Year after year surveys show that agents rate well down the list when it comes to public trust and perception however this will never change while we continue to compete by denigrating each other in the name of competition according to Certified Practicing Real Estate Agents (www.CPREA.com.au) Chairman, Geoff Baldwin.
“Recently while addressing a group of real estate agents I was asked what we need to do to lift public perception of our industry to which I replied, nothing will change until we cease rubbishing each other in an attempt to gain commercial advantage”, Baldwin said.
“How can we blame the public for their lack of respect and trust in our profession when many of us continue to propagate negative information about our competitors at appraisals, listing presentations, during negotiations or in general conversation?
“It is very unusual for other professionals such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc to be ever heard making negative aspersions about their competitors however in real estate it continues to be a daily occurrence right across the country.
“In other professions when a member of the public expresses their dissatisfaction about a competitor it is met with suggestions on how to move forward rather than agreement or reinforcement of their negative opinions but in real estate too many agents seize the opportunity to gain a perceived advantage.
“The reality is that most prospective clients will not be impressed by an agent who knocks his or her competitors and often such negative commentary will do little to endear them to that agent.
“Negative generalisations in regards to brands, especially in social media forums has become another sport amongst real estate people whereby the perceived behaviour of one or two becomes a reason to spread poison about the agency or even the brand under which they happen to work.
“Of course there will be times when the actions of a competitor will upset us but it is important that we restrict discussion around these disagreements to those involved rather than making them a public or even an industry debate.
“There is never a good reason to rubbish a fellow agent publically or even to agree with an aggrieved client of a competitor and until such behaviour ceases our industry will always rate lowly in the public perception stakes”, Mr Baldwin said.