The most recent Gallup poll on perceptions of professional integrity shows 77 percent of consumers have either an average, high, or very high view of the honesty and integrity of real estate brokers and sales associates. Of that figure, the percentage that constitutes high or very high perceptions of integrity is 20 percent, suggesting the profession continues to have its work cut out for it in changing public perceptions. But the trend is moving in the right direction. Back in 1996, the corresponding figure was only 15 percent.
As tough as it is for real estate practitioners, the picture is even bleaker for members of Congress, of whom consumers say only 7 percent have high or very high ethics or honesty. Advertising professionals also don’t score well, with consumers saying only 11 percent have high or very high ethics or honesty.
As they have for some time, nurses and doctors tend to rank high in consumers’ minds, with 84 percent of consumers saying nurses have high or very high ethics and honesty. The corresponding figure for doctors is 75 percent and for pharmacists, another high-scoring profession, 73 percent.
The bottom line: Despite the tough times the real estate market has been through, consumers’ views of the honesty of real estate professional has continued to improve, albeit not as quickly as anyone would like to see. But, steadily, the perception of the profession is moving up.