The Ethics Imperative

By Stephen L. Burger, CPM®, CRX, CSM

An ethical approach to business is good. No shocker there. To say otherwise would be a blow to motherhood, the flag and apple pie. But ethics as both a concept and a practice is more than that.It is good business.

As active members of the Institute of Real Estate Managementand other membership organizations, EBMC is committed to ethical practices in all of its business dealings, a fact that should not be lost on potential investment/ownership clients.

But what exactly is “ethics”? From a very practical standpoint, as IREM states, “Ethics is the discipline dealing with what is right or wrong, good or bad, often related to duty or obligation. The rules of conduct or code of principles recognized in respect to a particular class of human activity.”

But as IREM’s 2016 president Chris Mellen, CPM, stated in a recent column he wrote for a National Real Estate Investor: “When it comes to specific business situations, there are frankly no governing rules to guide us, but one. It’s the fairness test, and it’s simple. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, then don’t do it to somebody else. It’s also a matter of checks and balances. It’s unfair to discriminate, so we put blinders on when showing a space, and the person showing the space is not the same person running the credit or making the decision to approve.”

As you read this, did you notice the CPM after our names--Chris’ and mine? It stands for Certified Property Manager. For clients looking to engage a professional management organization, that is your guarantee of service, your Good Housekeeping Seal, if you will, because everyone who displays the CPM upholds the ethical rules of engagement that reside at the very heart of IREM membership. These are the rules by which we live, by which we grow our practice, and we all take it very seriously.

An owner/investor must be able to rely on his team for good judgment, effective and efficient work processes and a thorough understanding of his or her client’s needs.But there must also be the expectation that, in all of their business dealings, the manager will uphold a code of respect and trust. That is what the CPM designation stands for.

There was a TV commercial a few years back that recommended you look for the union label. In the field of property management, the owner investor looking to enhance his or her portfolio with new and creative management techniques must look for that CPM. It’s your guarantee that best business practices will be employed. It’s your guarantee of ethical standards.

Steve Burger, President

As president and COO of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve Burger is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and consistency of management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC coverage map.

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