Real Estate Agents: The Good & The Sleazy

I’ve not had a lot of experiences with Real Estate agents, only as a buyer (many years ago), but knew they shared the reputation of Used Car Salesman.

As we will be renting out our Melbourne home while we are living overseas I’ve recently had to deal with Real Estate agents, or Property Managers to be more precise.  I contacted 5 local agents and four were delightful.  Professional, respectful and not pushy.

And that leaves the fifth one.

Here’s a tip: when a real estate agent knocks on the front door unannounced NEVER tell them you are moving and will need to rent the house out.  That’s what I did in the middle of last year, and I have regretted it ever since.  Within a few days their “Business Development Manager” was telephoning, emailing and sending  ‘real’ letters. Caller ID is the most wonderful invention and allowed me to dodge their phone calls.

At one stage last year, the “Business Development Manager” knocked on our front door with a gift of three liquorice allsorts in a tulle bag.  As a child I was warned about taking lollies from strangers, but I took them and then chucked them in the bin.  Had they been Lindt chocolate I may have had a different response to this weird gift, but liquorice allsorts? That is just WEIRD.

And then there was the Valentine’s Day card that arrived in a red envelope addressed to both of us. Yep, a Valentine’s Day card to a COUPLE from a real estate!  The writing inside said something along the lines of:

“We can think of no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day then sharing it with our favourite clients.”

Ick. If I were to celebrate V-Day it would not be an real estate agent. And we are not even their clients!

They called me the other week, and in a weak moment I asked them to come around and give me their “We are the best real estate agent EVER” spiel.  I should have known they wouldn’t just have a regular paper brochure to show me.  I was subjected to a Powerpoint iPad presentation.  I’m pretty sure my eyes glazed over and when he told me their fees ($1000 per annum more expensive than the others) I could not help but raise my eyebrows.

He left very quickly after that.

Even before I sat down and worked out the annual fees for each agent, I knew we wouldn’t use this guy. Actually I knew that before he even came to ‘appraise’ our property.

On Monday I sent off a few emails thanking the unsuccessful agents for their time but declining their services.  Within two minutes of hitting the send button our home phone rung. Again, through the marvellous invention of caller ID I dodged his call, so he replied to my email, I replied to his email, then he replied to mine.

And, I hoped that was the end of my dealings with this particular agency.

Until yesterday when an email entitled “So-and-so has invited you to join a footy tipping competition called Sleazy Brothers Real Estate”* from a third party website.  At no time did I agree that they could share my email address with anyone, so I fired off a terse and succinct (read that as “mightily pissed off”) email to the agencies Director.

Here’s the response I got:

“So you are aware we did not hand your details onto a third party website. This email was sent by So-and-So from my database marketing department not someone outside our team. She simply downloads all our clients email addresses so they can be invited exclusively to participate in our own footy tipping comp.”

Hmmm, yeah, thanks. Except the email is not from So-and-So it is from the email address run by the footy tipping website.

I can’t be bothered responding to him.  They’ve removed my details from their database and I would rather gouge out my eyes with a hot poker than deal with these creeps again.

But, at the end of the day, it reinforces just how lovely and wonderful the agent is who we chose!

*I’m not naming them.  They don’t deserve the free exposure.

7 thoughts on “Real Estate Agents: The Good & The Sleazy

  1. Oh YUCK.

    Bloody Agents are the lowest of low.

    We opted NOT to use our local agent because he was creepy, used too much hair gel and had an awful habit of calling me lovey.

    The people we signed up with sold their business 3 months after we signed up.

    Can you guess who they sold to?


    Gotta go with your gut on this Kel. If you feel icky that’s a really good reason to not use them.


  2. Right up there with the Used Car, they (sleeeze for Reeeeels Estate guys/gals) TOP them because they
    invade your personal space…home.

    If its at your invitation.YUP.
    If not, p… off (and for good measure, find out where they live & leave appropriate presents on THEIR doorstep)

    Actually I wouldnt do that, nor would you, but the apparition was very very unpleasant, no?

    It is hard to leave your home in the hands of a Third Party, but you can only do what you can do…above board, the agent you are going with checks out, so now…about that culling…all gone, yet?

  3. Wow, the things some people do to try and make a sale, or get a lead or whatever they call it in real-estate-speak. Scary.

    Good to read that you’re happy with the property manager you’ve chosen, Kel. When we were landlords/tenants, we were in the intersting position of having the same property manager for both the house we rented and the house I owned and had rented out. I didn’t like her as either a landlord or a tenant! Glad I’m not doing that any more.

  4. No doubt you’ve read details of our saga by now but when we sold our previous home back in 2006, we saw a few agents. There is one particularly high profile one in our now sought-after area. We’d seen him at a few local opens. He had our names and would acknowledge us. I didn’t really want to go with the biggest agency on principle (higher fees, don’t genuinely try as hard) but we allowed him in. He brought champagne. He called me Julie. My name is *not* Julie. I turned to my husband and cracked a joke “what have *you* been up to when I’m not around?” but it sailed straight over his head. We went with the other guys. He still sees me around and no doubt wonders why we didn’t go with him. PS Julie is my former step-mother’s name…

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