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Be ethical, live better Withfor

Real estate and ethics

Since its creation in Barcelona in 2017, Withfor has been determined to affirm its values and so establish itself as a unique and trustworthy player within Catalonia’s real estate ecosystem. This has only been possible through an extensive effort of reflection on an ever-changing environment (regulatory framework, digital transformation, etc.) and a sector that suffers from an image tarnished by malpractice. Withfor’s long-term vision is to demonstrate that financial and social goals are not incompatible. Let us take a brief tour of the first ethical estate agent in Catalonia.

Ethical business = citizens’ business + moral dimension

A “citizens’” business is a company that values its interest in society as a whole and humanity at the same level as its own interests. This means it recognises it must take responsibility for its actions, and concern itself with the public interest, both socially and environmentally.

For the founders of Withfor, establishing themselves as “ethical” is also a way of fighting against prejudices, of which there are many, affecting the real estate sector. It also allows them to launch this venture in accordance with their own moral convictions, prioritising both individual and social progress.

 

The stereotypes: What are they?

  • Real estate = purely capitalist and speculative sector
  • Lack of transparency, opaqueness
  • Information in small print / less than transparent agency fees
  • Aggressive commercial practises
  • Limited customer service and no real ensuing after-sales service
  • Dishonest advertising
  • Discriminatory comments or practises against certain clients or groups
  • Estate agent = self-taught with no specific training.

 

And in the day-to-day practice of an estate agent, what does it mean to be ethical?

For example, concerns might be raised regarding employment and environmental protection. But in the case of Withfor, we must go further. Let’s summarise our approach in a table:

 

Aspect

Characteristic

Outcome

Withfor’s ethic

Economic 1 Recommend goods and services
Sell useful products under clear terms and conditions
Through its quality standards, Withfor promises to continually improve internal processes.
Economic 2 Create economic value Long term wealth generation
Withfor has taken means to redistribute part of its profits ***
Internal social Create a community of work
Promote the human and professional development of the employees
The Withfor team functions cooperatively** People are its key asset, as is its pursuit of excellence.
External social Interact with other companies and institutions
Generate a positive impact in the social environment
Withfor has created an action plan to help the local community:
*
Environmental Interact with the natural surroundings Contribute to the preservation of the environment
Withfor always recommends the most environmentally friendly technical solutions
Temporal Demonstrate durability Work for the growth and sustainability of the company
To create a lasting relationship with its clients, Withfor has developed

This table is based on investigations by Pedro Recojo, author of “Etica para directivos y consejeros” S.A EUNSA. EDICIONES UNIVERSIDAD DE NAVARRA, 2014.