate market. After all, we are not only competent professionals but also partners respecting clients and each other.

Since its establishment, The Loft Bureau Real Estate takes its professional and ethical obligations very seriously in its commitment to building long-term partner relationships and continuous customer relationships. Our primary responsibility is to ensure that each client’s needs, unique circumstances are taken into account when providing our services. At the same time, an ethical approach while dealing with customers helps to build confidence in the level of professionalism of brokers. 

From our side, to comply with ethical standards of the real estate sector business relations, our company unified the main principles in the form of the ‘Code of Ethics’. The policy includes the rules and ‘red lines’ to avoid conflict situations and to help our agents act more effectively and professionally.

As such, I believe, it will be a good move for the real estate market in Qatar to further establish a unified Code of Ethics and implement mechanisms for industry-wide adherence. The work should not be limited to standards for interaction and communication but must also encapsulate further development of the procedures and agreements to use in the professional relationships with the stakeholders.

This article was published as part of the seventh edition of Property Finder Qatar’s Trends Report.