Having Problems? Blame a Realtor!

Hard Hat to protect yourself from others I have a client, a Realtor, with a particularly hairy situation. This genuinely nice individual has managed to become entrenched in the mire with a unethical builder. Normally, I’d find this situation incredible — but I’ve watched it develop and it has made me wary of such situations for my other clients.

I know that times are hard for many in the industry right now. I know that people are running scared as the houses sit and the inventory increases. Builders are hard hit, real estate professionals are starting to struggle, even the general public is starting to worry and sweat what Forbes Magazine is calling a Recession Dead Ahead. But, as I read over the letter that this particular builder is now posting all over the Internet, blaming the Realtor and the broker for all the problems he and his family are experiencing, I just have to shake my head.I mean, REALLY!! He says in this slanderous letter that the Real Estate professional has forced him into bankruptcy. He goes on to blame the Realtor for (I kid you not), complete financial ruin (despite the fact that he also recounts the details of how he’s been going down the tubes with his business for over two years). He also blames the Realtor for a family member’s alcoholism and his own physical illnesses. Gutsy, don’t you think?

I share all of this to say… If you are planning to work with a builder (or any other professional), have you checked the references of other real estate professionals who have worked with them in the past? Maybe you should.

Once this situation started coming to light, several other Realtors, brokers and agents came forward to say that they had endured similar abuses by this particular builder. So this is a pattern, and he’s now posting this letter and claims of abuse at the hands of the “evil” real estate profession (as a whole) all over the web… a claim that strikes a chord with many who would like to believe that real estate agents are greedy, evil people who are offering services that are unnecessary. (Case in point, the constant media blitz on “FSBO” sites and how to cut costs by doing the “home for sale” routine yourself and those feature stories that malign the RE industry as a whole.)

It seems a bit opportunistic to me, to run your own business into the ground and then decide to blame someone else for your personal and professional problems — and to slander the good names of upstanding professionals in the name of “seeking justice” in a corrupt world.

Yeah, this is a rant… my own personal rant… but I just don’t see how people can call themselves adults and always be looking for someone (or several someones) to blame for all their choices and blunders in life.

And, although some of the postings have been removed, the culprit is making a career of posting to every bulletin board and open forum possible to sully someone else’s good name. It’s pathetic. Maybe if they put that much effort into their business… the outcome would have been different for them, don’t you think?

I guess the Internet is the great equalizer — for honorable and dishonorable alike. Anyone can say anything and even with a lawyer holding up a cease and desist order, much of the damage is done (and cached in Google) before the victims can even react.

And this is why reputation reparation services are and will continue to be more common as time goes by. So, if you are about to take on a new client… be sure you check into their references a bit before you take them on. Protect your good name. It’s invaluable.