Office Communications Can Leave A Bitter Taste

Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Realty

Who doesn't want to work in a setting where pleasantries are regularly exchanged?  One where you look forward to seeing that person who sits next to you sharing stories of the battlefield?  What do you do when office interactions are not typically characterized by supportive engagements or rhythmic harmony?  How does this get addressed?


The real estate field is somewhat unique in its composition of personalities, cultural backgrounds, levels of education and stages of personal development.  There are few professions that bring together such a naturally unharmonious group.  As a result, those ‘family dynamics' can make for occasional challenging work experiences.  Added to the mix is the fact that the ‘micro-labor pool' consists of independent contractors with varying schedules and an ever-changing composition- a mix that makes the development of a more constructive and harmonious system somewhat of a challenge. 

We occasionally find ourselves dealing with:

  • Big offices with many agents therefore more personalities to mesh with
  • Office heads and/or administrative assistants who seem to take that 'bitter pill' before coming in each day
  • That one ‘provocateur' that everyone has to deal with, but want to avoid
  • A changing marketplace that can produce unpleasant competitive behaviors
  • Shifting levels of morale

Effective communication and engaging social skills often does not come naturally for many, yet it is essential for dealing with these aspects of office culture.  In the absence of an office culture dominated by individuals who possess this ability, I am curious to know what strategies other agents employ to deal with these challenges.  How does one build cohesive relationships and a pleasant work setting in light of the challenges, which exist in some offices?

Comments (12)

Jacob Morales - Arizona Mortgage Planner
US Bank - Scottsdale, AZ
All good points. Thanks for a good post!
Mar 30, 2007 09:58 AM
David Smith
Fillmore Realty - Brooklyn, NY

PS- Issues such as this one tend to be of interest to me as most of my career life has been spent in another field where there is extra-attention given to this very thing.  My experience as a socal worker has certainly been a plus when exposed to many settings.  I've also seen such dynamics make and break new employees.  Real estate settings are far from social work setting, yet they have each require good communication skills and interpersonal relatedness.  My own strategies will be forthcoming for those who are interested.



Mar 30, 2007 10:00 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
David, I am very fortunate that I work by myself and from my home. When I first got into RE there were only 4 of us and one was my wife. So I have not really had to deal with other personalities on a daily basis. BUT ActiveRain has changed all of that. A community this size is a perfect representation of our society. It's actually very interesting to watch all the different personalities on this site. You my friend, may need to open a virtual social work biz, on this site. We may need you:)
Mar 30, 2007 10:19 AM
David Smith
Fillmore Realty - Brooklyn, NY

Hey, how long have you been feeling that way?  Just kidding :).  It has been an interesting experience to observe relationships, interactions and the use of language in what I would call 'non-clinical' settings. 

When you spend a significant part of your work experience looking at relationships (work, interpersonal and client relationships) and helping others to improve theirs, it is at times surreal to work in a setting where the nature of the relationships are different and it is not my role to 'help everyone to love one another'.  

Mar 30, 2007 01:40 PM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
David after reading the last sentence of your comment, I can see where getting into the RE business must truly be a shock to you. Most are definitely not here to: 'help everyone to love one another'.   :)
Mar 31, 2007 12:08 AM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Blog Boy (Broker Bryant) has only worked in one office in his entire life. I, on the other hand, have worked in many. I discovered years ago that the best way to get along is to humor people. It seems to work for me in offices, at home and on AR :)


Mar 31, 2007 09:52 AM
David Smith
Fillmore Realty - Brooklyn, NY

TLW...that is a great 'nick name'!!!  Blog boy, I love it.  I see from his ranking that the title is much deserved.  Does he have one for you as well?  Humor is a great way to help set the office tone.  I like subtle diplomacy, but sometimes gut reactions to get in the way of a nicely executed commentary or reaction. I once came across a great piece of reading (think i remember what it was?  Of course not!) where the author suggested that people purposely expose themselves to personalities that they have difficulty dealing with.  It helps one learn more about themselves as well as helps with the development of strategies to better interact with ones that don't typically mesh well with your own.


Be well TLW



Apr 02, 2007 12:39 AM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Hi David :)

Blog Boy has a lot of nicknames for me. But do know my name is Billie. I am called The Lovely Wife or TLW on AR. Our customers call me "The Lovely Wife". So when I joined AR I remained Lovely :)

I want to address what you read about exposing one's self. Over the years (I'm almost 50) I have discovered that exposing your inner self (when your in sales) is a really bad move. When you do this you also expose your weaknesses and they can and WILL be used against you. Although I agree with the premise and it is effective for dealing with conflicting personalities, I do not agree that is should be applied to our role as real estate practitioners. This has just been my experience. The few times that I have let anyone in this business into my heart it backfires and my heart (on several occasions) has been used as a manipulation tool. I think this premise works more effectively if you get the other person to expose themselves to you. That's where humor comes into play. Hey. At least I can be trusted not to use the exposure against them :)

Does any of what I just said make sense to you. Or ???? :)

Now I am wondering if my experience is the result of being a woman???? That is entirely possible as relationships are different for both genders.

<CLICK HERE> I would like to share this with you. It will help you to understand me better. I am kind of weird. That post will give you a peak into my mind. Careful, it's scary in there :)

TLW...ROAR!  aka  Billie Tutas 

Apr 02, 2007 02:27 AM
David Smith
Fillmore Realty - Brooklyn, NY

Hey TLW...Billie (have a preference?),

Thanks for your thoughts.  I totally agree with what you are saying.  I would never suggest exposing ones vulnerabilities or weaknesses...especially in very competitive environments like that of a busy real estate office.  When I posted: "the author suggested that people purposely expose themselves to personalities that they have difficulty dealing with", what I/the author meant by 'exposing ones-self' is to not shy away or purposefully avoid personalities that you have difficulty with as you never learn how to better deal with them...for clarity, maybe I should have said something like  'the author suggested that people not avoid personalities that they have difficulty dealing with'.

ROAR Billie Tutas...Hey, is ROAR an acronym for something else?

Apr 02, 2007 01:24 PM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Hi David...

No preference. What ever you are comfortable with is fine by me. Everyone here knows who I am.

Okay. I see what you are saying. I have a very bad habit of just ignoring people with bad attitudes. That seems to work for me. I am of the philosophy that negative begets negative. It's like a plague and it should be avoided, at least by me. In my younger days I would go out of my way to try and confront these types of people. But I am too old to keep doing that. There comes a point in life where you understand that sometimes confrontation just doesn't work. I'm just thinking through my key board here :)

ROAR is not an acronym. It's been my tagline here on AR since I joined last August. Have you ever heard the song "I Am Woman Hear Me ROAR" ???  :)

TLW...ROAR! or Billie

Apr 05, 2007 10:33 AM
Karen Rice
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales
Some people are just very difficult to deal with.  I have found that I need to back away (I tend to try and be buddies with everyone I can, even if it's shallow on the surface...meaning, I probably wouldn't invite them to dinner but I want to have a positive experience with them...) but some people will take advantage of your good nature and try to manipulate you.  Those people, I need to keep my distance from and remain courteous but not overly friendly.  It's a difficult balance to achieve.  Some people are just natural sandpaper.
Apr 11, 2007 12:06 AM
David Smith
Fillmore Realty - Brooklyn, NY

Hey TLW...I feel like each day I'm egtting to know you and TLH (lol) a bit better.  You've acheived quite an impressive status out here in AR Cyber-land since August.


Karen, working in a busy real estate office is much like living in a big city.  There are so many different people with different backgrounds, sociao-economic statuses, levels of education and personalities.  I've learned to work with a broad range of people from my various work experiences, but one never really gets used to certain personalities.  I like your comparison of 'natural sandpaper'.  Thanks for the feedback on my other topic-related post

Apr 11, 2007 12:56 PM