This evening in an effort to stop thinking about work, I poured a glass of red wine and started listening to Angelique Kidjo’s version of “Summertime”…So much for the idea, of unwinding from my day of real estate. Because, I started to think about this time of summer and what has been happening in my “small” world of being a broker this past week…
One thing that my clients and dearest friends know about me is that I always do the right thing – even if it means not making money from a deal.
An ex-boyfriend (who is also a broker) used to say I was too cavalier and should be more concerned with the actual outcome of money –regardless of how I made it. He said, I was never going to change the way things were done “here” and NYC has a different set of rules. Well, guess what? There is a reason why he is now a “past-tense” person in my life and the RULES, I choose to live by in Manhattan real estate are not those that are actually practiced; but the LAWS set forth by the state of New York and enhanced by my personal values.
This hot, Friday morning that has gone-by (like I blur), I was walking down Wall Street with 2 clients after a (partial) lease signing. As I was silently appreciating the amazing view of Trinity Church as we walked by NYSE, the one client asked (quite creatively) if I would consider taking less of a fee (than we agreed to) for the apartment because they could give the funds directly to me (instead of my company). I looked with amazement, smiled, and said “No, that would be against the law.”
He responded: “Well, you would make more money; we would save money; and other brokers do this.”
I responded: “I am not like other brokers.”
I also added: “Please read the book I suggested before you start your career with the Firm.* Once you read it, you will understand why I will not abide–to your request.”
*Principles from the book (that I observe):
Our clients’ interests always come first. Our experience shows that if we serve our clients well, our own success will follow.
Our assets are our people, capital and reputation. If any of these is ever diminished, the last is the most difficult to restore. We are dedicated to complying fully with the letter and spirit of the laws, rules and ethical principles that govern us. Our continued success depends upon unswerving adherence to this standard.
Integrity and honesty are at the heart of our business. We expect our people to maintain high ethical standards in everything they do, both in their work for the firm and in their personal lives.
Now, I am only slightly disappointed with my client: he is young and quite honestly, it is not his fault. I blame brokers in this city for advertising and accepting such terms.
Yes, it is so easy to have deals (not just rentals), but, BIG deals and accept money “off the books.” I choose not to abide – regardless of the fiscal return.
Many people don’t realize that I actually write my values and goals daily. One of my goals (#9): “To change real estate in NYC.”
Even though this is a HUGE goal, I am prepared to have many, many more walks (and “talks”) down Wall Street for many more years…