Question Details

Johnathan Ra…, Other/Just Looking in Itasca, IL

Why do most agents not play well with others?

Asked by Johnathan Raether, Itasca, IL Sun Nov 11, 2007

Does this come from the attitude of their broker or franchise? I see it here and have seen it first hand when my agents are working with me and they are contacting other agents. I have witnessed, first hand, many great conversations and dealings between agents when I have purchased property but, I feel, and think most consumers would agree, that agents really do not play well with others.
I think, for this reason alone, that this is why there were so many "discount" real estate offices and web based start ups over the past few years. We just got fed up with the bickering, name calling and other silly and unneeded stuff that some gravitated to the "discount" side. Why not? if the service stinks across all lines, why not pay less. I know that there are many out there that are fantastic in every way but, take a good look at yourselves here. The majority of you behave like high school kids. Please, dont berate me for this but, I do not feel that I am alone in my thinking .

Help the community by answering this question:


I think to survive the long run in this business, you need to be a little (note, I said a LITTLE) bold and better have a strong personality or you will get bowled over by other REALTORS...AND sellers and buyers alike.

It has been said that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.... where one falls on this line is in the eye of the beholder. If we are unable to protect and defend in the world could we be expected to protect our clients, should a transaction go awry?

Remember also that so much of our communication is non-verbal...some estimates put body language and tone as over 70% of our messages...only 30% is perceived to be "heard" in the actual words a full 70% of our message on trulia...may not be getting can't wink, elbow someone in the side or otherwise show them a smile on the other side of the screen.

Has anyone every watched O'Reilly, or other debate shows? Well, what I see here is mostly intellectual discourse...which has a tendency on occassion to also be inflamed. My viewpoint may simply be a function of the fact that I am originally from NY...and we tend to be a little more outspoken, thick skinned and...well...sarcastic....for lack of a better term.

I am also not going to answer a question dishonestly, or in a poIitically correct manner...I just won't respond. I kinda thought that was what this was the public good HONEST answers to their questions...Maybe, when there are disagreements, we can simply close with WUR....With Utmost Respect.......Keep this a free flowing community of intellectual discourse where impassioned opinions can still be expressed...but softened.

That's my give me your TU or TD, It doesn't much concern me. I am not here for a popularity contest....I am here for the discourse and to learn from consumers and other professional alike.

BTW....I find that most agents do play well together, even though our job can inherently put us in an adversarial position. I find that agents that do not learn to work within the structure of the local real estate community, typically wont be in the business for very long.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2007
I play well with everyone, and everyone plays well with me. Hmmmm.... think there's a correlation there, Johnny?
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007

Wow!!! I had to stop and catch my breath after reading your question. If you think Realtors are nasty then perhaps you have never been to a PTA meeting or a School Site Council meeting.

I think this nastiness you see in real estate is now commonplace in our society. What TV shows are popular now? How about those reality shows where contestants gang up on one another. I know people who love these mean-spirited shows.

I, for one, treat others as I would want to be treated. And I expect to be treated well. Most realtors I know are honorable, very hard working people. I did have a transaction last summer where the buyer's Lender, (I was representing the seller) was very nasty and I caught her in several lies. Yes, I did let her know what I thought of her behavior and that I was not going to listen to anymore lies. The deal ended up closing with the buyers having to pay higher points and a higher interest rate than originally promised. When I am trying to close a deal for my client and one player is preventing me from doing my job I always call them on it, because my experience tells me that generally letting a incompetant or devious agent know that you're on to their game usually stops them in their tracks. I don't get it, buy my job isn't to play "Miss Congeniality", buy to help my client achieve their dream.

Is it true that their is less bickering on the discount side? PLEASE explain.

Karen Miller
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2007
Interesting observation. I too lament the "asides" sometimes contributed to this site. I think we are here to answer the consumer's questions but get "baited" and respond to "industry" and "Agent specific" questions which the public then reads. I for one have always believed in creating a "bigger pie" for all, the Consumer AND the Realtor/Licensee instead of just concentrating on getting ALL of the pie for myself!
I have had the pleasure to work with many, many talented, ethical, socially reponsible and socially committmented Realtors/Licensees and CONSUMERS in my 28 years as a Realtor.
Your comment on the "discount" brokerage is a separate issue and I feel is NOT driven by any lick of cooperation between Realtors/Licensees but by the Consumer who has not be adequately informed as to what we really do for our contingent fees. Perhaps another thread on that alone!
I've worked with Pam who answered first and know her to be one of the folks I mentioned above and since I've been on Trulia I can ascertain the good Realtors/Licensee by the thoughfulness and thoroughness of their answers. We are ALL in this together but also must deal with different business models and goals. But that's what makes it so interesting and fun to work in our industry.
Keep coming back!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2007
Many agents take their advocacy duties in the agency relationship to their principles very seriously.
The nature of real estate transactions suggests that if one principal (buyer or seller) is at an advantage then the other principal is at a disadvantage.

There are elements of the win - win situation, and elements of game theory, in most negotiations.
Some negotiations are zero sum games. What you win, I lose.

I think most of us believe it is a mixture of zero-sum and win-win.

Our agency duties require us to be advocates for our clients, this can lead to adversarial attitudes when diplomacy and tact fail.

I have let my hair down here on Trulia; so have most of the others; these folks are not getting paid to write this stuff, so a lot of us are venting.

Oddly enough, some of the most careful posts are the boring ones that provide minimal answers and information.

It is the impassioned, and well crafted response that gets consumers and pros to think about a subject.

By the way, I post under the profile to the left only. {Cartoonie Face} I have no other Trulia profile.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
I think many agents and people operate from a place of fear or scarcity and this projects into their everyday dealings. They don't play fair with other people or themselves.

Yes, sometime the attitude of the broker can also play into their behavior.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
Hi Johnathan,
I don't find that at all. The agents I have cooped with have been professional and courteous. I don't feel like have to squabble or bicker with another agents to get my point across. I am glad that you have some some good professionals to work with. There are all types of people in all types of professions. I believe that Realtors got a bad rap in the era of buyer be ware that they have not been able to shake these past decades. There are some really good and smart people who have careers are Real Estate Agents. It requires a specific kind of person with good communication skills. It also takes a special skill to work for yourself and continue to stay motivated and on track. Some people can't work without strong guidelines. I have a lot of respect for anyone that is self employed and can support a family.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Hi Jonathan:

Just want to provide you with a link on a wrongly accused Realtor and how his local Realtor came out and protect his reputation.

I think Realtors do play well with each other; but we also fiercely protect our clients' interest (in a nice way) as that is our fiduciary duty towards them.

No all profession are perfect and using one great Apple example, there are rotten apples but there are many, many more good apples out there.

When in life, all you choose to look for is the dark side, then that's what you will see and get. If you choose to look at the bright side, then that's what you will find. A lot is in your attitude.…

2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Hi Johnathan. I will not berate you for your thinking. You said this in as delicate a way as possible and I do commend you for that. Many people like to take stabs at each our industry here and I don't think this is the place for that sort of thing. You do make valid points. But the same can be said for many occupations. This can be said for society in general. It is so easy to make the other person look bad to make ourselves look good. We have a strong need at times to be the one that is right and at what cost? However, there are genuine people out there who can give you the service that you need and with a strong ethical and professional manner. I don't believe that people are gravitating to discount programs because of the so called "bickering, name calling and silly stuff". Money is the motivation for going to these products. Typically, you will get what you pay for. A knowledgeable, ethical and professional REALTOR is always worth the money.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
In all professions, you have the pros and the not so professional. It's unfortunate, but the agents with the bad reputations often get the most exposure. Ultimately, our job is to represent our clients to the best of our abilities. That includes "playing well wtih others," and being nice to everyone involved in the transaction. Life's too short to have or create angst in our own careers.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
Holly, I was agreeing with you until you made this comment: "Has anyone every watched O'Reilly, or other debate shows? Well, what I see here is mostly intellectual discourse..," INTELLECUTUAL DISCOURSE!! Bill O'Riely and Jane Coulter? Yeah, Right! So much for credibility! But I don't belive in the TU or TD so I'm in a sense in agreemend with you. Like I've quoted here before, "Always tell the truth-but ride a fast horse!"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2007
Amen to Carrie!

Karen Miller
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
I do not think Johnathan's question and commentary state that he thinks discount brokerages are more polite. I read that he feels consumers sometimes make the choice as they feel it may be a decision based on their feelings that if most agents do not play well then, the consumer may as well pay less and get less. I do feel that the consumer is much smarter than we tend to give them credit for. Our industry does need to change and change for the better. I too feel that we all must work together and bring back a higher level of professionalism or, succumb to the fact that the consumers will support other alternative real estate models. Consumers will pay more for great service from real professionals but, all one has to do is look at the infighting that happens here to see why they may make that choice. I appreciate the time consumers take to post questions like this and, at the same time, am saddened by how they are treated. We need to truly listen to what consumers are telling us, take their questions to heart, and find ways to make our industry better.

Thank you Johnathan for taking the time to post. I do appreciate it. I will learn form it and hope that you will not be driven away as so many are.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
I can relate to your comments. The truth is, in many other vocations similar traits are present. The difference is, in real estate, it's "personal".

Selling or buying personal residences adds an entirely new dimension to any transaction.
1. Even for Realtors, we recomend to EACH OTHER that "you never sell your own home". You are simply TOO ATTACHED to the outcome.
2. Training for Realtors is very uneven. We are licensed by the state, however it would be a mistake to confuse licensing with training.
3. In most markets, 20% of the Realtors do 80% of the business. Who is representing you? Can you tell?

Atrtributing negative behavior to "full service " brokerages, favoring "limited service" brokerages as being "more polite" is simply fiction. I would ask you to PROVE IT. My experience (disclaimer - MY) is that limited service or discount brokers provide a valuable service, however they may or may not be able to help you achieve your goals. Their major selling point is reduced cost. My major selling point is VALUE.

Jonathan, I do think your post is honest. One of the reasons I entered the "retail" side of the this business is exactly for the reasons you mention. However, now having experience, I can share two things:
1. You get what you pay for
2. If a broker discounts on the front end, what will happen on the back end?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Michael: You may want to reconsider your opinion as to why consumers choose these services. Uneducated consumers will choose them for different reasons than educated consumers. Which ones do most pros really want to cater to?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2007
Jim: Huh?

Karen: No, i definately do not feel that discount brokerages are the answer and see that many will fail as the market changes. I, for one, do not use a brokerage like that. I need good representation form confident professionals. I do see why many have migrated that way though because of an overall opinion that you folks just understand what a consumer wants. If a consumer feels they will get the same, and they probably wont, service for less money then...why not pay less.

I too love the entertainment that these forums provide yet, I will not go to Jerry Springer to buy a house nor, would I use the services of many others here or from other forums that are used for their entertainment value. It may have entertainment value but, it ends there. I see very few real professionals here. I see many that are mad at the world and looking to take it out on everyone else...other professionals and consumers alike. Not a good thing. I see MANY here that are looking for having the most answers, thumbs up or???? They are also viewd by others lurking about....consumers.....who do not see them as they apparently see themselves. I do like the ones that can and do stand up for themselves. They are easy to spot and do not make retallitatory strikes in response. They are also easy to spot. Consumers are not as dumb as many seem to think. If agents are simply going out for the uneducated consumer, they will be missing the opportunity to deal with consumers that have the money to buy regardless of market conditions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2007
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