“You are expected to steer or refer business only to our own sister companies.”
This statement comes from a colorful PowerPoint presentation that recently surfaced concerning a Fidelity Escrow Technical Memorandum distributed to Fidelity escrow managers.
The Technical Memorandum and PowerPoint require that, when a Fidelity customer or client asks for a referral, Fidelity Escrow agents are to steer business only to Fidelity sister companies. The power point further states that this practice is to “…keep as much of the available revenue from the real estate transaction within the Company…”
Isn’t escrow supposed to be neutral in the transaction? Is it neutral for an escrow officer to steer referrals to affiliated companies so that escrow’s parent company can “keep as much of the available revenue” as possible?
How does this practice affect you? Has an escrow officer steered a referral in one of your transactions? Was one of the service providers selected by your client changed without your knowledge and contrary to the RPA or escrow instructions?
Do not simply standby! You may have violated your fiduciary duty to your client by allowing the transaction to go forward!
Without your comments, these practices will keep tarnishing the name of the good real estate professionals throughout the industry.