April 11, 2022

Thoughts on the National Association of REALTORS® Preamble to the Code of Ethics

Daniel Jakubisin

Whoever said a startup was easy? It is simple at its most basic level – turning an idea into reality - but it is not easy. No one ever said that. In fact, most entrepreneurs say getting their startup off the ground was the most difficult thing they have ever done. Therein lies the challenge and the glory.

When we think about the inner fire that keeps us going through the G-forces we sometimes feel in our efforts to escape gravitational pull, we keep coming back to the same fundamental facts that we believe to be true.

We believe in the underdog

It is belief that the worthy powerless CAN and DO succeed – the worthy powerless can achieve and conquer in the face of and despite the many powerful unrighteous. I believe in the underdog! It’s in all the stories that make your heart swell and burst with joy in the good and the true and the beautiful. No story resonates when it’s the powerful using power to get more powerful or the rich using wealth to get more wealth. No, it’s when then the odds are stacked against the hero and he defies those odds - even at great personal cost - that our souls say, “Yes! That’s the way it’s supposed to be!”

We believe in a level playing field

In athletics, no rule is more primordial and sacred than that the field of competition must be fair. This side is bigger, this side is smaller. This side had huge puddles; that side is all mud. On this side, you have the sun in your eyes and on that side you’re going uphill. No, I believe in a level playing field! Across culture and across time, I see that it is the players and teams that play fair which fans have the most respect for.. And those are the teams, and players and fans I want to be with. Those who believe that winning should be due to merit and skill rather than from some extraneous advantage.

We believe that one should be able to reap the rewards of their own labor.

The value of hard work lies in the ability to create more value though dint of that hard work. How can it be that some would expect us to expend great effort and time to end up in the same place we started? How can it be that they would benefit from our work while we are left the same or even worse off!? I believe that each person should be able to work hard for the future, collect on that future and that no one can take that away from you!

We still believe in the American Dream

You could say that all of this is summed up in this idea once called the American Dream. Perhaps that concept means something different to each person. And certainly not even all Americans have been able to have the same experience of that dream. But as I talk to so many folks, there is still alive in their hearts this idea: that you can be “king of your own castle in America”, that you can work hard and defeat the odds - and the powerful - to succeed and that no one can take that away from you.

It is a fragile dream. It always was.

But despite the forces that would threaten it - In spite of everything!! – I still believe in the American Dream!

Work-Life Harmony 101

And I was talking about all this to a wise owl, John Powel Walsh - Owner and Managing Broker of Equity Missouri - who Doorward is lucky to have on its board of directors and whom I am lucky to be able to call a friend - and he lights up and says “That all reminds me of our Preamble to our Code of Ethics” referring to the National Association of REALTORS® of which he is a proud and long standing member.

So he sends me a copy of the Preamble. In his work mentoring and coaching many young real estate agents, he apparently keeps it handy. And it was clear to me that he kept it close - not just a physical copy - but to mind and heart: indeed John lives the Preamble.

And this is precisely one of the things that struck me as I read through it. The conclusion of the Preamble, which serves as an introduction to all “the tenets set forth below” is a pledge to observe the spirit of the Preamble not just in fulfilling their real estate profession, but “in all of their activities”.

The Preamble references the so-called Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so them.”  And I could not help but think of the mathematical concept of Asymptote, where the distance between a curve and a line grows infinitesimally ever closer to zero though with the curve not quite ever touching that line. That to me is the beauty of a Golden Anything – that the ideal ever challenge us, calling us higher: there is always some little way where our ascending curve can bring us closer to The Ideal.  

It struck me that for NAR® - they seemed to be saying to their REALTORS® …You cannot separate your professional activities from the whole of your human person. It is intrinsically part of it!

And further – as if they seemed to call their members to even more – that through living this Code of Ethics, not just professionally but personally, by adhering in their personal life to this professional standard, they would personally be raised up, they would become the women and men that they want to be.

For the Greater Good

To understand this lofty call, it would be necessary just to touch on a few parts of the Preamble, which, by first laying out a transcendent vision for the Real Estate Profession, argues that money does not rule the hearts of REALTORS® - rather “No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.”

Part of this transcendence is a magnanimity – a true greatness of spirit that looks beyond self-interest to their colleagues and to the nation as a whole. At Doorward, we define this kind of benevolence in three parts – self, team, and society.  

And NAR® realizes that with respect to their fellow agents, that their real estate agents have more in common than they do in competition which is something we at Doorward have seen applies across the whole of real estate.

But NAR® calls them even higher, it is not just enough to have rising tides raise all agent’s boats. No! Greater good depends on the integrity of the real estate profession. They recognize that each agent – to reach the ideal of a REALTOR® - must study the issues of their time and see how it is affecting their profession, and, in turn, in what way do those issues contribute to the detriment or benefit of society. “REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and… they identify and take steps to eliminate practices which may damage the public.” Even, admirably, if it means helping each other to correct behavior which can lead to negative outcomes for the profession or society at large.

The Bigger Picture

We see the need for this. In fact, history shows us the consequences when good practices of real estate devolve and corruption snowballs. And the National Association of REALTORS® - as these professionals studying diligently their small corner of human activity, see the need all the more. They start the Preamble: “Under all is the land.” This transcendent view of real estate upholds that the survival and growth of civilization depends on “wise utilization and widely allocated ownership”

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.

This reality – these interests of the nation and its citizens – “impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce.”

And it makes you stop and wonder, “What if we all saw our work as something beyond “ordinary commerce?” What if we all saw the far-reaching implications of work well done, to our colleagues, building a better world, and through the ideal of our professional code of conduct?

I think, at the end of the day, this is what keeps us going at Doorward: when we could be doing anything with our time and are choosing to spend it on building Social Real Estate, that it is not just any old work. Instead we see that it rises above the ambit of “ordinary commerce” and that through this work, together we can get infinitesimally closer to excellence.

Post Summary

A mentor and friend's professional code of ethics prompts Doorward founder Daniel Jakubisin to consider the use of land and the ethics of those who help manage it

This article was written, edited and published by members or collaborators of the Doorward Team. Doorward Inc. maintains a positive outlook on the inherent dignity of each: their singular ability to reason and create, to choose and likewise be responsible for their decisions. We defend their best intentions and affirm each person’s freedom to express their own thoughts and opinions and experiences, and to engage in civil discussion regarding them.

This article is meant to be thought-provoking, and is not intended to be specific direction for the topic of this post. Please do your own research and consult the appropriate people for guidance before making a decision related to the topic of this post.

Whoever said a startup was easy? It is simple at its most basic level – turning an idea into reality - but it is not easy. No one ever said that. In fact, most entrepreneurs say getting their startup off the ground was the most difficult thing they have ever done. Therein lies the challenge and the glory.

When we think about the inner fire that keeps us going through the G-forces we sometimes feel in our efforts to escape gravitational pull, we keep coming back to the same fundamental facts that we believe to be true.

We believe in the underdog

It is belief that the worthy powerless CAN and DO succeed – the worthy powerless can achieve and conquer in the face of and despite the many powerful unrighteous. I believe in the underdog! It’s in all the stories that make your heart swell and burst with joy in the good and the true and the beautiful. No story resonates when it’s the powerful using power to get more powerful or the rich using wealth to get more wealth. No, it’s when then the odds are stacked against the hero and he defies those odds - even at great personal cost - that our souls say, “Yes! That’s the way it’s supposed to be!”

We believe in a level playing field

In athletics, no rule is more primordial and sacred than that the field of competition must be fair. This side is bigger, this side is smaller. This side had huge puddles; that side is all mud. On this side, you have the sun in your eyes and on that side you’re going uphill. No, I believe in a level playing field! Across culture and across time, I see that it is the players and teams that play fair which fans have the most respect for.. And those are the teams, and players and fans I want to be with. Those who believe that winning should be due to merit and skill rather than from some extraneous advantage.

We believe that one should be able to reap the rewards of their own labor.

The value of hard work lies in the ability to create more value though dint of that hard work. How can it be that some would expect us to expend great effort and time to end up in the same place we started? How can it be that they would benefit from our work while we are left the same or even worse off!? I believe that each person should be able to work hard for the future, collect on that future and that no one can take that away from you!

We still believe in the American Dream

You could say that all of this is summed up in this idea once called the American Dream. Perhaps that concept means something different to each person. And certainly not even all Americans have been able to have the same experience of that dream. But as I talk to so many folks, there is still alive in their hearts this idea: that you can be “king of your own castle in America”, that you can work hard and defeat the odds - and the powerful - to succeed and that no one can take that away from you.

It is a fragile dream. It always was.

But despite the forces that would threaten it - In spite of everything!! – I still believe in the American Dream!

Work-Life Harmony 101

And I was talking about all this to a wise owl, John Powel Walsh - Owner and Managing Broker of Equity Missouri - who Doorward is lucky to have on its board of directors and whom I am lucky to be able to call a friend - and he lights up and says “That all reminds me of our Preamble to our Code of Ethics” referring to the National Association of REALTORS® of which he is a proud and long standing member.

So he sends me a copy of the Preamble. In his work mentoring and coaching many young real estate agents, he apparently keeps it handy. And it was clear to me that he kept it close - not just a physical copy - but to mind and heart: indeed John lives the Preamble.

And this is precisely one of the things that struck me as I read through it. The conclusion of the Preamble, which serves as an introduction to all “the tenets set forth below” is a pledge to observe the spirit of the Preamble not just in fulfilling their real estate profession, but “in all of their activities”.

The Preamble references the so-called Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so them.”  And I could not help but think of the mathematical concept of Asymptote, where the distance between a curve and a line grows infinitesimally ever closer to zero though with the curve not quite ever touching that line. That to me is the beauty of a Golden Anything – that the ideal ever challenge us, calling us higher: there is always some little way where our ascending curve can bring us closer to The Ideal.  

It struck me that for NAR® - they seemed to be saying to their REALTORS® …You cannot separate your professional activities from the whole of your human person. It is intrinsically part of it!

And further – as if they seemed to call their members to even more – that through living this Code of Ethics, not just professionally but personally, by adhering in their personal life to this professional standard, they would personally be raised up, they would become the women and men that they want to be.

For the Greater Good

To understand this lofty call, it would be necessary just to touch on a few parts of the Preamble, which, by first laying out a transcendent vision for the Real Estate Profession, argues that money does not rule the hearts of REALTORS® - rather “No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.”

Part of this transcendence is a magnanimity – a true greatness of spirit that looks beyond self-interest to their colleagues and to the nation as a whole. At Doorward, we define this kind of benevolence in three parts – self, team, and society.  

And NAR® realizes that with respect to their fellow agents, that their real estate agents have more in common than they do in competition which is something we at Doorward have seen applies across the whole of real estate.

But NAR® calls them even higher, it is not just enough to have rising tides raise all agent’s boats. No! Greater good depends on the integrity of the real estate profession. They recognize that each agent – to reach the ideal of a REALTOR® - must study the issues of their time and see how it is affecting their profession, and, in turn, in what way do those issues contribute to the detriment or benefit of society. “REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and… they identify and take steps to eliminate practices which may damage the public.” Even, admirably, if it means helping each other to correct behavior which can lead to negative outcomes for the profession or society at large.

The Bigger Picture

We see the need for this. In fact, history shows us the consequences when good practices of real estate devolve and corruption snowballs. And the National Association of REALTORS® - as these professionals studying diligently their small corner of human activity, see the need all the more. They start the Preamble: “Under all is the land.” This transcendent view of real estate upholds that the survival and growth of civilization depends on “wise utilization and widely allocated ownership”

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.

This reality – these interests of the nation and its citizens – “impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce.”

And it makes you stop and wonder, “What if we all saw our work as something beyond “ordinary commerce?” What if we all saw the far-reaching implications of work well done, to our colleagues, building a better world, and through the ideal of our professional code of conduct?

I think, at the end of the day, this is what keeps us going at Doorward: when we could be doing anything with our time and are choosing to spend it on building Social Real Estate, that it is not just any old work. Instead we see that it rises above the ambit of “ordinary commerce” and that through this work, together we can get infinitesimally closer to excellence.

Our Blog

August 12, 2020
The River of Real Estate

Doorward Founder Daniel Jakubisin shares a bit about the insights gained about Doorward's role in Real Estate on his latest think day.

Daniel Jakubisin

Chief Executive Officer
November 8, 2021
Podcast Show Notes - Episode #14 Coming Together

Show Notes for Doorward Thinking Podcast #14 "What is a Friend?"

Doorward

November 8, 2021
Podcast Show Notes - Episode #13 "What is a Friend?"

Show Notes for Doorward Thinking Podcast #13 "What is a Friend?"

Doorward

may 14, 2013
The Top 10 Tips to Find a Best Friend

The companion blog post to our first podcast episode in the Friendship series! Take a look at our list of friendship tips for fostering friendships that age like fine wine.

Nate LeBlanc

may 14, 2013
Thoughts on the National Association of REALTORS® Preamble to the Code of Ethics

A mentor and friend's professional code of ethics prompts Doorward founder Daniel Jakubisin to consider the use of land and the ethics of those who help manage it

Daniel Jakubisin

Chief Executive Officer
may 14, 2013
Welcome to the Doorward Thinking Blog

Our Director of Engagement, Nate LeBlanc breaks down the ideals behind Doorward Thinking and how it ties into Real Estate

Nate LeBlanc