Choose to be the example, not the punchline.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

This year has been one for the record books. I've met some incredible clients and we've had some great deals. I look at it as my family is always growing. It's rare that a client doesn't stay connected to me after closing a deal, and I love it. 

I can't say the same for the real estate professionals I've met this year. This year, I have had more deals where I didn't know the agent on the other side, than ones where the agent and I have worked together. Of those agents, I've met some pretty good people. I even encouraged one agent to call me if she ever moves this way. She was a true professional and a delight to work with.

On the other hand, I've had agents spewing profanities over the phone, in my office and at closing. A few have lied about receiving or not receiving documents, but that generally falls apart when I tell them where they were, what device they used and what time they opened my files. Thanks to Cindy Jones, I started using Yesware a few years ago because of the tendency of others to deny receipt of documents. Yesware tracks receipt of documents emailed through Gmail based accounts, and it tells you when they are opened (day and time), how they were opened (iPhone, computer, tablet) and where the person was who opened them.

I've had more agents threaten legal action over the most minute issues, and they have come back to back to back. A closing has to be extended a week because of some issue. "I'll sue." A form has to be changed at the last minute because of a typo. "I'll sue!" A seller gets fed up with a buyer's antics and threatens to walk. "I'll sue!" And, it goes on and on and on. I have learned to keep quiet and let them blow off, and when they settle down, we talk. Proverbs 10.19 tells me that a "fool is known by the multitude of his words." I'd rather keep my words few, specific and purposeful.

Some agents have been so provocative this year that they have become punchlines in our office. If someone makes a mistake, it's easy to say, "Don't XXXXX XXXXX me!" That is generally followed by a chuckle and a smirk. It does sadden me that it is so easy to come up with examples of bad behavior, and yes, I know there are people like this in every professional, but 2017 was a banner year for bad behavior in real estate. I choose to be an example and not a punchline. 


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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

AS a \Broker, I lead by example.  I  can't expect my agents to do anything I may not do myself

Dec 02, 2017 09:11 PM #6
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

I clicked on the link to Yesware.  When I'm finished dancing in the Rain, I'm going back to take a closer look

Dec 03, 2017 02:20 AM #7
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Ultimately, we always want to be the leader of a good example if we’re doing things right. :)

Dec 04, 2017 07:27 PM #8
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

James Dray It’s always good to take a look back that way. A lot of these posts can be even more interesting the second time around

Dec 04, 2017 07:29 PM #9
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

You are not alone my friend. It has indeed been a crazy year.  That's all I will say.

Dec 06, 2017 06:17 PM #10
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

It is a sad commentary on society that professionals are no longer often professional.
Thanks for telling us about yesware.
I have resorted to falling up every email and document sent with a phone call whenever I think of it I'll be glad to look at yesware and see if I can avoid that.

Dec 06, 2017 06:19 PM #11
Sam Kader
Pacific Coast Financial LLC - Seattle, WA
Real Estate and Mortgage Broker

Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom Mike.  I am 100% with you when you said " I'd rather keep my words few, specific and purposeful."

Dec 06, 2017 06:59 PM #12
Donna Ciccarelli
Realty Austin - Austin, TX
Residential,Farm & Ranch in Central Texas & Austin

Yes, the chaff have risen to the top of the heap! Foul language is accepted by so many now, and I detest it! It is so demeaning. Vaping also is the accepted way to look cool 😎 - Not Cool! Revealing clothes are also seen in conference rooms. I walked into one brokerage and 3 agents were sitting in chairs with their backs turned to me and each revealed a variety of colorful g-strings! Where are they finding these agents?!
Agents are also getting caught pulling up other agents’ Open House and For Sale signs!! Unbelievable!! Brokers getting so drunk at networking events and parties that agents are ashamed to bring their spouses or introduce prospective agent recruits to them. Embarrassing....

It was stated in a Brian Buffini’s Forecast for 2018 that right now we have the highest number of realtors in history practicing real estate this year, and he feels we have the most under trained agents ever. That’s an endictment on our society and the brokers who allow poor behavior and unprofessionalism to go on.

Thank you for reminding us all to lead by example - Professional, servant hearted, knowledgeable, living out integrity. We who strive to serve at the highest level are grateful for the stand you are taking to be a man of integrity.

Dec 06, 2017 07:38 PM #13
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Respect for ourselves, our profession, our clients and other agents should be our top priority!  I am so disappointed to hear people besmirch realtors and lump us all into the "car salesman" category.  We are way better than that!

Dec 06, 2017 08:43 PM #14
Jill Watts
Realty Pro, Inc. - Vancouver, WA

Mike! Amazing article.  And so true. Buyers, sellers and agents are seeming to become more argumentative. Is it the times? Millenials? Generation X? Boomers? More money flowing? Could be lots of things. 


I agree with you about leading with example! 


Thanks for the tip on YesWare! 

Dec 06, 2017 09:25 PM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Mike

Well the title certainly grabs ones attention! Sorry to hear about all these issues. I have had new issues with agents in the last several years, with some wonderful professionals to work with. Unfortunately those bad eggs create a bad rep for us all!


Dec 06, 2017 09:27 PM #16
Susan McCall, Everyone needs a home
Compass Realty Solutions, Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA - Portland, OR
Quickly, professionally and with a little fun!

I am so glad that you shared these stories.  I have not had the same experiences but it is good to hear the stories in advance just in case it happens.  I will be prepared after you sharing.  I have been using mailtrack but it does not time date/stamp when the emails are opened.

Dec 07, 2017 12:00 AM #17
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Look at the age groups and it is easy to see where change is. As a broker I hear the horror stories from my agents to the other broker for the other agent. It is generational. Walk on any college campus and see what our world is becoming in a snap shot. 

Dec 07, 2017 02:59 AM #18
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Great reminder that other people do make judgments on our actions.

I for one do NOT want to become a punchline.

Thanks for the tip on Yesware, I will look into that product.

Dec 07, 2017 04:08 AM #19
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm currently looking for a home and would have to confirm that bad agents seem to be too frequent lately. Unfortunate and frustrating.

Dec 07, 2017 04:53 AM #20
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

Thank you for a great reminder to be the one who is known for your acts! 

Dec 07, 2017 05:08 AM #21
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Mike, I've said "there's something in the air" this year at least once a week. To say it's been a crazy one would be an understatement. I try not to dwell on it but, it does concern me that it's happening more and more.

Dec 07, 2017 06:48 AM #22
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Mike, what a great read! I had to chuckle and learned something at the same time (Yesware, I'm checking that out in just a few min.)

We have one real estate agent in particular in our town who is an attorney in another state - but not in ours.  He is always up to something with deals - trying to justify his existence... He has an odd sorta name that folks always recognize.  When dealing with him or using him as an example to other agents, we say have been ****ed.  Definitely the punchline.

Dec 07, 2017 08:01 AM #23
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

I agree with Kathy Streib - bad behavior is not confined to real estate. It's showing up across the board. Just listen to the news for ten minutes, or check the subject lines on the email you delete.

Dec 09, 2017 09:53 AM #31
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

There are all kinds in this business for sure!  I so look forward to next year  when I will reduce my efforts (and frustration)!

Dec 19, 2017 05:19 AM #32
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Mike Cooper

Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro
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