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  • Writer's pictureKira Witherwax

Under All is the Land…

What a beautiful beginning right? It is the first line of our REALTOR® Code of Ethics. It continues to read:

Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.

I just returned from a REALTOR® conference in Philadelphia. I was there to attend my first meeting as a member of a national committee. I’m honored to serve in this capacity and represent NYS REALTORS®. It was fantastic to learn from incredible professionals about issues facing homeowners and potential homeowners (we usually call them buyers) and how we can help. We received firsthand the latest economic forecast from our amazing chief economist, Lawrence Yun (if you’re an economics junkie or just want good information, I highly recommend following him on social media).

Being surrounded by hundreds of passionate, driven, caring, professionals reminds me of how much can be accomplished by a group of people with a shared purpose. What unites us is our Code of Ethics.

For me, reading the preamble to our Code brings up feelings of pride, responsibility, duty and purpose. It reminds me of why I love this journey in real estate. It’s a way I can serve my community while being able to support my family. We offer professional advice to help guide people through one of the largest monetary transactions of their lives.

There are a lot of moving parts in a real estate transaction, and it can often feel convoluted to someone that may only experience it a handful of time in their lives. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced guide and liaison that you can trust, someone who has walked hundreds of clients through the process before. Being a steward of the American dream is a duty I don’t take lightly. The National Association of REALTORS® is the largest trade association in the US. Our real estate licenses are issued by the state which makes us licensed real estate salespersons, licensed real estate brokers and, in my case, a licensed associate real estate broker. But joining the National Association we become REALTORS®, uniting us across the country, as we agree to work and live by our Code.

Serving and advocating for others was an example I learned early in childhood. My parents were foster parents and my mom volunteered in many different groups in our community. So I learned about advocacy and serving others well before I knew anything about buying or selling houses. While the logistics might, the concept of advocating for someone doesn’t change whether it’s for a foster child in your care or a buyer trying to find their forever home. We are in the business of people. And we are advocates every day in our business. We don’t always thing of it in that way, but we are constantly advocating for our clients during a negotiation or by making sure they have access to the information and other professionals they need. We advocate for our communities and private property rights, not only because it affects our business, but because we live in these same communities. We have a vested interested in having them be thriving, welcoming, amazing places to live. I am incredibly fortunate to have the career I have. Every day I get to solve challenges, advocate for clients and build communities. I know few people have the chance to find this kind of joy and fulfillment in something that they get paid to do. This holiday season, I am especially grateful for the family I have, that I get to live where I live and work with the clients I work with. Thank you & Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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