Property Grunt

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Broker Ettitqutte Part 2: The Exchange

I became quite curious about what this reader was experiencing and requested a copy of the email exchange to analyze it. My good reader graciously granted my request and below is my response and analysis of this online squall. The content of this email has been edited in order to protect the identity of all parties involved.

Ok. Now I see what is going on. I don’t think you misread the intentions in the email but I can explain why this agent acted in this manner. Please do not take my analysis as criticism of your actions. I think you were quite respectful and clear cut in your email. Unfortunately I think this agent may have misinterpreted it in a negative fashion. Below is my analysis of the exchange. You will notice that I have a twisted sense of humor in some of my embellishments but I hope my analysis is clear.


I would like some information on this listing.

Translation: I would like some information on this listing.


Feel free to give me a call.

Give me a call. Let’s talk and get to know each other. Maybe you will buy this apartment Or maybe I can find you something else. We won’t find out unless you call.

Hello, thanks for the quick reply, please provide me the square footage of the apartment. I am very busy right now.

I am sure you are very nice person and all but I am juggling ten different things at once and it would really be cool if you could just give me the square footage that way you won’t waste my time and I won’t waste yours.

Then call me when you are free.

Excuse you? Listen, you want the information then you have to come to the source. You don’t have the time to call me? Then call me when you have the time.

There are many open houses tomorrow we need to sort out those that we don't wish to attend. Please answer the question or if you'd prefer not to.

As someone who is also working in a service related industry I have learned to do what the client asks. If I wanted to call, then I would have called. Feel free to answer or not at all. All I am doing is trying to determine the price per square foot. We just sold our home and we are looking for something different.

Dude, seriously. I don’t have time for this douchebaggery. Just give me information or don’t. I am not trying to make your life any harder than it is but there is a crapload of listings out there I need to narrow down the open houses I have to attend.

We both work in the services field which means the customer is always right. And guess what. I’m the customer. As the customer I have chosen not to call you and from what I understand you are supposed to respect my decision. I don't think I am being reasonable with my requests.

Listen, a tractor trailer filled with cash just rolled into our lives after we sold our enormous house and since we are aligning ourselves to a smaller home we are more than qualified to make this purchase. In other words we are well qualified buyers.

From the quickness of my replies it should be clear that I'm all about service and Ido what the “client” wants.
Besides REBNY forbids me from answering these types of questions.

Motherf***ker do you know who I am? I am the Liberace of the real estate scene. Have you even looked at my listings? Anything less than $2 million isn’t worth blowing my nose on, because that is the way I roll. You should be grateful that I am even emailing you at all considering how much paper I generate. You don’t like it? Then complain to REBNY. You want service? Well guess what? You just got served.

Seriously, from what I can gather from this exchange it comes down to perspective. He wants to start a courtship. You just want to see the prenuptial agreement.

It is also blatantly obvious that this broker is a passive aggressive individual and is scared out his mind. From what I have seen on his web ads, he has 4 high end listings that are sitting out there gathering dust. That is if the sellers haven’t taken them off the market or switched brokers.
From reading his profile and his closing record, this is an individual who probably just had the best four years of his life and now he’s stagnating. Along with getting yelled at by his sellers for the crappy market, his manager is probably pushing him to make something happen. Then you come along with your questions, which he sees as an opportunity to work his mojo to sell an exclusive directly to you or pick you up as a buyer. But you do not respond to his commands, in fact you rebel and ignore all his cues. That is what infuriates him. It is also irritates him that he is unable to use his phone mojo on you since you are standing your ground.

Another possibility why this broker went into snark mode was because of the medium being used. To quote Marshall Mcluhan “The medium is the message.” Unfortunately you can’t communicate the tone of voice or inflections in an email and perhaps if a conversation occurred things may have been different or maybe he would have went completely bats**t crazy. Who knows?

I understand where he comes from but I strongly disagree with his response. One thing I learned about customers is that they are all different. Some want to be cuddled and some just want the bare facts and then they will figure out the rest on their own. Some buyers are comfortable with email and others live by the phone. Whatever the customer dictates the broker should follow to the best of their ability. And that is where the trouble starts because some are unwilling or unable to adapt to the customer's needs.

What I would have done is send you an email with the floor plan measurements and politely offered to show the apartment to you. If you respond with the desire to see the apartment, great, if not, that’s life. At least I didn’t piss you off and you can say that I was cooperative and didn’t waste your time. And maybe you refer me to one of your friends or family or maybe you forget about me. But I am going to avoid getting into a confrontation with you because all it takes is one poisonous word to infect the whole well. Not that you are poison but you get my drift. At least I hope you do.

If you are still interested in this apartment I recommend you find another broker who will act on your behalf and contact the broker in question to arrange a showing. If the passive aggressive broker figures out who you are he might try to pull the “He was my buyer first.” bulls**t. Which technically you weren’t since he never showed you the apartment.

But don’t worry about that, any good buyer's broker will be able to protect you and if this broker is still a problem then who cares. There are other apartments out there that are probably better and more reasonably priced.