The tune of Blake Shelton's song - "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking" came to mind this afternoon when I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who also happens to be an agent in our area. We figured out that the two of us had been in competition on a listing and she was just curious who all was competing and who ended up getting the listing (it was me by the way, but that's not the point of the story). In our conversation we started discussing who the third agent might have been and one particular agent came to mind that we both agreed it probably was and that we were both glad they didn't get the listing. Catty, huh? You'd think - but we both feel pretty justified in our thought process...
As we spoke, I learned that she had recently lost a listing to this agent because the agent had found out the seller was about to list the house and told the seller that my friend was coming to work for their office. Yes, we should educate, educate, educate our clients - but the seller told my friend he honestly thought he was listing with her because this agent had told him she was coming to work for their office that very week (which was totally untrue).
Same week another one of my very best friends called to tell me that this same agent had contacted her seller while a property of hers was still listed, soliciting the listing and telling the seller that the agent no longer lives in this town and that their listing was not in the MLS - again, completely untrue.
Then there was me - I listed a property in their neighborhood that they felt should have been their listing - after the sign was in the yard and the listing paperwork filed they sent the seller a text message telling them that they were very disappointed that they had chosen to list with me rather than with them. They really thought they were all better friends than that... Wow, just wow!
So is this just a rant or do you feel like I do in the opinion that who you are when your clients aren't looking can have an adverse effect on the buyers and sellers that are working with agents of this caliber? We are in a small community and while competition is great, lights a fire under us and makes us all better as agents - lies, deceit and manipulation will surely get you run out of town. But in the process it hurts your clients. The real you will come out. Agents and consumers alike will begin to see who you really are. Don't you want to be the trusted advisor, the expert facilitator, the person they turn to for all their real estate needs? Or do you want people to know you as the snake in the grass? Be real, be ethical and live by the golden rule! That is all :-)