The Ugly Side of Being an Agent

I was reminded today 1 of the important reasons why i decided that i didn’t like being a real estate agent. There’s a very ugly side to things, where agents undercut one another, go behind each other’s back, and do all sorts of underhand things to get more commission. A fair share is never enough. Ethics is an unknown concept.

This afternoon, i had arranged for a viewing for this apartment that my friends (who are also my tenants) are staying in. But when the other agent found the direct contact no. of the owner, she wanted to cut me out of the picture. So she cancelled the appointment we had, and said she would make arrangements with the landlord directly. The landlord felt a little bad about it so she told the other agent that she was not able to contact the tenants today, and advised the other agent to call me. However, the other agent was adamant about not co-broking with me. She told the agent that she’ll just turn up at our appointed time. She said that since i was able to arrange a viewing at that time, it means that the tenant would definitely be home so she would just appear at the apartment & asked to be let in.

I was at the showflat when this happened so the developer heard my conversation with the landlord and the other agent. Finally, taking the advice of the developer, i asked my friend not to answer the door for the other agent. Anyway, my friend & his apartment mate went out for lunch at the time that the other agent turned up & rang the doorbell. Frantic, the other agent called the landlord repeatedly. But no matter what the scenario was, she was dead set against co-broking.

Anyway, the landlord said this was all she would do to “help”. Because hers is what we call an “open listing”, she would entertain all agents who call her, even though a lot of them know about the unit because of my advertisements.

Sigh. I hate this sort of thing. It’s just so unpleasant. If u made an appointment through me, it’s only right that you stick with it. But money is the all important factor to some people so u have all this sort of nonsense happening. I mean, it’s not a legal thing… but it is what agents would consider the correct code of ethics. So… yeah… it’s an ugly ugly world.

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July 2006