CANON OF ETHICS
VALUES | val · ues | ˈval-yo͞oz
principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life; ethics
In the late 1950s, Judge Elbert Tuttle delivered a commencement address at Emory University in which he spelled out his concept of the professional. To read an excerpt, click here.
Only represent the fiduciary interests of Tenants. NEVER represent the interests of Landlords, Developers or their underlying Lenders. (A theoretically “distinct,” “independent,” or “autonomous” “tenant representation division” of a full-service real estate company is unacceptable. Zero tolerance.)
Never offer any incentives to any party to secure Tenant Representation, and strictly avoid even the appearance of compromising the interests of any tenant in connection with seeking new tenant representation assignments.
Never violate the trust relationship of any tenant by attempting to sell any tenant additional, non-tenant representation services such as architectural, construction management, furniture acquisition, etc. (Any assistance provided to a tenant in these areas should be gratuitous.)
Never engage in any conduct under any circumstances which is even arguably unethical or illegal and, never represent a tenant which does not adhere to these same absolute and immutable standards. If you are not sure whether something is unethical or illegal, it probably is, so do not do it. No wavering.
Do not think or act merely in transactional terms, but rather in a relationship-based manner. Treat every tenant in the same way as clients of fine, ethical law firms are treated. ALWAYS protect the tenant’s interests, regardless of whether or not a leasing assignment is then currently underway. Specifically, retain and protect each tenant's proprietary information in absolute confidence. (This means avoiding the temptation of giving interviews or obtaining other self-serving publicity at the expense of releasing sensitive tenant data.)
Always place the interests of the tenant above your own, e.g., if there is a difficult subleasing assignment in a location where someone else is more suited, recommend to the tenant that a superior alternative is available, and guide the tenant through the process without additional fees.
Never seek or accept the authority to commit the tenant to any transaction. The proper modus operandi is advice rather than authority.
When in doubt, over-communicate and over-disclose. There is no substitute for absolute trust, which if lost can NEVER be recovered.
Never solicit or accept any commissions or other fees that are either above or below the then-existing market rates, and disclose all commissions to the client. The commission should be your last thought (if that), not your first.
Finally, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, give 100% effort to continually protect and enhance the client’s interests with integrity, intelligence, intuition, inventiveness, ingenuity, and intensity. NEVER GIVE UP.