JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: Why is Competition Such a Bad Thing All the Sudden

Why is Competition Such a Bad Thing All the Sudden

Columbia, SC Real Estate I've noticed a trend in this business as well as life in general that I really just don't like. There seems to be a concentrated effort to develop a dislike for competition, and frankly I don't get the point of the perceived problem. It starts off early on with young people these days to push them towards the belief that no one ever really loses.

 The fact of the matter is that at some point in the life of everyone it's highly likely that we will all fail at something. BIG DEAL! You just have to suck it up and get over it, then get back in the fight or pick a new one. THAT'S LIFE and no one ever said it would or should be easy.

 The other day I read a story from a while back where a high school basketball team beat another team by a score of 100 to nothing. There was such an outcry over the issue that the winning coach was fired, because his team showed poor sportsmanship by defeating the other team by such a great score.

Columbia, SC Real Estate Is it bad for the team that lost the game by so much, sure it is, but should the winner be punished? I think sportsmanship is a great thing and that everyone should be a gracious winner and show class. But, I also remember my Grandfather telling me that no one likes a sore loser. At some point you just have to accept the fact that there are people out there who want the same thing that you do and they are willing to fight for it. Are You?

 I personally think that competition is a fantastic concept, and I love it. I thrive on it and I get more excited about a listing appointment when I know that there are other Realtors who are after the same listing. Not simply because I want to be them, but I like the competition and I want to win.

 We compete from birth and it has to be untaught rather than taught to us. We competed with our siblings for are parents attention and we competed with our classmates for our teachers attention as well. It's just what we do right from the start.

Columbia, SC Real Estate Now there seems to be so much emphasis put on the belief that competition is wrong and we should just all get along so we don't hurt the feelings of anyone. Now I'm not saying that you should rub it in the face of anyone that you won, like I said be a gracious winner, but I certainly think that you should be willing to chase after anything that you want and make every effort pass through any obstacle. That's called competition.

 Frankly, if you don't like to compete, then real estate is likely not the best business for you in the first place. There's still a lot of it out here, and unfortunately there are those that hate the fact that their competition exists. It's good for consumers though, and it will keep you on top of your game.

 Without competition, how will you ever truly measure your success? Sure we could all just take turns getting a listing or a buyer as they come, but why force those that are willing to beat the bushes to settle for mediocrity?


JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

My Columbia SC Real Estate Website

My Columbia, SC Real Estate Blog



Subscribe to JL Boney's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog by Email


Comment balloon 43 commentsJL Boney, III • December 17 2009 08:36PM


My thoughts exactly.  Competition is the Amrican Way....if we don't win in the competition for products, services, etc., those trophies will go to another country.  I like this one the best.  To heck with this lousey business of not competing.  You go, man!

Posted by Sandra Scott, REALTOR of Choice! Payson, Pine & Strawberry, AZ (DPR Realty) about 9 years ago

I love a spirited competition. If I've given my best and lost to a great agent with a better presentation, I'm inspired to do better next time.  What annoys me are the false claims which I either have to anticipate and shoot down in my presentation, which makes me look defensive, or I having to bite my tongue until that listing expires and try to hold back my, "I told you so." 

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) about 9 years ago

I think a friendly competition is a motivator and can actually help get you going.


Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) about 9 years ago


The elimination of competition in the Soviet states led to sloth and the dereliction of the respective nations. learn to compete, win ir lose you'll be better off for it!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 9 years ago

Love this post!!

I don't know how many years ago it was, but a lot of the youth sports leagues around here don't keep score. That drives me nuts!! Sports are one of the great teachers of competition. I don't know any successful companies that hire new people and say "well, since you are just getting started, we aren't going to keep track of how well you perform. What really matters is that you all have a good time working here".

It's the same with letting all the kids play. Some kids aren't good enough.....and they probably don't want to be playing anyway. It's been a while since I did a job interview, but I've done a few. Not once do I remember them saying "there are 10 applicants for this job, so we are going to let everyone take a shot at it, because we think everyone should have a chance to work (play)"

I'm competitive. It's served me very well and I learned it growing up playing sports.

I could go on and on about this. Many of my friends think I'm crazy on this topic. How can you teach kids to win and lose graciously if there are no winners and losers. <shaking my head>

Posted by Bob Stewart, ActiveRain Ambassador (ActiveRain) about 9 years ago

Hi JL,

Great post! As you said, and as Bob above reiterated, it starts when kids are very young. And oftentimes in the name of so called 'self-esteem'. But self-esteem comes from accomplishment - not the other way around. In fact, competition is what drives the quality of any product or service. Take away quality, or the motivation to achieve it and... well, you know. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Michael Cole (CPG Tours) about 9 years ago

Competition, and more specifically, failure ... is what drives innovation.  We've all heard the stories about Colonel Sanders, who tried to sell his chicken recipe over 100 times before someone finally bought it.  Or Michael Jordan getting cut from his high school basketball team.  Or Barbara Walters, Rachel Ray, and Oprah's media failures before hitting it big.

When someone beats you out, you will do whatever you can to not let that happen again.  Without competition, nothing would ever evolve or improve in our society.  Great post!

Posted by Eric Newman, Loan Officer with 25yrs in Housing, NMLS-97776 (Directors Mortgage, NMLS-3240) about 9 years ago

I love competition. Even when competitors played dirty pool (in our former business) I knew we were superior and the business always came back to us. Sometimes we win even when we lose!

Posted by Rebecca Fisher about 9 years ago

You've really got me thinking. I'm going to call the NFL, it's really not fair for a team to be undefeated game after game after game.  Maybe that game between the Broncos and Colts can be a do-over?

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) about 9 years ago

From what I've seen big companies become small companies and small companies cease to exist when they stop competing.  Sure it hurts to lose and learning to compete can be expensive but it has to be done.  And no Joetta there are no do-overs in football or the Bills would have four straight Super Bowl rings.

Posted by Gary Pike (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers) about 9 years ago

Competition is critical to success, when we never fail we never develop the skills necessary to win

Posted by Jason Burkholder, Sales Manager, Assoc. Broker, Realtor, e-Pro (Weichert, Realtors - Engle and Hambright) about 9 years ago

You hit the nail  on the head! I love to win....not because someone else loses, but it sharpens my skills and motivates me. In Real Estate, when we win, our client gets the house....or sells the house. I'm sorry for those who didn't, but they will find something else. If you are not interested in the "win" you are not a salesperson and probably in the wrong profession.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) about 9 years ago

I don't think there is a dislike for competition, there is a dislike for THE competition because of the current market conditions.  Certain agents and their brokers continue to pursue listings for life and flood the market with overpriced listings.  There agents have cut corners and overall ethics seem to have gone out with the last commission check.  I have never seen so many complaints filed with our MLS and local Board as recently. 

I hate to say it, but instead of working smarter, many agents and their brokers are working stupider.

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) about 9 years ago






Posted by Larry and Marilyn Mennetti (FIVE STAR REAL ESTATE) about 9 years ago

JL:  I think that the dislike for competition is all around us.  It's really sad.  I remember being the one dissenting voice when NAR was out making sure bank's could not open real estate brokerages.  Why?  Competition makes you strong.  Competition helps eliminate the weak.  It's Darwin at work. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 9 years ago

JL, you and Bob have it right.  'Raising (or lowering) the bar' is all about setting standards and competing.  Even when that competition is within yourself -- setting a goal or standard that you can not only reach, but exceed.  It's how we become better at anything/everything, including becoming better people.  I don't remember that quote, but it was something about 'things not worth measuring are not worth doing.'  What is measuring all about if not competition?  As many males, I've always had a very strong competitive drive -- doesn't matter what the subject.  I'm always up for a challenge and most of the time it's a challenge to myself just to do better than the last time, even if I don't 'win'...


Posted by Anonymous about 9 years ago

JL, you and Bob have it right.  'Raising (or lowering) the bar' is all about setting standards and competing.  Even when that competition is within yourself -- setting a goal or standard that you can not only reach, but exceed.  It's how we become better at anything/everything, including becoming better people.  I don't remember that quote, but it was something about 'things not worth measuring are not worth doing.'  What is measuring all about if not competition?  As many males, I've always had a very strong competitive drive -- doesn't matter what the subject.  I'm always up for a challenge and most of the time it's a challenge to myself just to do better than the last time, even if I don't 'win'...

(Sorry about the previous post - I didn't realize I wasn't logged in.)


Posted by John J. Woods (Aardvark Appraisals) about 9 years ago

I suppose a person's gravitational pull toward or away from competition is in direct proportion to a person's success. If you aren't skilled at beating the competition, you probably don't like it. If you win most of the time, then you love competition as it drives you to succeed.

Unlike Chris Ann, though, I don't want banks in real estate. Because that's a game I won't win.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) about 9 years ago

JL - I completely agree.  Failure motivates us to be better, work harder and win the next time.  American children are coddled in order to protect their "fragile" self esteem.   I grew up with nine siblings - talk about competition.  My little sister and I would have knock down drag outs in the morning to get into the bathroom first.   Our parents didn't get involved in our sibling rivalries because those taught us life lessons of how to deal successfully with people in our adult lives.  

Posted by Rachelle McMahan (Golf Savings Bank) about 9 years ago

Chris Ann, #15 comment

 Banks can hire sales people to list and sell property and pay them a small salary, list for 1%, lower the rate even further if the seller is a buyer too, and does the mortgage with them and the interest rates will be even lower. The banks make money being banks and can work the brokerage at a huge loss since they make most of their money from being a bank not a Real Estate Brokerage....They can just wait until all the real Real Estate firms have closed up shop and then raise fees to what ever they want because they eliminated all the competition. Which isn't good for consumers once they have driven everyone out of business. Was good while they were doing it, but then just wait...checked your credit card interest rates lately?

Kroger Stores used to use this tactic years ago, which is now not legal. They would open up a store in a town and drop prices below their cost and draw everyone away from exisitng stores with the super low prices. The competition would quickly go out of business if they were the "MOM and POP " stores and slightly longer if they were a smaller chain. Kroger was huge and had the deepest pockets.

Once the competiton was gone they would raise prices to higher levels than were being charged prior to their opening of a store there....and who suffered? All the people who shopped there and the people who lost their jobs with the other businesses. Which are now gone and too broke to return....Think banks can't and won't do that if given the chance? And they would be using your own money to put you out of business....remember, they are banks and have all the money.

Guess we as Realtors could go to work for them on a small salary  doing what we worked for years to accomplish on our own. So then the buyers and sellers and borrowers along with the Realtors could all be in the same boat poor service, poor rates and no competition...just like Kroger used to do.

Congress had to step in to control Kroger....Yhe banks own congress right now....glad NAR stepped in in time.


Posted by Larry and Marilyn Mennetti (FIVE STAR REAL ESTATE) about 9 years ago

Before I had my kids in Little League I had them in another nearby non-competitive league.  I thought my kids (who are not that could) would get better instruction and more playing time.  What you got was a lot of kids who were not disciplined and were disruptive (I guess the parents wanted a non-competitive league to protect there little egos).  Competition builds success.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 9 years ago

This is a great post. I think competetion is a good thing as long as everyone played fair and the players are graceful win or lose.

I am with Larry that no one likes a bully and there are a few out there.

Posted by Dianne Hicks (Realty ONE Group) about 9 years ago

Larry could be less of a 'bully' by not SHOUTING!


Posted by John J. Woods (Aardvark Appraisals) about 9 years ago

JL - I'm with you on this one, big man.  Competition is what stimulates us to rise above and beyond any norm that we'd remain stagnant in.  And that may mean failure as well.  The sweet ain't so sweet without the sour...

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) about 9 years ago

I think competition is good as long as there's a fair playing field and that becomes the problem sometimes. But life is a competition. If you didn't think that way, just try and get paid at something. It's fierce.

Is it that people don't like competition or people are afraid to fail and have a fear of rejection?

Many kids are wus because of this.

Posted by Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux, Where Buying & Selling Works (Keller Williams Suburban Realty) about 9 years ago

Sandra- I think that competition has brought us many great things and to lose the desire for it would be a mistake.

Dan- If we learn from our mistakes and try to improve, it always makes us better.

Patricia- I agree.

Richard- Well, we know how well things turned out for those guys.

Bob- I went to high school at a very small school, but every year every boy from grade 6 through 12 tried out for the basketball team. Only 12 of us made the team each year and chances were that only 6 of us would actually get to play unless the game was a complete blow out.

The fact is that nothing worth having is ever easy to achieve or given away to anyone who simply on a whim wants it. You have to chase it, grab it, and hold on for dear life and provided you are the one willing to do this, then you will be the one who succeeds. Not every person is cut out for every activity, job, sport, or business.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

Michael- It think you said it right, accomplishment. These days no one really wants to accomplish anything, they expect things to be handed to them.

Eric- Few people are a raging success from the start, but the ability to bounce back better makes us great.

Rebecca- As long as you do what you should and do it right, chances are you will get where you need to be.

Joetta- Good luck with that, but I feel the result would be the same.

Gary- When we stop competing we give up and yes we stop growing.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

Jason- Can't argue with that.

Karen- I think you said it well and I will not bother to add to that. Thanks for stopping by.

WRS- I have seen many agents cutting corners and tossing ethics out the window, but I bet in time they will be out of the business for their decision to do so.

Larry- I always cooperate with other Realtors and I go out of my way to help even the other agent that is involved in a transaction with me. I have yet to run into anyone in the business that has dealt with me that didn't get along with me and I still speak to each and every agent that has ever been in a transaction with me and tons of them that haven't yet. Notice I said yet. But when it comes down to us competing over a listing, there's no bully involved, but I'm pulling for me more than the other team because I want to listing.

Chris Ann- You know I'm a fan of Darwin. Bring out what you want, but I'll get mine.


Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

John- Lowering the bar helps no one in the long run. Let people set high goals and that's how we get high standards and we are all better for it.

Elizabeth- You have to love it in a way. But to be great at anything you have to love it.

Rachelle- And now we have a couple generations of kids who have no idea how to do that.

Gene- Yes it does, hope your kids are doing great.

Dianne- You can learn to beat up the bully you know.


Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

John- He may just be an animated speaker or not realize that this is considered shouting in this format.

Sardi- Hell Sardi, without the sour we would even know what sweet really is my friend.

B&B- Of course people fear failure, no one likes it, but it is a necessary evil that allows us to gage success.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

Evening JL,  I think many agents like a competitive situation even though we also cooperate on many levels !    Hope your Holiday Season is the best ever !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 9 years ago

I am extremely competitive, I have had to learn to "tone" it down lol...Mushy, mealy mouthed people and ideas drive me straight up a wall. I don't mind if you don't agree, but say it out loud and own it. You want the same listing? Come and get it! I lost one today and I don't like it but I am not going to cry about how unfair it is. I asked the client why, accepted and moved on to the next challenge. Losing makes me look at what I am doing and make sure it is tight and ship shape.

Posted by Vanessa Stalets, REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate (RE/MAX Elite) about 9 years ago

JL - The indoctrination of children to instill/promote that competition is bad... has lasting repercussions. I played contact sports in my youth, and play golf today.  If they said everybody was the winner, after a hard fought game... just for showing up ...(only the empty would play) ..and I would have dumped the sport. Real people like competition.


Posted by Claude Cross, Charlotte NC Homes For Sale (Homes By Cross, Inc. ) about 9 years ago
JL, competition is natural and makes us better. We need not fear it just be competitive ourselves.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 9 years ago

Hi JL,

What a great subject - Competition !

Competition is good but to the certain point of not going crazy with it and not killing anyone over anything and not threatening anyone over anything and not stealing anything from anyone.Unfortunately there is too much of a very unhealthy competition lately everywhere, so I suggest to stop and think before you go over board with competition,cause you may not like the outcome.

Happy Holiday Season !


Posted by Eva Erdmann, interior decorator (Lion International Inc.) about 9 years ago

Competition is great, keeps us on our toes if anything, for a lot of people, something to criticize about!


Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) about 9 years ago

I think that the social basics of being a sore looser need to be re-taught to today's youth & others in general.  Don't they even give trophies to kids today for loosing or being in last place?  Ridiculous.  Without competition think how boring everything would be?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 9 years ago

In the first comment Sandra says that competition is the American Way.  It used to be, but the current liberal agenda is to make everything "fair" for everyone.  The liberal-socialists hate competition because of the "unfair" results.  The liberal way is to take money from the successful and give to the unproductive until everyone is even.  This sounds good until you realize that "even" in the real world means evenly poor, not evenly comfortable.  That philosophy also takes from the high achievers in sports and business and gives to the unproductive teams and groups.

Instead of whining about the unfairness of results (income or sports scores) and taking from millions of people and businesses (bringing them down) to give to other millions of people, they should concentrate on uplifting, educating, and improving the skills of the less fortunate to give them the tools to compete successfully.

Instead of pursuing a philosophy of entitlement, they should pursue a philosophy of productivity.  The self-esteem of the less fortunate is not raised by giving them handouts or playing sports with no scores.  It is raised by teaching them about self-improvement.

Without competition there is stagnation, not improvement.

Posted by Mark Cohen, Broker about 9 years ago

New ideas  come from healthy competition

Posted by Dolores "Dee" Mauriello, Realtor, Homes For Sale Wayne NJ (Keller Willaims ) about 9 years ago

JL, my thoughts exactly! Nothing beats the thrill of winning but nothing makes you feel more like a winner than being gracious when others have their day!

Posted by SarahGray Lamm, Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience (Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 ) about 9 years ago

Competition doesn't bother me, that is why I even mentor new agents in the office.  They are not me, no more than I am them. 

We all have our own style.  I can show you how to do something and you are still going to find your own way.

If I lose a listing, I find a way to figure out what I could have done better.  I don't mind losing to another strong/good agent, it bothers the heck out of me when I lose to someone not as qualified, BUT I still look for what could I have done better.      Joy

Posted by Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team, Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise! (Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team) about 9 years ago

It tough to believe in competition when the government doesn't (too big to fail??).  IMHO, competition betters all that compete.  As for a level playing field, that just invites more government intervention.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 9 years ago

competition is good as long as both sides play fair....to compete fairly against another agent...love it...but should the other agent attempt to mislead the same buyer/seller i am after that is not right...now going back to the basketball game...IN MY OPINION that is wrong..please tell me the reason to beat another team by 100 points...did the winning coach play every player(did he play the subs and maybe the equipment manager and the cheerleaders) or did he keep the first string in the entire game?

this is why i can't stand UF florida gators and Steve Sperier...(boy is this going to start a gang war)When you are ahead 60 to 14  and not let the 2nd and 3rd string play...

In high school I played right tackle on both defense and offense(it was a small school, 51 in my graduating class),,,we played a far superior team one Friday night for an away game and at half time the score was 88 to 8 and the final score was 108 to 8...what was the purpose of this other team to continue to run the score up...compettion  we were no such thing

Posted by Dana Devine (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 9 years ago