Integrity is a performance increasing factor! This positive view is in contrast to wide spread believes, since the adherence to moral and ethical standards is frequently seen as performance costing aspects. Even if is clear to people that complete honesty and soundness of moral character is desirable in a perfect world, certain compromises might be necessary to achieve personal and business targets. Consequently, sticking to restricting ethical standards reduces the range of options and consequently performance. However, in a dynamic setting of interactions there is a different outcome to the performance effect of integrity: As Michael C. Jensen put it: “Integrity: Without it Nothing works”. This is due to new opportunities that would not exist without integrity.

Real Estate is an industry linked with corruption scandals. In studies of the watch dog organization Transparency International the Real Estate industry scores high in the “Bribe Payers Index”. Consequently, the industry has to increase its efforts in strengthening integrity of its participants.

This paper examines the situation for real estate and why parts of the industry might be prone for the lack of integrity. Furthermore, it is discussed how to establish and foster integrity despite an embedded challenge: Integrity is invisible. Most capabilities and skills can be learnt through observations and imitation. However, what you cannot observe, you cannot imitate. Consequently, education is central to address this issue and to increase awareness and understanding. Professional bodies have also to address this issue and to support lifelong education to ensure integrity of its members.