What Makes a Practitioner a Professional?

Judy Lowe no background

Judy Lowe
Commissioner, Arizona Department of Real Estate


As I do my Arizona Department of Real Estate Outreach around Arizona, I hear from real estate practitioners and consumers who believe that some real estate licensees do not meet minimum standards of professional and ethical practice, do not possess the real estate knowledge necessary to represent a consumer in the real estate transaction, and/or are “unprofessional.” I am frequently asked what I can do, as the real estate Commissioner, to make licensed real estate practitioners more professional.

I personally have a strong conviction that the real estate practitioner must be a professional, professionalism is expected by real estate consumers and that it is foremost in protecting the public in real estate matters.

However, professionalism is exceedingly difficult to define. What makes a real estate licensee a professional and what adds up to professionalism? I offer here my thoughts on real estate professionalism influenced by writings of Wayne S. Bell, the California Real Estate Commissioner:

  • A combination of a professional appearance and attitude (presenting oneself “professionally”) and excellent and reliable client service.
  • Understand and follow the required fiduciary duties imposed on all real estate licensees in the “Duties to the Client” per R4-28-1101, which include placing the clients’ interests ahead of those of the licensees. Fiduciary duties impose the highest standard of care and real estate licensees must be committed to scrupulously fulfilling those obligations.
  • Be organized, disciplined, prepared, credible, trustworthy, honest and respectful – a person of good character.
  • Be civil, kind, ethical and responsive (including timely communication with clients and parties on the other side) in all business dealings.
  • Deliver consistently only first-rate work and results.
  • Follow the lawful instructions of clients.
  • Have the most current education, knowledge, skills and experience necessary to protect the client – achieve the results a client wants.
  • Adhere to all Arizona laws, regulations and rules of conduct applicable to the real estate licensee.
  • Stay current on Arizona and local jurisdictions sources of information to refer clients to.

Professionalism is a combination of a real estate licensee’s experience, skills, abilities, results, character and reputation demonstrated in terms of customer care, positive outcomes and qualitatively high client services. The real estate consumer is searching for the Professional Real Estate Licensee.


This article is provided from the 2016 1st Quarter ADRE Bulletin. The ADRE publishes its real estate bulletin quarterly, and distributes it through Late Breaking News. Go to azre.gov to sign up to receive the complete version of the bulletin.