A while back an agent in my office asked if I would be willing to spend some time with her. She asked me to explain how to do a daily real estate blog and show her what I do online. While it may seem to some that everybody is online these days, I know that they aren't. Especially older real estate agents, which tend to make up most of the population of any given real estate office. But I like to help people when I can, so I agreed to talk with this agent.
We went into the conference room and sat in front of the computer. I explained what I do and where I post my blogs. To show her why I blog, I went to Google and put in the search term "east sacramento agent." My blogs and website popped up a number of times in the first 10 results.
I expected to see amazement in the agent's eyes. But that's not what happened, and I was completely unprepared for her reaction. Her eyes flashed anger and hatred. Her lips quivered. She said in a demanding tone, "That's not fair. I've been selling homes in East Sacramento for 25 years. Why isn't my name there?"
Last night I watched an ESPN special. Now, ESPN is not a channel that I watch but I was introduced to its "30 for 30" film series by my husband. Its documentary "Unmatched" is about the friendship between pro tennis champs Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Two competitors. 80 matches. Friends. It was moving.
See, I don't hate anybody in real estate. Maybe that's easy for me to say because I'm basically a pretty easy-going person. I look at the wide variety of people who are in this business and, even if I don't particularly like another agent, I figure someday I might represent a buyer who would like to buy that agent's listing or vice versa so I try to find something to like about the person. I respect other real estate agents. I welcome competition. Maybe I'll win the listing, maybe I won't. It's OK either way.
There is an agent in my Land Park office who sells a lot of homes in Land Park. She sells more than me, although I'm not so sure about this year. I admire her. I look up to her. I hold absolutely no grudge against her. I'm pretty sure she feels the same way about me.
I often hear other agents openly bad mouthing competitors. For some, it's jealousy or rivalry. For others, it might be some kind of unjustified compensation factor because they think that by tearing somebody else down they can build themselves up. Or they might have just reason. Maybe the agent is the lying, cheating, conniving, person some in the public think we are but sooner or later that person will get what's coming. It's karma.
I feel ashamed when I hear those types of comments from my fellow agents about their competitors. I think we as agents should do a better job of supporting each other and stop stabbing each other in the back. That kind of behavior is disgraceful. Our economic times are trying enough as they are. If Evert and Navratilova can do it, so can we. You think?