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June 4, 2014

Having Some Challenges With an Agent Bully?

by mark mclean

the bully agentI like to live by the motto ‘treat others as you would have them treat you’. I don’t often lose my temper for no reason and think that I’m pretty even keeled so it drives me crazy when I hear stories of agents that fly off the handle for no apparent reason. At this week’s Mastermind we talked in great length about the “Agent Bully”. So, one of my agents sold a home listed with an experienced city agent. She is also quiet experienced and likes things done properly so when she emailed her first waiver to the listing agent she followed up with a phone call to ask if he wouldn’t mind sending her back the confirmation. His response was “I’ll do it when I have the time”. She kindly asked that he do his best to acknowledge it in a timely manner since she wanted to let her buyer client know that the waiver was delivered. He told her in no uncertain terms to back off and that he didn’t owe her client any responsibility to get it done. There was some general back-and-forth that followed, with the end result that she called the Broker of Record to complain. In the end, he delivered the acknowledgement several days AFTER the waiver was delivered. Subsequently, for the next waiver, she delivered it in person to his office and asked that the receptionist acknowledge receipt. For the record, it is imperative that waivers are acknowledged within the appropriate time frame.
The episode highlights so many different issues that face us today. It speaks to our profession, our understanding of the people who we work with, simple good manners and, of course, business etiquette. My agent will forevermore have a deep mistrust for this agent who works in the same general neighbourhood. It is likely that they will run into each other again yet that trust has been broken. So what are your options? First it is important to get the deal done. Your client has charged you with acting as their representative. Second, keep it professional as there is no need to complicate issues with personal feelings. Third, kill them with kindness. If all else fails call their Broker of Record and let them know that you are having a problem with an agent and you simply want to make the broker aware, (and document) that a “situation” exists and that you are doing everything in your power to keep the deal moving forward.
For those of us that are in it for the long haul we cannot afford to burn bridges on every deal. Nor do we have the time to call Brokers every time an agent speaks rudely to us.
At the end of the day I suppose there is no clear-cut answer. We get compensated not just for selling or buying a house but for all the tasks that go along with buying and selling, including, but not limited to; delivering waivers in a timely fashion, conducting showings and open houses, arranging appointments, offer presentations, just to name a few. And yes, sometimes we will deal with real jerks (for lack of a better word). No matter how busy we are or how much pressure we are it is our responsibility to act professionally.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

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