Why are "professionals" doing this?

This notice is in reference to the recent arguements posted by agents who shall remain nameless out of "respect" for OUR profession. Please stop bashing eachother on the world wide web. Realtors are on the top ten list in public opinion surveys as being thought of negatively by consumers. Argueing  amongst ourselves on the net over property values etc.on a website that is disigned to lend assistance to OUR CLIENTS only lends credability to the negative thoughts about realtors that most of us are trying to dispell. There are more appropriate forums for the bickering. The market and the stress level of the times is bad enough without us jumping eachother!!!!! I have yet to understand why people put things in print on the web that they honestly would not say to an individual in person if given the opportunity. Don't we get a bad enough rap as it is without making ourselves look hot headed as well? PLEASE get back to helping the public and stop trying to impune  the reputation of your peers. It makes us all look bad.  Lets stand together as a collective group to better the image of the industry WE represent. Thank you
  • April 08 2009 - Chandler
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (29)

A variety of things can make an agent or profession look bad. Everything from typos to attacking others to providing downright false information. Many agents on here that appear to be "bashing" other agents, actually are earning respect for themselves and the profession. There is a large pressure in the industry to push for "happy" thoughts all the time. That is a bad way to be professional, unless you are a kindergarden teacher. There are bad things that happen in real estate. Ignoring them and not being realistic to clients has given real estate the reputation it has earned. So some may call it attacking others, some may call it policing a profession - it takes all types in real estate. If you want to be seen as a professional and increase the reputation of the profession...

- Be honest, on both positive and negative items

- Be careful of exclamation marks

- Don't use blanket statements about specific things (such as "buy now, it's a great market")

- Watch for typos

Be patient with people that try to police other agents. The agents that spout generic and untrue information have done FAR more to harm this profession than those who try to stop them from looking like fools.

  • April 08 2009
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Profile picture for jimmy57
Maybe it's time to consider that the PR campaign is not working, and that the ad money the NAR spends touting the ethics and professionalism of its membership is wasted.  The public doesn't buy it. 

As a consumer, I would appreciate more frankness.  I'd rather hear "I'm here to sell houses" instead of "I'm here to lend assistance to my clients."
The first rings true.  The second just marks you as a graduate of some industry sales workshop (where, I'm guessing, they don't teach spelling).
  • April 08 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I do understand what you are saying and in principle, I sort of agree. Unfortunately there are some agents that deserve professional respect and some that don't. I am not sure that can I agree with you when you suggest "Lets stand together as a collective group to better the image of the industry WE represent." If I were you I would be unable to stand with some of my fellow professionals without pointing out their dishonesty, disrespect of others viewpoints and lack of perspective about their own market. I really appreciate solid, honest hard working professionals as much as I despise posers that sully their entire profession with their questionable practices. I have been fortunate enough to "meet" some terrific agents here on Zillow that I would not hesitate to use myself or to happily refer to others who could use them. These agents are smart, honest, understand their market and give people basic respect. Others I have met are arrogant, uninformed about their local market and nasty to anyone who does not lick their feet. I would suggest that it might be more productive for the good agents here on Zillow to email the bad ones and ask them to behave better to bring the professionalism back to the profession.
  • April 08 2009
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"Maybe it's time to consider that the PR campaign is not working, and that the ad money the NAR spends touting the ethics and professionalism of its membership is wasted.  The public doesn't buy it. 

As a consumer, I would appreciate more frankness.  I'd rather hear "I'm here to sell houses" instead of "I'm here to lend assistance to my clients."
The first rings true.  The second just marks you as a graduate of some industry sales workshop (where, I'm guessing, they don't teach spelling)."

I'd rather they spent their money educating the public about how hard we work, how big our expenses are and the fact that we are not paid unless we sell a house. Where do you practice real estate, Jimmy57?
  • April 08 2009
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Okay, I am a retired teacher - I went from one profession that had pr issues to another.  If you do not value what you do then others will not see the value in the service you provide.  Don't even get me started because there aren't enough hours in the day ( for either topic!).
  • April 08 2009
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Profile picture for Mrs.. and Mr. G
I have had my RE license since 1984.  New and eager to the business, I was aggressive, but caring.  A few years later, with many bad issues with other agents, it finally came time to find another profession when an agent came back from a 2-week vacation (this was a 30 day escrow so you can gather who did all the work), called me at midnight ranting because her commission check hadn't been deposited yet.  I went into real estate law shortly after that.

I am now trying to buy a home and find that agents do some iffy things.  One agent listed on Craigslist with a posting that said, $418k without agent, $428k with agent.  Another agent has hung up on my agent several times when my agent asked about our offer.  My agent gets the feeling the listing agent is avoiding him in hopes of getting a better offer.  My agent was asked if we would "up" our offer and since then has only been hung up.  Hmm.
  • April 08 2009
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Who are these people?  Didn't they learn the Golden Rule (the real one, not the one related to money)?  I have dealt with rude colleagues on many ocassions, what they don't realize is they are hurting clients down the road.  Your reputation preceeds you, especially if you work in a relatively small market.  I avoid these agents like the plague!
  • April 09 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I would love to see a system in place to discipline these agents, but I haven't seen it work yet. It really makes it hard for the good agents to do honest business.
  • April 09 2009
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"how big our expenses are and the fact that we are not paid unless we sell a house."

In this world, you don't get paid because you try hard or because you have expenses, or because you belong to some club.  You get paid for being productive, for doing or making something that is valuable to others. 

Most everyone works hard, and every business has expenses.  REAs aren't due any special sympathy on those scores.  You have to demonstrate that your commission-paid service is a good value-- that you're doing tasks that 1) can't be accomplished by the consumer himself or 2) can't be done cheaper by someone else (RE lawyer, discount broker, flat-fee provider).  More "education" (image advertising) is not going to convince consumers that commission-paid agents are a good value when they KNOW that that the internet has rendered much of a REA's traditional role obsolete. 

More and more customers will find alternate routes, and successfully avoid paying commissions.  I think the smartest people in RE are already looking for a fall-back position, and the dullest will be politely manning the barricades at 5-6%.


  • April 09 2009
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Profile picture for jimmy57
"Where do you practice real estate, Jimmy57?"

If you're want to have an "insider" discussion, Janet, maybe you should look for a less public place.  Regardless - the OP expressed concern about public perception of REAs, and it seems to me perfectly on-topic for a "client" such as myself to offer the opinion that I don't gave a d--n about the phony NAR-projected image, or about agents criticizing each other ('though that can be amusing)-- I care about REAs' effectiveness and cost-benefit in the real world.  

BTW--The implication that someone like myself - your potential customer -  shouldn't be listened to, that really IS part of the problem with your "profession."
  • April 09 2009
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Thanks for posting your thoughts, Laurie.

I have to say that sunnyview's perspective is spot on here.  Our profession is too large and too easy to get into to have any kind of consistency of service or knowledge.

ActiveRain IMHO is a better place for pros to vent on each other and sites like Zillow and Trulia are better left as customer-facing sites.

Some people just like to use the net as their private sounding off spots too.  I use the shower, personally... ;)

:) PS

  • April 09 2009
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Profile picture for jimmy57
Now that I think about it, I really value REAs sniping at each other here on Zillow.  It's really sharpened my ability to discriminate between the few realistic, pragmatic agents and the garden-variety NAR parrot-zombies.

So, thanks, keep it up!
  • April 09 2009
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jimmy57, I like that, "garden-variety NAR parrot-zombies."

Can I use it?

:) PS

  • April 09 2009
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Be my guest., Patrick.    ;)
  • April 09 2009
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LOL Very funny picture phrase jimmy. 
  • April 09 2009
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I am an Arizona realtor and also have a full time position with the school district. I do still beleave in personal responsibility and "the golden rule". No matter how outdated a concept some may think it is.  I see parents and faculty alike who are in the business of passing the proverbial buck every day. However I do not "have to" sell homes to survive. Perhaps that affords me the luxury of also being able to really care about the people I choose to deal with. I honestly beleave that people who are chased and think a humanitarian and caring thought process is "hype" are disadvantaged. I still try and teach and convince the children I deal with daily that It is still important to be a good citizen as well. It is interesting to me that those people who post the most negative remarks are usually also the ones who don't have a picture of themselves or much personal information in accompanying online profiles. It isn't difficult to figure out why. I am thankful that I'm never afraid to show my face but then again I don't have consumers as well as peers "gunning" for me either. Good luck to you.
  • April 10 2009
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Great point.  EVERYBODY LISTEN.
  • April 10 2009
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I don't have a picture, an address or a personal profile posted. I treat people here the way that I would treat them if they were standing in front of me in person. What I have to offer any nasty or dishonest agents is distain. I would offer them no less in person. In fact, I often consider the fact that I do not know them and try to be more restrained online when I respond to items posted by agents that make me angry. I welcome good honest, informed agents that are on the board as the invaluable resource that I believe them to be to many people who come looking for information. However, the golden rule goes two ways. Agents who want respect and polite conversation must offer the same. They certainly do not have to agree or acquiesce, but must be able to stand on their professional opinion based on fact and experience. This is not a classroom and agents are not teachers who must be listened to automatically. Basic respect should be given to all posters, professional respect here is earned with other agents and site users alike.
  • April 10 2009
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It's not just on these posts.

I have (today) just had an experience that makes these threads look like child's play.

an Agent (without seeing my listing) because he's on vacation wrote an offer for his client. The home is freshly painted and in his contract he is asking for a $ amount to paint the property, when I pointed out that the property is freshly painted he lost it. He started screaming that he had been in the business for 45 years and I was just an inexperienced rookie. He was abusive, profane, and spoke over my words to get his inane point across. He was really ticked off. (Over the color of the paint)

How does a Professional write an offer for his clients without seeing the property????

How did I react? Well with no reaction, except that I let him know that if he was in the business that long and he was that upset over the color of the paint in my listing, he was probably soiling himself and he should take a break and change his diaper.

true story
  • April 10 2009
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Phyllis,
What a strange story. Sounds like that other agent should be run out of town. Can you report him to the MLS or his broker for discipline? Or is it not worth alienating another agent? Just curious.   

  • April 10 2009
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Thanks Spencer, This "Professional" is under an independant broker and works out  of his home. I see nothing wrong or unusual about that, but the guy is just really unstable and irrational. I'm not afraid or intimidated of these "seasoned" agents, I just have a job to do and make sure my client is going to be safe. especially going into a tranaction with another agent who doesn't play by the rules. This guy even told me that he had  a termite inspector that would "miss" things wrong with the home, scuz me??

I'll keep you posted. as it stands now, I hung up on him when he went off and the diaper thing, well...I lost my temper too

  • April 10 2009
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In Arizona it takes 1600 hours to get your certificate as a hairdresser and a whopping 90 hours to become a licensed real estate agent....AYFKM?

Any attempts to raise the minimum hours have been fought hard by the new home builders (among others) who don't want their salespeople overburdened by knowledge that doesn't relate to signing their own contract.  Makes sense for these agents to have a separate license perhaps??? But I digress.

The major point in this whole discussion IMHO is when sunnyview said:

>> This is not a classroom and agents are not teachers who must be listened to automatically. Basic respect should be given to all posters, professional respect here is earned with other agents and site users alike.  <<

The same goes for our interactions with other agents as well on a daily basis.  These same boneheads who launch written permanent diatribes probaby flip people off when they are driving their cars too.

Phyllis, you could always order him some of those new male Depends via the web...have them drop shipped with one of those cheesy notes about how you look forward to doing business with him again in the future... ;)

  • April 11 2009
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Patrick, you are very funny!

I know that his client will probably come back to my Open House on Sunday, and I know that I'll recieve a call from this guy again. I contacted my Broker and got him involved. I'll let you know what happens.
  • April 11 2009
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Funny and not so funny story about the agent. I think Patrick is right. There is such a split between "professionals" and agents like that make the good ones have to work harder. Maybe a beautifully wrapped Depends in the mail might be just what he needs. He could obviously use a little help. When my 5 year old sees adult people throwing fits like that, she calls them "diaper babies".
  • April 11 2009
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Sunny, what is your reaction to this agent telling me that he had a friend who was a termite inspector that (in his words) "wouldn't find very much" That conversation took place prior to his tamtrum.
  • April 11 2009
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Sunnyview, my 5 year old boy calls them "baby diapers."  Perhaps they are destined to meet???

Phyllis, on the termite inspector comment, I would definitely inform your broker, and get his opinion...which it sounds like you have.  I think that this is the type of agent should be "outed" and not allowed to fester in your area and our industry as a whole.

The old boy, "hush-hush," garden-variety NAR parrot-zombies have squelched PR and transparency with RE agent performance and professionalism and its time for that to end.  I'd add open up the MLS to all comers and eliminate broker only remarks, address and DOM restrictions etc.  Open book management rules!
  • April 11 2009
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I'm with Patrick on that suggestion. I would tell your broker too. I am just sorry that you are having to deal with a fellow agent like this, but unfortunately spoiled, unstable people come in all shapes, sizes and industries. As for my daughter, she's a spicy meatball, but cute as a button, so you never know :)
  • April 11 2009
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Hello, I popped in to see what realtors are commenting on the market & was pleased & disturbed at some of these posts.  My husband&I are builders for 10+ yrs. We have been working w/a great realtor who is also a good family friend for the past 5 years & have a great relationship with him. He's honest & treats people w/respect. We own some property in Attleboro, MA & recently a unit owner of the units we built put his condo on the market w/an agent who deals w/foreclosures & short sales. This agent is so sleazy that nothing sticks to him. When we found out that the unit was for sale (a short sale) we called him & told him that our relative was interested in purchasing the condo. He told us that "the bank would accept a  price as low as $180,000" so we gave our relative the info. When he received the phone call from our relative's realtor he told him that "the price quoted is only if they weren't working with a realtor" and told him that "the bank would not accept anything less than $185,000".  When our relative put the offer in, he held it for quite a while & then came back and said that the bank did not accept it. So our relative went back up to $185,000 but later withdrew it as she felt pressured to raise her offer.The condo is assessed by the town at $173,000 and not worth more.We later found out that this realtor advised the unit owner to stop making his mortgage payments & to stop paying his taxes. WE CANNOT BELIEVE THAT A REALTOR WOULD ADVISE SOMEONE TO DO THIS. As owners of the neighboring two condo units we're OUTRAGED as the advise of this realtor is going to have a huge effect on the assessments & resale of our units as well. I do not know how to report him. we were told that this is realtor is the best with short sales & foreclosures. Any advice on how to handle this situation? kathy
  • April 11 2009
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The only thing to do is to file a complaint with the the local Board of Realtors, if he doesn't belong to that, then file a complaint with the state. Document everything. If you have read these threads I'm also involved with someone less honorable and have to do something.

Short sales are sometimes a nightmare. The Realtors (some of them) can make it worse.

I too wrote an offer on a short sale in South San Francisco 3 months ago. I never got a response, nor did I get a call back telling me that they even recieved the offer. It was for the full asking price.

  • April 11 2009
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