Are You Territorial?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with RE/MAX Home Experts

I think it is great when an agent demonstrates that they are a "Neighborhood Specialist".

I applaud their efforts at being an expert on certain locations. This, however, raises an interesting question to those agents: Are You Territorial?

Being territorial is not necessarily bad, depending on ones actions. I only wonder how far will some agents go to oust any competition from entering the marketplace. It other words, are some agents "marking their territory"? One activity I like to do is attend open houses, particularly in areas where I am not as familiar with models and prices. As most agents do, I call this "field practice".

Once in a while I get the feeling that i am not welcome in the area. It really depends on how I approach the attending agent (if I say I am just learning the inventory, and they don't know me from the area, it seems like I get "hissed" at... If you know what I mean). This particularly happens when the agent resides in the direct community (particularly a condo building or sub-division of a neighborhood).

Of course, this could just be a misinterpretation. But I am sure this is the case more times than it should be. Without being specific, I have seen firsthand some agents sabotage another agent's listing. Yes, I know this is inappropriate. I know some actions can violate the code of ethics. Some may even violate anti-trust laws. But the real question I have is "Why"?

We are taught by the best trainers in the industry to build relationships. Building relationships with clients and prospective clients takes a lot of hard work and time. And once those relationships are built, it takes even more work to maintain them. I know many agents that work extremely hard on their relationships and the task once they obtain the client. These agents may be listing their first property in a certain condo development or have their first buyer in a specific neighborhood. These agents should be rewarded for their hard work, not harrassed and given unnecessary road blocks! Many of these agents know the area very well, yet have not had the opportunity to conduct business there. So when their hard work finally pays off, and they achieve that listing or win over that buyer, let's welcome them and show some professional courtesy. After all, if you need to protect your territory, then you obviously are not providing much value in the first place.


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Jane Jensen
Century 21 New Millennium - Arlington, VA

I have experienced this. Once in awhile I will have a listing outside my usual area. Not far outside, just maybe the next town over and I will get a cold shoulder from the "local" agents. Generally though, the cold shoulder comes from the less professional agents. The real performers are generally warm and welcoming and work to build the relationship. They get it. 

Mar 07, 2011 12:58 AM #1
John Benson
RE/MAX Home Experts - Philadelphia, PA
Broker/Owner - Philadelphia Real Estate

Agreed. The real performers will welcome someone that may bring a high value sale to the neighborhood or a buyer for their listing! Just an annoyance every once in a while. BTW, the pic cracks me up as it's always the ones that don't look vicious that sometimes are.

Mar 07, 2011 01:04 AM #2
Capri D'Amario

Great blog john, so true.  PS.  You know the cute little ones are always the most vicious...i.e. Lola!

Mar 07, 2011 01:15 AM #3
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

John - I know a lot of agents who are territorial, but I've always felt there is enough business for everyone.

Mar 10, 2011 11:43 AM #4
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John Benson

Broker/Owner - Philadelphia Real Estate
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