Amazed and Perplexed!

Wasn’t there a movie in the 1980s called “Dazed and Confused”?  Well, I recently had an encounter with a property broker who said he was Amazed and Perplexed!

So, a few days ago, I got a call from this commercial real estate broker who demanded to know why we hadn’t presented to our client the two office buildings he represented.  The two buildings are located in a part of the country where our firm is representing a client in the acquisition of a 100,000 square foot office facility.  In that market, a lot of vacant space exists and few 100,000 square foot tenants are currently seeking space there.  The broker first emailed me saying he was “perplexed” at why our client hadn’t visited his buildings.  When I invited him to call me to discuss his concern, he aggressively opened his conversation by exclaiming that he was “amazed,” and was particularly strenuous when he loudly proclaimed “because every company that considers over 100,000 square feet looks at my buildings!” 

I did my best to explain to this guy that we and our client were aware of his two buildings and why those buildings didn’t meet our client’s criteria. Afterall, despite this guy’s distasteful manner, he was doing his job.  During my explanation, he talked over me and seemed much more interested in voicing his opinion than listening.  And, when I wouldn’t yield, he began to yell at me, saying that I didn’t know the market.  This guy had never met me, had never spoken with me before, didn’t know what I knew, and had no clue about my market knowledge.  If this was his lame attempt to draw me into a fight, he was not going to accomplish that.  When I disagreed with him, he called me a smart ass and began to yell at me again.  I don’t think his charm school teacher would have appreciated his actions.  By the way, this all happened during a three-minute conversation.  Talk about amazed and perplexed!

This guy contacted me in an effort to inspire me to present to my client the two properties he represented, despite the fact that we already had.  What a salesman!  What an inspiration!  How motivating!  If, in his initial presentation to me he acted so arrogantly, how could I expect him to treat my client?!  What an idiot this guy was!  I really felt sorry for this broker’s clients.  He was obviously alienating potential tenants and their brokers.  And, after making a few inquiries, I learned that this guy had a reputation for pulling stunts like this and commands very little respect in his local market.  No wonder his buildings are so empty!   Note to landlord: If you wish to fill your buildings, hire a more professional representative, and send your current broker to therapy!

I ended the call by saying “When you’d like to have a polite conversation, please call me.” and I hung up.  I immediately called our client to advise him about the incident and told him to expect a call from this broker.  Our client reiterated his faith in our firm and our market knowledge (not that I was concerned, but very nice of him).  Our client laughed at that broker’s ridiculous tactics, and said he’d be ready for him.  And, while our client is generally a soft-spoken and relaxed kind of guy, he is a very accomplished executive, and a serious one.  A preference toward being laid-back, and in both my case and our client’s, being polite, is not to be confused with weakness.  Accordingly, I am absolutely certain (from that gleam I’ve seen in our client’s eye), that while he’d prefer not to hear from that broker, he is fully capable of disposing of this knucklehead with minimal effort!

For the remainder of the day, I received a series of emails from the broker, each of which was more negative than the one before.  In one email, he reminded me that his state was still a member of the Union….huh? 

Now, I’m no gentle touch, and this is not the first time (and, unfortunately, I doubt it will be the last) that I’ve dealt with a broker or landlord who got lost in his own ego and self-importance.  I’ve written before about the personalities that are pervasive in commercial real estate, and how a focus on customer service (using honey, not vinegar) is the way to win the day almost every time.  Evidently, this particular broker, part of a dying group that still gives commercial real estate brokers a bad name, doesn’t read my blog.  As for his silly and futile attempt at salesmanship, I can only say that I was amazed and perplexed, and a bit disappointed, but not surprised!

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6 Responses to “Amazed and Perplexed!”


  1. 1 Huntersville NC Real Estate March 10, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Wow, he is what we call an A-hole! Has he never heard of the saying “You get more bees with honey, than vinegar”? I know some people like this yet, they somehow continue to be somewhat successful. I always wonder why? Maybe because they scare the living heck out of their clients. Who knows? Maybe somebody should do a show like “Criminal Minds” and call it “Lacking Communication Minds” and delve into why they do the things they do. That would be awesome!

  2. 3 Kevin McCormack March 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I am astounded. I work for an owner/reit and am constantly amazed how some of my competitors kick potential relationships to the curb to satisfy a short term ego boost…

  3. 5 mauraboconnor March 16, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Dear Andrew:

    I am perpetually amazed by how many folks active in our real estate industry confuse politeness with either weakness or stupidity. It is neither. Choosing to deal politely with others is not just good manners, but is also usually more effective — at least with people who are not jerks. Keep up the good — and polite — fight!

    Best regards,

    Maura O’Connor

    • 6 realstrat March 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

      Maura:

      You said it! What leaves me “Amazed and Perplexed” is the confusion many negative people have between manners and weakness. I know some pretty strong people, both intellectually and physically, who prefer to be polite.

      Thanks for your thoughts and yoru good wishes!


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THIS WORK IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE PRACTICAL AND USEFUL INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT MATTER COVERED AND REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF THE AUTHOR. HOWEVER, IT IS PROVIDED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE TO THE READER. IF LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE SOUGHT. THE AUTHOR SPECIFICALLY AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY THAT MAY BE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR APPLICATION OF THE INFORMATION THAT IS CONTAINED IN THIS WORK.

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