The Supervillains of Real Estate
An Open Letter to (and a bit of humor for) Lighthearted Arlington-Prospect Residents Who Do Not Highly Trust Real Estate Agents…
A few months ago, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released a 163-page report titled, The Danger Report—consisting of content true to its title. Outlining in detail the dangers that threaten to the long-term survival of the real estate industry, as respect for the real estate agent continues to erode and deteriorate.
The number one threat on that list, “The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.”
Yes, that is true – but who cares about the threats to real estate indsutry? Why is the trade organization (NAR) so concerned about the survival of the industry, when, if they just impossed higher standards, and a greater focus and priroity on the consumer, they could turn back the clock to a time when their “survival” wasn’t at risk.
In my experience, just as the industry is fighting for its survival, so is every agent. This, for many obvious reasons, presents a great danger to the consumer. In the game of ethics, too often I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. Like Gotham City, in the Batman movies and comics, I’ve found real estate has a way of bringing out the worst in people. There is some great science behind why this happens, explaining why good people do unethical things.
It can be summarized though in one word, “Survival.” And to the extent someone will go to “survive” i.e. collect a commission check, secure his or her next client, etc. is almost endless.
In fact, studies show only about 3% of the population is greed-driven, to the point someone could/would actually participate in a criminal behavior, think of the Bernie Maddoff-types. But, scarier! Nearly every human on Earth, if/when injected with sufficient desperation (the most powerful force on Earth – because it’s tied to survival) can be motivated to do bad things.
Key phrase: Motivated…to do “bad”-things
Unfortunately, and sadly, this often results in homeowners experiencing Horror Stories. And, the agents that cause these Horror Stories, I refer to them, only half-jokingly, as real estate’s Supervillains.
There is Captain Bait-and-Switch, Dr. Ego, The Cheetah, Mr. Mojo, The Gatekeeper and more. But let me introduce you, this week, to The Cheetah:
No doubt a funny name for a Real Estate Supervillain, but he’s known for his speed and determination. If you think you can escape him, think again. He’s faster than you, more persistent than you. He’s more determined than you too. This Supervillain possesses the evil superpower of pursuit. Once he’s identified you as someone interested “in buying or selling a home,” or any piece of real estate – you become prey.
The Cheetah is the ultimate predator. He will call you, and call you, and call you. Email you, and email you, and email you. This Supervillain is the king of jumping to conclusions – he assumes (and you can’t stop him from doing so) that you are his client, when you’re not. He is insanely possessive. In the real world, this Supervillain most closely resembles an obsessed stalker.
He sees the “chase” as just lighthearted and fun. He sees himself with a distorted view; he thinks he’s just being helpful. Personal boundaries and social cues mean nothing to this Supervillain. When he’s ignored or politely blown off (or even rudely blown off), he doesn’t get the hint.
“So, you’re playing hard to get?” he says to himself. He then pounds a Red Bull®, and grabs his second wind.
The only protection against this Supervillain is to safeguard your contact information. Your phone number, your email – you can’t let him get it. The Cheetah is a telemarketer extraordinaire. He is an email and follow-up ninja. If you avoid him, he will knock on your door and peep through your windows. He has the tongue of a politician. There’s no shaking this super-salesman-Supervillain – he is built and engineered for pursuit.
My advice: Stay out of his crosshairs! Lay low, do your best to stay off the grid…out of sight, out of mind is your only form of protection.
Once The Cheetah identifies you as a “prospect,” there’s absolutely no saving you – you’ve earned yourself a stalker. And he’s fast, and cunning. If push comes to shove, consider a restraining order 🙂
I’m telling you, folks, protect yourself. The Cheetah is the one real estate Supervillain you simply can’t outrun.
Next month, or perhaps in several future installments, I will outline the evil character traits of the other Supervillains that live amongst us, causing homeowners Horror Stories.
I know my description is delivered somewhat tongue-and-cheek—to be humorous—but the seed of comedy is truth. If you’ve never bought a home before, maybe you haven’t yet experienced the harassment-like behavior of The Cheetah. But if you have, you likely know all too well the truth that was presented in the description above.
- Steven Weirich is the author of ‘The Value-Driven Approach”: A practical guide to protect yourself from REAL ESTATE GREED & bank and extra $30,000 by THINKING like the great Warren Buffett.’ He is a licensed agent with @properties and a local entrepreneur as well. For a free copy of his book visit: www.literature4charity.com