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#456628 - 02/15/17 06:00 AM Floor Time Ethics Question
Jake09 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Northwest
Hi guys, question for you.

I work in a small real estate office in a small town. Often times there is only 1 agent in the office and that's me. No secretary.

I was working the other day and a random couple walks in off the street and asks for one of the other agents that work here. I informed them that the agent wasn't here right now and asked if they needed her number. They said no it's not a big deal and then asked if I could help them. I asked them if they had already talked to or worked with the other agent and they said no so I went ahead and helped them.

Being a small town the other agent heard about it and is upset at me for stealing her clients. She says that I need to call her any time someone asks for her and she isn't there.

So the question is: Is it the agent on floor time's responsibility to contact the other agent or just to provide the customer with their contact information and let them decide what they want to do?

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#456629 - 02/15/17 06:17 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Jake09]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7676
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Jake09
". . I asked them if they had already talked to or worked with the other agent and they said no so I went ahead and helped them . . ."

But earlier, you implied that they had asked for her BY NAME . . . . so how'd that happen ? Buyers sometimes get selective amnesia, and this inconsistency shows that they're prone to lying if it helps them get what they want when they want it !

If they're Clients, then she's already legally representing them with a Buyer Broker Contract; but if they're just unattached Customers, then they're free game.

But you'll soon learn that the "Rules of the Road" vary from Office to Office, and you'll do best by trying to keep peace in the Of[b][/b]ice.

Customers and Clients come and go; but your competition, both inside and outside the Office, will be with you as long as you do business in that Territory, and you'll do far more business WITH THEM than you'll do with any passing Buyer. \

Tell your Colleague in the Office that the Customers "said they hadn't talked with anyone", and blame it on them so as to keep peace and harmony in the Office. And she needs to make more of an impression on her people and put them on a tighter lease IF she expects to receive their loyalty (a rare commodity in any market).
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#456630 - 02/15/17 08:24 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Vermont]
Jake09 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Northwest
Originally Posted By: Vermont

But earlier, you implied that they had asked for her BY NAME . . . . so how'd that happen ?


A relative had worked with her a couple of years earlier so that's how they knew her name and office location.

She's telling me that the way it's always been done is that the agent on floor needs to contact her and let her know there's people that asked for her. I had never heard of this and my understanding was that it was the customer's responsibility to contact the agent they wish to work with.

She's now wanting compensation (which I think is fair), but she's basically wanting the whole thing despite the work I've done and that we are just waiting for closing. I think a referral fee of 25% is more in line.

What do you think?

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#456631 - 02/15/17 08:33 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Jake09]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7676
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
When did this come up . . . . it sounds like she's not staying in touch with her referrals (if the Relative ever bothered to tell her that they were sending her a Customer ! If you're now approaching Closing, was it Months ?

I've sold dozens (hundreds ?) of properties to people who knew another Agent, and if all those other Agents were to claim a Referral Fee based upon their simply having had a prior acquaintance, I'd go broke !

Originally Posted By: Jake09
". . . She's telling me that the way it's always been done . . ."

If that's true, then your Principal Broker would certainly know about it. When you're at such an impasse, I'd defer to his/her judgement and let the Broker adjudicate . . . . should be a simple matter "IF" that's the way it's always done (and the Broker will be the one cutting Commission Checks).

PS: Otherwise, if it can't be settled within the confines of your Office, she (or you) can file a Grievance asking for Arbitration with your local Board of REALTORS®.


Edited by Vermont (02/15/17 09:50 AM)
Edit Reason: Added PostScript
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#456632 - 02/15/17 10:20 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Vermont]
Jake09 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Northwest
Originally Posted By: Vermont
When did this come up . . . . it sounds like she's not staying in touch with her referrals (if the Relative ever bothered to tell her that they were sending her a Customer ! If you're now approaching Closing, was it Months ?

I've sold dozens (hundreds ?) of properties to people who knew another Agent, and if all those other Agents were to claim a Referral Fee based upon their simply having had a prior acquaintance, I'd go broke !

Originally Posted By: Jake09
". . . She's telling me that the way it's always been done . . ."

If that's true, then your Principal Broker would certainly know about it. When you're at such an impasse, I'd defer to his/her judgement and let the Broker adjudicate . . . . should be a simple matter "IF" that's the way it's always done (and the Broker will be the one cutting Commission Checks).

PS: Otherwise, if it can't be settled within the confines of your Office, she (or you) can file a Grievance asking for Arbitration with your local Board of REALTORS®.


It was only a couple of weeks ago, but a cash buyer. All contingencies are out of the way and we're just waiting for seller to move out.

It's not quite as simple as asking the broker what has always happened because we are a satellite office for a much bigger company and just switched to them a few months back. It's more a matter of what has been the custom in our little office the last 10 years rather than what has been the custom of the brokerage as a whole. It's tough to ask the other agents in the office because they don't want to pick sides being such a small office.

We'll see what happens. Thanks for the input.

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#456633 - 02/15/17 10:50 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Jake09]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7676
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
How long of a history has she (the other Agent) had with this Branch Office, or with the Brokerage as a whole . . . . that entitles her to speak with the confidence of Pharaoh in proclaiming that "this is the way it has always been done" ?
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#456644 - 02/16/17 02:50 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Vermont]
VABroker Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 1042
Loc: Virginia
I had that happen to me once...an agent 'helping' one of my potential sellers. No, we didn't have a written agreement at the time as he would come by the office (lived very close by) and would drop in from time to time to see me and we'd talk (plus, each time, I had given him my card). He came by one day when another agent was on duty. He tells me about this probably two weeks after he spoke with her. He was thinking of selling (which I already knew, hence, him always dropping by to see me) and when I wasn't there at that time, this other agent told him 'she'd be happy to help him 'cause that's what we do for each other', and, of course, he said, he believed her. She went over to his home with her BPO analysis. He drops by two weeks later and tells me about it. Yeah, I went to the Broker about it because our unwritten rule was if anyone asked for a specific agent, you were to contact that agent (free secretarial service, for sure!). Thanks to her, he ended up selling his home to a neighbor (oh, a below market value too - ugh!). That was a sale I know I could have handled because I knew the guy's personality versus this 'stranger' agent.

Fate intervened and played a better game for me when an attorney called asking for a BPO. He had contacted several agents in the area and he had an estate house (HUGE, barely lived in and on the river!) that he needed to sell to preserve the owners' assets. Well, this same agent had bragged to our local postmaster (very small post office) that SHE was going to be listing this property for sale! Talk about over-confidence! I told the postmaster that it wasn't going to happen for her; but, I didn't divulge any more. The attorney had already chosen me (and we had a written agreement) because I gave the best, detailed BPO of all of them, he had said! Nice commission out of that one. Fate has its ways.

But, I must say, in that Broker's prior life before becoming a Broker, she used to stand out in the parking lot and sideline people going towards the office door trying to circumvent any potential buyers/sellers before they got to the agent on duty!

I think 25% share of commission is fair and reasonable. It's not like her name is a Trademark and you violated it. If she has no proof that she had been in contact with these buyers in any way, shape or form, she should be happy to get anything.

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#456648 - 02/16/17 04:41 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Vermont]
Jake09 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Northwest
She's been in this particular office for about 9 years and with the brokerage for about 9 months. We all switched brokerages at the same time, but stayed in the same office location.

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#456651 - 02/16/17 07:11 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: Jake09]
MHT Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 322
Loc: Ontario, Canada
In our office if someone comes in asking for a specific agent then it's hands off. They came in because of them, they asked for them, that's who they will be working with.

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#456724 - 02/21/17 04:00 AM Re: Floor Time Ethics Question [Re: MHT]
pastmember Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 411
Loc: USA
I am with RE/MAX and if someone walks in and asks for a particular agent then every effort will be made to contact that agent.....of course most RE/MAX offices don't have agents handle calls or front desk duty and have a dedicated/paid secretary at the desk 7 days a week during business hours.

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