Many moons ago a dear friend, I'll call him Rapunzel, was ready to buy a home. We'd worked together at a former job and even dated a little, but we were and always will be friends. We set up some appointments near his place of employment and set out looking. We had an appointment left on the day when I got a "your child is sick" phone call.
My dear friend of course was okay with rescheduling, so I called the listing agent to cancel that day and reschedule. I told the listing agent .... and this is his real name, Don Braxley, that my child was sick and I needed to reschedule. But he wasn't hearing it, he insisted he would meet my buyer and show him the house and answer questions then or I could tell me client ask me the questions and he'd get me the answers later.
I trusted my client and I hadn't been an agent but a couple of years and had never done a deal with Don Braxley, but told him I'd ask my client. A phone call to my client and he was thrilled he could see it that afternoon because he'd taken the afternoon away from work to see homes. So that was the first time I let a listing agent show my buyer a house.
The next day I wrote an offer on THAT house for THAT buyer. About 7 years later I listed and sold that house for Rapunzel. The other broker was a dream to do a deal with. He's about to retire from the business and I will miss him. He's a smiggin old school and didn't embrace technology much. He finally got a smart phone a couple of years ago. I do really love him. He was always kind to me when I became the broker/owner of my firm and showed me respect even though I was very young and very green. (I had my real estate license just 5 months when I bought a real estate company).
I think about that level of trust and cooperation and it's rare these days. I sometimes miss the good old days when we had only about 100 agents in my MLS and I knew all of them would gladly call 99 of them friends. The environment of cooperation and trust may be different, but so many truly good agents are still out there that would gladly step in for a family emergency and help out and not ask for a referral fee or offer to take the client and pay a referral fee.
Don Braxley was a good example of how to truly "cooperate" and it I learned from him and it served me well. Years down the road an agent called me because he was having "computer" issues and couldn't print a contract. He asked if he could email it to me and if I could print it and he would just "hand write it" I offered, and did type it for him and then get it to him and his clients. That agent worked for someone else, but our offices weren't really far apart. Today that agent's former broker is out of the business and he works for me.
If you ever find yourself in the position of helping a "competitor" please do it. I absolutely promise that it will be returned to you in a gracious abunance somewhere down the road. Be humble and kind.