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Brendan Powell, Toronto

Kinda scary on the other side….

Brendan and I have recently been on the search for a few REALTORS outside of Toronto to help with some family real estate purchases and sales. It’s been a while since we’ve been on the receiving end of what Buyers and Sellers experience when interacting with agents, and needless to say, it wasn’t pretty:

  • We were added to endless e-mail drip campaigns that provided no value. No, we don’t need a pumpkin pie recipe from you (unless you’re a pastry chef). It doesn’t make us want to buy or sell a house from you.  Having my e-mail address is not permission to spam me.
  • So many promises were broken. “I’ll send you listings later today” (still waiting for those listings, 5 months later). “Yes, I’d love to help your family” (Called them 5 days later, AFTER our family had come and gone to Toronto). Why is it so hard to do what you said you’d do?
  • We were on the receiving end of unwanted cold calls with laughingly lame scripts and fake enthusiasm.  “Gooood afternoon Melanie! I’m XX from XX brokerage and I understand that you’re looking for some grrreat REALTOR help in the XX area. We’d loooove to be the people for the job. We’re the #1 REALTORS in XX (asterisk, asterisk) and I look forward to helping you! Would 3 pm or 5 pm tomorrow be a good time to meet?”
    1. I didn’t ask you to call me, so why are you calling me? Curses to the person who told you I was looking for an agent.
    2. No one is actually as happy or energetic as you sound, and you sound like a DJ on amphetamines.
    3. I’m not going to be brainwashed into believing I actually want to meet you, even though you gave me 2 options to choose from hoping that I wouldn’t recognize that those aren’t the only two options out there (including the option of NOT meeting you at all).
  • We saw so much bad marketing: blurry iPhone photos on MLS, spelling errors on feature sheets and brutal stock websites that haven’t been updated in 2 years.  Sure, we see this everyday, but somehow, it felt so much worse when we looked at it all through the eyes of a Buyer. And don’t even get us started on the business cards.

We’d be remiss, of course, in not acknowledging the agents who treated our family well; the agents who did what they said they’d do, who showed up when they said they would and who didn’t use scripts and dialogue to ‘sell, sell, sell’, but just told the truth. Thank you.

And to the other agents: Our industry doesn’t have to be this lame. You can be better and you can do better. Don’t your clients deserve it?

stop it. stop it right now.



  1. Hey Bud – We all have stories, but part of our code of conduct is not to put down the profession. It takes a lot of courage for a rookie to make a cold call, I think it’s in poor taste to put them down. Just my opinion. I was checking out some of the better web sites as we are making a secondary site and upgrading ours. You have a good site and looks like you do a fine job. You should focus on that. Just my opinion.

    • Melanie Piche says:

      Thanks for the comment. I was simply recounting a personal experience (three experiences, in fact) that left a bad taste in my mouth. Courage does not make a behaviour more wanted from a consumer’s perspective. I’m all for the hustle – but the one that respects me as a consumer.

  2. Thanks for the post. I think it is admirable that you critique the industry. The quest for improvement is always noble. I think Steven Bergg is way off. Addressing someone as “Hey Bud” pretty much echos most busy professional’s frustrations with how agents treat buyers and sellers. It is refreshing to see that some agents strive for a bit more professionalism, and more importantly, respect.

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