The story goes like this: A friends of mine who is a mortgage lender was really upset and was having a horrible week when I called. It turns out that he got involved in a loan transaction for some questionable people (both the buyer and real estate agent). Now, what he knew and when he knew it is not germane to the story, but the bottom line is that my friend took all the blame when things went bad even though he was not at fault and was out significant time and money.

I seem to hear one story after another about those who have gotten involved with questionable people. It’s not just in the real estate business as it crosses all occupations and income levels. That got me thinking that maybe, the very best thing that we can do for ourselves in these economic times is to make sure that we are doing business with people of exemplary character. It’s easy these days to work with people who have the best price. It’s desirable to hire people who are top producers or have significant name recognition. It’s even easier to go with the person that tells you exactly what you want to hear.

Now, the older I get, the more I am convinced that out of all the attributes listed above, integrity trumps them all. Sure, it’s possible to find a service provider at a reasonable price that is famous and exudes integrity, but let’s be honest that it seems as though that this kind of person is a dying breed. I am constantly looking for that person or organization that breeds integrity. You know what I am talking about: people who do what they say they are going to do on the day they say they are going to do it. These are people who are not afraid of the words “work,” “responsibility,” and “whatever it takes to get the job done.” I am talking about the type of integrity that breeds dependability, peace of mind, confidence, honesty, and one that strengthens your faith in your fellow man. These are people who care enough to return your phone calls and reply to your emails on the same day.

When I find those types of people, they have my undying loyalty, respect, and my business. They should have yours too.

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at and

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