Handling Realtor Bias…

This is an email exchange between me and a potential client’s sister.

Her email to me.

I have referred my sister to your site as an option to consider for relisting her home (the agent contract is expiring on Feb 10th). She and I have both read the information on your site and are impressed by the way that the process has been streamlined and “formula-ized” to save money for the seller, especially in today’s market.

I have heard only one person express concern over using Duffy Realty as the listing agent. The concern was that a friend had listed a home with Duffy and the perception was that other agents black-balled the house, deliberately avoiding showing it because of the “discount” listing. When he ultimately changed to a full-service agency, his traffic seemed to increase noticeably.

Of course, there could be other variables at play, but it’s not difficult to imagine that full-service agents might band together and boycott a listing to “protect their turf,” forcing sellers back to the full-price brokers.

How do you handle this type of objection?


My response to her email./strong>

Hey Laura:

I absolutely agree that agents may perceive that they need to protect their territory. Real estate has changed and it has changed forever. When I started Duffy 6 years ago, I had the thought that I would change my company name if I felt that clients were being hurt by being listed with me, that way I could serve the public and stay ahead of the game. However, I have watched the results of sales over the years and found just the opposite effect. We sell 2.5 times more of our inventory than any other company in Atlanta which we can prove in writing. Of course, I believe that my clients are more empowered to succeed and are given more tools to do so than other listings, and that is why we sell so many more homes, but that is another story for another day.

We do hear that agents say to other agents and prospective seller clients that they do not show Duffy homes. That does concern me since boycotting is a federal offense. I have spoken to other brokers of almost all large companies about this and they tell me that they tell their agents that they do not condone that behavior. On top of that, most agents are in a client relationship with their buyers and they are hired to find the best home for the buyer. So, in many ways, I don’t believe that they actually perform in such a manner with the client or at least that leads me to feel sorry for their buyer client if they actually do tell their client that they will not show a particular home to them. I just can’t imagine that a buyer would continue to work with an agent who refused in any way to show a home that the buyer wanted to see. And, because we use the same forms, same processes and sam e rules as any other brokerage in Atlanta, they have no reason not to show our homes.

However, we did do a survey a few years back with our own buyers. What we found when we surveyed was that buyers do not care who has the house listed. That was an overwhelming 100%. The other interesting survey percentage was at 95% which was that the buyers actually sent the list of houses that they wanted to see to their agents from the internet and that is what they expected to see. They did not expect that the agent knew about any home on the market that they did not know because EVERY listing is on the internet that is listed in the MLS(s).

And, from my experience in the last 15 years of being an agent, consumer advocate and money advisor, I totally agree that agents have lost power in the process of selling real estate and that the buyers are calling all of the shots. Of course, the winner in the transaction is now the buyer and seller, not the agent. I like it that way!

Thanks for considering us and if I can answer any more questions for you, please do not hesitate to write or call me.

Her response back to me.

Thank you for your considered response. I am impressed by your business model, and your thoughtful reply confirms my first impression. My sister’s contract is coming up on Feb 10th and she will be reaching out to you in the next few days to list with Duffy.

Thank you!


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