Q: I’ve heard that real estate licensees can be disciplined by the Council for matters that don’t involve real estate services. Is this true?
A: It’s true that under the Real Estate Services Act the Council can discipline licensees for conduct that:
- is contrary to the best interests of the public,
- undermines public confidence in the real estate industry, or
- brings the real estate industry into disrepute.
This is known as “conduct unbecoming” and it is not limited to real estate services. It can also apply to conduct that occurs outside work. The scope of what constitutes unbecoming conduct is very broad and it can capture a wide range of activities.
Maintaining Public Trust
As a licensed real estate professional, you are responsible for providing a high standard of real estate services to consumers. Your actions and behaviour on the job and off impact how the public view real estate licensees and their confidence in the real estate industry. When a licensee’s actions threaten the public’s interest or damages the public’s confidence in the real estate industry as a whole, the Council is justified in making a finding of conduct unbecoming.
Real estate licensees are considered “trusted advisors with special expertise.” That means demonstrating your professionalism and trustworthiness through:
- A strong knowledge of real estate services
- Working in the best interests of your client
- Avoiding conflicts of interest
- Practicing ethically, with the public interest in mind
- Conducting yourself in an honest and ethical manner in all aspects of your life
Licensees should strive to maintain the public’s trust by being aware and accountable for their behaviour both in and outside the workplace. Think carefully before acting in a way that may affect your personal and professional image.