Real Estate Industry: Ethics and Aspirations

R.J. Greeley Co. is the leasing agent for 135 King Street, site of Capital Video’s proposed porn shop. Greeley’s website states,

As members of the following affiliations, we adhere to a code of ethics to ensure high standards of professional conduct to serve the interests of our clients and customers.

  • National Association of Realtors
  • Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley
  • Massachusetts Association of Realtors
  • Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, Inc.
  • Appraisal Institute

We will quote now from some of the codes of ethics and aspirations of these organizations, and ask Greeley and property owner Barry G. Goldberg (a resident of Longmeadow) to consider if Capital Video’s plans conform to their understanding of these codes.

From the Preamble of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of Realtors®: (emphasis added)

Under all is the land. 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.

Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor….

From the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Quality of Life Presidential Advisory Group: (emphasis added)

REALTORS® recognize the need to sustain and enhance the quality of life enjoyed by Massachusetts’ citizens. REALTORS® believe we can build better communities by supporting quality growth that seeks sustainable economies and housing opportunities that embrace the environmental qualities we cherish, while protecting individual property rights….

5 Guiding Principles for REALTORS® and Smart Growth

…2. Build Better Communities – Real estate of all types flourishes best in livable communities that offer a high quality of life at a reasonable cost. Livable communities offer a variety of affordable housing choices, good schools, low crime, quality public services, efficient transportation systems, ample recreation and park areas, open space, strong employment base and an economically viable commercial sector….

From the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Public Policy Statement (PDF, 2001):
(emphasis added)

…Real estate is the most basic component of our economy. The members of the MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® vigorously support the right of every citizen of the Commonwealth to purchase, sell, develop, lease, manage, own, and use private property with the fullest freedom possible, realizing that such rights must be exercised in a fashion which sustains or improves the quality of life for all. The MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® requires strict adherence to a professional Code of Ethics which guides our members as they serve the citizens that own, use, and enjoy private property….

One of the nation’s most challenging opportunities in housing lies in the recovery and rehabilitation of declining neighborhoods. To that end, REALTORS® support efforts by federal, state and local government to implement programs to foster community revitalization and economic growth.

REALTORS® hold the greatest potential for initiating and coordinating the resources and methods for restoration of neighborhood housing and commerce. REALTORS® support and urge local boards and individual members to actively participate in and promote community revitalization efforts which are designed to maintain and improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods of our cities, towns, and communities. REALTORS® applaud the action of communities which have implemented community revitalization programs even when federal assistance has not been available and continue to encourage the involvement of the private sector to take advantage of the present investment possibilities…

REALTORS® support orderly and responsible growth of commercial and industrial real estate. REALTORS® vigorously encourage commercial development which maintains the integrity of development sites, accommodates demand in the community, improves the environment in which we work and provides job opportunities….

Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield – Welcome Message: (emphasis added)

…the Chamber’s core mission has remained constant: to promote, support and enhance the economic health of the business community and the region.

We will continue to lead the way in improving the overall quality of life in the region. And, through the support and involvement of our members, we will continue to be a leading force for economic development and civic excellence….

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