Active Rain March 10, 2009

Do You Make Your Company or Does Your Company Make You?

I write this as a fiercely proud broker owner of an independent firm. My company, my good name, my actual name. This thing is my baby. It is what I make it.

We have an automated system (Centralized Showings) for appointments and feedback. It works very very well. Of course, if a seller is not quick to confirm an appointment, no system can prevent that. Here is the feedback after a showing that came from an agent from a very prominent firm yesterday:

CSS system sucks

This is, of course, read by my seller client online.

This is, of course, not feedback.

This is, of course, an incredibly unprofessional communication no matter how you slice it.

My client, a week-old listing, needed to be talked off the ledge this morning after reading that, because it made them doubt hiring me among many other things that bubbled to the surface when this clown decided to work out his baggage on me.

Upon occasion, I do run into a licensee who is nasty or arrogant. Most of the time, they seem to work for a larger company. They often wear their company like a badge, as if it makes them better than a piddly independent (or so they think) like myself. If you know me, you don’t think I’m a pipsqueak. If you are unfamiliar with me, you might see me as a good dog to kick.

I’m the wrong dog to kick. I forwarded the email to the chairman of the firm, whom I have communicated with cordially before. I told him he needs to know what is occurring in the trenches with his agents and that I expect more from one of his team. I added that the last thing an agent should do is cause a problem between a colleague and their client. True to my expectations, he responded quickly.

Agents who are this small minded don’t make their firm great, they siphon off their firms reputation to obscure their own shortcomings. That company thrives in spite of, not because of, agents like this one. Not everyone can run their own shop, or wants the headaches. I respect your reasons for working where you do. But it is how you conduct yourself, not what colors you wear, that makes your reputation. If you work at a large company, you need to understand that at one time it was small firm, built by the dreams, blood, sweat and tears of the original owners. You benefit from that, as I hope people do in the future when my company is older and bigger.

We are all tempted to vent when we get frustrated in the field. I’ll bet 25% of my active rain points are member’s only posts where I empty my guts to keep my sanity. But there is a way of doing this that is acceptable and there are things that are not acceptable at all. If you are tempted to vent, ask yourself if it is something that will make your company a more well regarded firm, or if it undermines your firm. Once you get your answer, then you’ll know whether or not to click on “send.”