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Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ

Are we sometimes too quick to judge without all the facts?

Asked by Deborah Madey, Red Bank, NJ Wed Oct 24, 2007

I have seen several posts on Trulia where, collectively, we determine an agent or broker has done some terrible wrong. Do we maybe need to sometimes step back and ask ourselves if it is possible there are more facts that presented? I am one of the strongest advocates to raising the entry requirements to licensing. I support substantially increased CE requirements. And, I get easily annoyed at lazy agents when I have to deal with them. But, I also know that any good/great agent will sometimes cross paths with a client who has expectations that cannot be met. I become concerned when I see posts that want to rush to judgement and encourage state violation reports, assertions of breach, and suggestions of filing suit against an agent/broker. I also become concerned when we tell a consumer that their Broker/Agents SHOULD do 'X", because that is what we would do. I don't have the right to tell Macy's to adopt Nordstroms return policy.

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Great post, Deborah.
As in most stories in life, we do only receive the storyteller's side. I work with a lot of divorcing couples who need to sell. It's amazing how each describes their current conditions and the other soon to be "ex". If I only spoke to one and not both, I would have biased judgements working against me.
I don't know if agents here are quick to bash other agents because they are hoping to pick up their business? on a site like this (nationwide) that seems unlikely. If it's frustration at the sometimes total lack of knowledge, I can certainly understand that. I try to keep my comments "professional" at all times, though.
I also wish there would be more CE requirements. The bad agents will outwardly outweight the good. It's Pareo's law: the 80/20 rule. That's why a site like this is so helpful. The public can see that there are knowledgable, helpful agents out there. It certainly doesn't help when agents outwardly criticize eachother and tell people to act so impulsively by going to the Real Estate Commission without a full understanding of the situation.
I also agree with your concern regarding one agent telling another consumer what their broker/agent should be doing for them. We don't all work for the same commission rates, therefore, our level of service is not standard.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Richard,
Accusations on Trulia are highly uncalled for. Eventhough you have 213 postings, you haven't been around long enough to really get a grip on what is going on here. Deborah is one of the finest agents on Trulia.
It is not a question of whether or not one is "breaking the law." This is a public site and you should post with the professionalism you speak about as you are representing (in some part) our occupation.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
5 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 25, 2007
Deborah, I would NEVER say what I say in these pages as we violate every cannon of ethics from NAR!! However, this is a consumer asking questions and relying on our collective expertise. In this context we can be much more frank. On these pages we've seemed to forget one of our standard code of ethics not to denigrate another Realtor. And you're right, we work off the information given-that is a GIVEN!! It's like listenign to talk radio and being surprised when you hear differing opinions! I also belive this is a great outlet for us, this IS a social networking site, allowing us to voice our opinions. I am somewhat aghast at some of the replies I read! There's one "pro" who always reponds in the absolute minimum words and loves to throw grenades. I had brought up the subject of "moderation" on the site and was reassured Trulia was actually "watching" some of the questions. But they do get through. So as Jim would say, "It's a freedom of speech" issue but I lean more on the code of ethics when I have a question. However, this market demands frank, honest answers to the consumer's questions. Keep caring--it matches your smile!!
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Two great lines come to mind about this post: There are always three sides to the story--Your Side, My Side and the Truth! And, as the old cowboy says, "Always tell the truth--but ride a fast horse!"
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Wow, I think everyone has some great answers so I awarded a TU. All were at 0 and when I clicked on the thumb, all had 2! I guess it is a lucky day!

Deborah,
You bring up a good point. I too have read the responses sometimes and thought it sounded more like a witch hunt. I expect that most of us are passionate about what we do. We often have to defend ourselves and our profession because someone has blundered and left a bad impression on the general public. It is good to keep in mind that we are only hearing one side of the story. On the same hand, we do not have the name of said Realtor, so we are speaking in general terms in most cases. It would do us all good to re-read our answers before we hit the submit button just to make sure we are saying exactly what we wanted to say and in the right tone.
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Yes we are sometimes too quick to judge and here's why I think it happens. There will always a small number of agents who give our profession a bad name. They take listings and don't follow through, don't communicate, pretty much don't anything except expect to be paid. When we think we hear of a client who is working with one it makes us angry and it should. However, point well taken, we're only hearing one side of the story.
Thanks, Michael
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
I can see where you are coming from; at the same time, there ARE basic things that every ethical and professional agent SHOULD do. Sometimes, based on what a poster is telling us, it seems obvious.

I always try to give the benefit of the doubt, especially since, as a fellow agent, I completely understand how difficult or unrealistic a client's expectations can be. But I'm also not blind to the fact that there are simply some agents out there that do not measure up, giving the rest of the industry a bad name.

Thanks, though, for giving me something to think about - as always.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Patti Pereyra, Real Estate Pro in Chicago, IL
MVP'08
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Deborah,
Yes, I am quite guilty of sometimes jumping to quick conclusions... I did so just today, with a fellow Trulian, but this took place and was resolved peacefully in private emails and NOT on the public forum. On the few occasions I've made this major misstep publicly, I was called out, and I apologized. There have been a few times when I did not back down--when the comment/opinion was just plain wrong (IMHO), unethical, or illegal. We will never get all sides of the story, so we must respond to what is presented. I often ask the OP questions and to re-post for clarification--some do, some don't. The ones that do often reveal pertinent information which they usually did not even realize was imperative to answer their question correctly! The consumers are here because they really don't know. But thank you for the polite reminder that we should be a bit less judgemental--that's a voice I often need to hear. Feel free to beat me up when I'm badly behaved. I'll either apologise or come up with a better argument and/or supporting facts!

I've been distracted, on vaca, and then injured--so I've been off Trulia for about a month now (and I had a terrible withdraw--quick, someone develop a treatment!). I picked up a bit today while catching up on my backlog of emails, and sensed a negativity between the RE Pros that did not seem to exist before I left--I find it disturbing... What gives?

Christopher,
Trulia is not like the other real estate "social" sites because we DO self-police, and so many of us really care about the quality of information which the consumers receive. This commitment to quality will put Trulia on top of the real estate web-site heap. I don't much like the public bickering either, but when a questionable post (Q or A) is made on a public forum, the required response/correction needs to be public as well...
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
First, I think we all have learned quickly when we overstep our bounds. Things like standard contract clauses in one state verses another.

Second, I think the self policing is working. Because we are able to be honest here, we can tell another poster if we think they are wrong.

Third, by having someone debate our opinion (I think in many cases myself, Jim and Sylvia) we do learn to see another side of the story.

Finally, people are really going to do what they want to do. They intentionally don't want to tell you the whole story because they know they are also at fault. They don't want you to be outraged at them, they want you to be outraged at the issue they are bringing up. I think it is along the lines of how you deal with a child. You tell them, "It's not that I don't like YOU. It's just that I don't like what you DID." Again, the self policing has worked really well in keeping personal attacks limited. We are attacking the actions, not the person.
Ruth
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Hi Deborah. I believe that people have a tendency to only share the facts that favor their side. I have seen many posts that lacked the necessary facts to make a determination. I believe many buyers and sellers are very quick to blame their agents for anything that goes wrong and they come here to get confirmation that the agent is either bad or did something wrong. Many consumers tell it the way they see it because they don't understand the agent's side. There appears a lot of lack of communication between the agents and clients. I like to to give the agents the benefit of the doubt and I believe we all would be well advised to hold off on casting judgment. Most likely we will never get the full story and we all know that there's always that other side of the story.
Web Reference: http://www.theMLShub.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
MVP'08
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I would agree that you are for certain. It is not the actions of the "types" you mention that drive away professionals and 90% of consumers. It is the collective actions of the "Trulia Groupies" that drive that traffic away. Trulia is a message board for agent socializing as a result. This has happened to many boards like Trulia. It is the collective actions and abuse by the ones here that think of themselves as the "Trulia Police" who have and continue to derogate this forum and render it worthless to the consumer.
If the bickering and High School antics is what the consumer is looking for. They have certainly come to the right place.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
In my experience, YES. I have done this many times, the good part is when you take ethics classes you can then recognize the mistake you made in the past and learn from them. I have personally learned that I cannot make any judgment until I have heard all perspectives; sometimes one can see the omissions others made to lean the scale in their favor.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 25, 2007
Hi Deborah, you seem like the person who filed a complaint against me with Trulia. This is a forum where we as professionals can voice our professional opinions. Though, you may not like a certain answer or question, we should all have the right to post and comment on each others response as long as we are not breaking the law.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 25, 2007
Diane..Tks for the compliment.
Richard.. No, I did not file a complaint against you.
All others....thks for your responses!
I will come back and post again on this thread, but I am in a hurry now. Deborah
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 25, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
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Ute and Carrie type faster than me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 24, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
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