Jie Jiao vs. Connie Blumenthal and Realogics Brokerage, LLC
To our community,
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) is a values-driven, client-focused company that operates with the highest integrity. We know that trust is the very cornerstone of a brand. Since our founding in 2010, RSIR has earned a reputation for being a progressive, ethical, honest and successful real estate brokerage that is home to more than 225 brokers as independent contractors. Our brokers have participated in thousands of transactions, including many with international buyers, and consistently deliver extraordinary customer experiences without legal challenges. We have become an industry leader – perhaps that also makes us a target.
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty takes any consumer complaint or allegation against one of our brokers – or our firm – very seriously. On Thursday, January 4, an amended (and unsubstantiated) legal action filed by attorney David Von Beck made claims against Connie Blumenthal, an independent-licensed broker at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty and her brokerage firm (Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty and Ms. Blumenthal are represented by independent counsel on the matter). The amendment asserts that Ms. Blumenthal convinced two foreign buyers to overpay for real estate (two transactions separated by 1.5 months), references a post-closing payment to her from the seller, and now adds the neighboring property owners as additional plaintiffs. Within hours of this filing, the Seattle Times published a story that lacked important details and extensively quoted the plaintiff’s attorney.
The media coverage erroneously suggests that Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty was complicit in unethical behavior. This is not true.
In light of the allegations, unbalanced media accounts and unfounded conclusions, it is important that I provide crucial information that reaffirms the values for which our company stands: trust, integrity, honesty and service. As this is an open legal matter, I am unable to comment on the specifics of the plaintiff’s case or our counterclaims. However, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty vigorously rejects the baseless claims made against our firm and we fully expect the legal proceedings to fully vindicate our company in this matter.
First, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has zero tolerance for unethical behavior by any executive, employee or independent broker. We hold ourselves to the highest standards in our industry – not just as Realtors®, but to the standards of the 274-year-old Sotheby’s brand, which is respected worldwide for selling unique assets and treating global citizenship with great care. This commitment to excellence is how we’ve attracted many of the region’s most respected brokers, secured important listings and generated market-leading results. We take great exception to the reckless and harmful assertions intended to discredit this company.
Second, we live by the Realtors® Code of Ethics, including a broker’s duty to disclose and document all broker compensation associated with a transaction on the property closing statement. If any payment received by a broker, including buyer credit refunds from a seller, are not disclosed to the parties or to Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, that is a violation of our company policy.
Third, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty will uphold any investigation by the appropriate authorities to determine whether Code of Ethics were violated, and whether disciplinary action should be taken. Ms. Blumenthal, with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s endorsement, has voluntarily suspended, temporarily, any further brokerage activities as she prepares to defend herself against these claims, and will cooperate fully with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s own internal Ethics Review Committee.
The baseless allegations against Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in this lawsuit, and the impression of unethical behavior reinforced by error-laden media reports, will be dismissed through the legal system. Our good name will be cleared and our integrity affirmed.
In 2017, Sotheby’s International Realty was named the most trusted residential brokerage brand in the United States, according to Lifestory Research. Our franchise parent company, Realogy Corp, has been honored as one of the world’s most ethical companies for six years in a row, according to Ethisphere Institute.
I am proud that Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty always strives for the highest standards of practice in operations. I thank our many customers, friends, partners and brokers for your continued support as we defend our firm and what we stand for.
Please contact me directly if you have any questions or feedback.
President & CEO // Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Each office is independently owned and operated.
焦杰诉康妮·布鲁门撒尔和Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty案
Realogics苏富比国际地产 秉持以诚为本、客户至上的信念，认真经营，努力进取。 我们坚信诚信是品牌的基石。 自2010年成立以来，Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty兢兢业业深耕本地市场，逐步发展成一间拥有超过225名经纪人的独立房地产经纪公司，赢得并珍惜自己进步、道德、诚信和成功的声誉和品牌价值。 我们的经纪人参与了数千笔房产交易，其中包括许多有国际买家参与的交易，始终如一地为客户提供无与伦比的客户体验，从未经受过任何法律上的挑战。我们已经成为行业的引领者 ——这或许正是我们成为（攻击）目标的原因。
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty非常重视任何来自消费者对我们的经纪人或我们公司的投诉或指控。 1月4日星期四，据报大卫·冯·贝克（David Von Beck）律师对Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty房地产经纪公司及其独立持牌经纪人布鲁门撒尔（Blumenthal）女士提起索赔修正诉讼（尚未经证实）。修正诉讼声称，布鲁门撒尔女士说服两名外国买家为他们购买的房产支付虚高的价格（两次交易相隔一个半个月），并在封盘后从卖方得到一笔报酬，修正诉讼案新增加了邻近的房产的业主作为原告。在这个修诉讼案提交的仅仅数小时内，《西雅图时报》即发表了一篇遗漏重要细节的报道，文中大量引用了原告律师的说法。
该报道错误地暗示Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty是这项不道德的行为的同谋。 这绝不是事实。
有鉴于这些指控、来自媒体的不中立报道和毫无根据的结论，我意识到我们必须站出来，提供缺失的重要信息，并重申我们公司的价值观：信任、诚信、和服务。由于这是一个公开的法律问题，我不能对原告案件的具体情况或我们的反诉进行评论。但是，Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty对向我们公司提出的毫无根据的索赔要求提出强烈抗议，我们对诉讼案的结果充满积极期待，毫无疑义，法律在这个问题上最终将完全维护我们公司。
首先，Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty对本公司任何行管理人员、员工或独立经纪人的不道德行为从来都采取零容忍态度。 我们坚守行业的最高标准——不仅仅是房地产经纪®，同时也包括274岁高龄的苏富比品牌的标准，这个品牌在全球范围内因其独特的高端资产和全球交易而备受尊崇。坚守追求卓越的承诺，是确保我们吸引本地区最受尊敬的经纪商，赢得意义重大的挂牌房源，并在房地产市场保持领先的坚实基础。 我们对用鲁莽而有伤害性的断言来诋毁本公司的企图表示最强烈的异议。
其次，房地产经纪人的道德规范条例就是我们的生活准则，包括经纪人责任，披露和记录所有交易中经纪人所得佣金和补偿。如果任何经纪人收到任何付款（包括买方信贷退点和卖方付佣金），都必须向当事人或Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty公司公开，否则就违反了公司政策。
第三，Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty将坚持配合有关当局的任何调查，以确定是否存在违反道德守则的行为，相应是否应采取纪律处分。 在Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty的支持下，布鲁门撒尔女士已经主动暂停了经纪活动，从而准备为自己辩护，并与Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty的内部职业道德审查委员会充分合作。
对Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty的毫无根据的指控，以及媒体雪上加霜的错误报道，都将通过法律体系予以驳回。我们的名誉将得到澄清，我们的诚实将得到肯定。
据《生活方式研究》杂志报道，2017年，苏富比国际地产被评为美国最值得信赖的住宅经纪品牌。Ethisphere Institute的数据也显示，我们的专营母公司Realogy Corp连续六年被评为世界上最有道德的公司之一。
我对Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty始终追求最高标准的运营实践感到自豪。 我们衷心感谢我们的众多客户、朋友、合作伙伴和经纪人，你们的鼎力支持，令我们能更坚定地捍卫Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty以及我们的立场和原则。