JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: You Don't Make Yourself Look Better by Badmouthing Fellow Agents

You Don't Make Yourself Look Better by Badmouthing Fellow Agents

Columbia, SC Homes for Sale  One thing is for sure in this business, you will sometimes run into agents that do not fit the mold you deem appropriate. Either they are unsure of how to negotiate repairs, unclear on how to complete paperwork, or not responsive enough. Sometimes you can clearly tell that agents are taking up practices that are not allowed.

  That being said if you can tell a Realtor is breaking the law, by all means turn them into the LLR. We have enough trouble with our reputation when it comes to the general public, we don't need any additional help looking bad as a result of those that exhibit a lack morals.


Columbia, SC Homes for SaleBut when it comes to agents that simply are new to the business, I try my best to practice patience. After all, I know a lot more after 11 years in the business than I did 11 months into real estate. Something tells me most of us are the same and that we didn't walk into real estate completely sure of what we were doing or completely devoid of making mistakes.

 So when I get the chance to complain about other agents, especially online, I just decide not to. The fact is that if consumers see us ranting and raving about how horrible agents are, it typically makes us all look bad and it does nothing to help the reputation of the one making the complaint. Instead of embarrassing a new agent or dragging their name through the mud around your office when they make a mistake, why not point it out and explain what needs to be done. People usually remember those that try to help them.

 What if that new agent goes on to become a rock star in your area, you may want them to sell your listings right? What if you open your own brokerage? Recruiting is important for those you know and no one wants to work for someone that they had a bad experience with in the past. We all started somewhere and we all make mistakes. So before you blast other agents either around town or online, remember that you're not really making yourself look good in the process.


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

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Comment balloon 30 commentsJL Boney, III • January 25 2018 08:58PM


Great blog topic, JL.   In every facet of life there are people we may not agree with or like the way they conduct their business.  It's best not to  bring ourselves down to a lower level by badmouthing another.  In real estate the newbies should have just taken a plethora of real estate classes. Book smart is not the same as hands on smart though.  Real estate franchise's typically have training classes or online assistance for their agents.  There was a time when Brokers even sat with their new agents to go over the rules and provide their Realtors a Policies and Procedures manual to sign.   This could be a great idea for a Blog!


Posted by Susan Hale, Re/Max Northwest Ohio Realtor (Re/Max Realty of Defiance,Inc.) over 2 years ago

JL - this is so timely - it's really difficult sometimes when the other agent puts us in an awkward situation, or when they don't do their job and you end up on both sides..........but that said, you are absolutely correct, you never know and it's just not constructive to make negative remarks -

Posted by Susan Jacobsen, 20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service (The Alliance Group Realty) over 2 years ago

You make some excellent points;  I have worked with new agents many times and ended up practically coaching them (never to the point where it ever damaged my own client, rather to the point where we were able to keep a transaction together successfully) because it was clear the only training they had ever had was on how to prospect.  Now, that is a whole other topic! 

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 2 years ago

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Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) over 2 years ago

Plus, bad mouthing an agent on the opposite side of a transaction only pumps more emotion into the transaction, which is never a good thing.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 2 years ago

We have all started at the beginning point JL. Another reason why a good broker should jump in and help that new agent to avoid creating that type of negative environment. I see agents venting in FB groups, saying what they wish with no repercussions but, after all, it is the internet and once done, it remains!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) over 2 years ago


Congrats on a well deserved feature. Badmouthing does NOT make us look better and doesn't accomplish a thing. And it could get you in trouble, too. I have no issue helping when it makes sense, and is appropriate, to do so in order to keep things moving along, keeping in mind my client relationship.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 2 years ago

We've a number of things going in this post:

  • New agents behaving badly
  • Agents behaving badly
  • And I'm not reporting anyone because it may cost be business in the long run

 There are thousands of Agents, Realtors and "disruptive" companies who are hacking our industry. How we conduct ourselves in our business is a far cry from what is being touted by the latest "guru" or "Rockstar" teachers or leaders. When you feel you've seen it all guess what? It happens! 

  Bad agents behaving badly is somehting we've seen for years--now it is their business model. I think one of the most brazen "hacking" of an existing way to show property was the company placing combo lockboxes on listings and giving out this information directly to the buyer. Hey! It's disruptive!  But if the agents have no context then they think it a super idea which will save them time and give the buyers more "power" in the deal. 

  Agents behaving badly is a common thing. We see it all the time and it is fed by our Realtor boards, MLS, etc. Allowing "off-market" sales to be considered as a "comp" and having only one photo is hardly a "comp". And don't give me that "willing seller/willing buyer" crap. 

  So why don't we report them? Hey, they have a listing I'll want to show. I bet we could say it is our fidcuciary agreement NOT to blow the whistle on these agents as it could stop a buyer of ours from getting the home they really want.   This deserves a stronger more indepth look and response but I'm going to defer it to another day.

Posted by Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS, "One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources" (The MJKelly Team) over 2 years ago

You are absolutely right.  I have been an agent for over 11 years, but I know people make mistakes all the time.  When you are new, I also try to just help because we have all been a new agent at can understand we are all just human.

Posted by Dorothy Liu, Broker Associate, Silicon Valley Area,650-492-0859 (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 2 years ago

No one has ever advanced his or her standing and reputation by bad-mouthing someone else - in this business or any other.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 2 years ago

It's against the code of ethics to badmouth another agent.  If you have to work both sides to get the job done, I say just do it!  What's most important is the clients, not us.

Posted by Alyse "Aly" Sands (Village Real Estate Services) over 2 years ago

Rule #1  The Golden Rule.

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I totally agree with you .  We are in this together. I also don't understand the approach of badmouthing other agents in a listing presentation.  Lets support eachother.

Posted by Terri Buseman, Downtown Chicago (RE/MAX Premier Properties) over 2 years ago

Dear JL,


Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) over 2 years ago

I agree, bad mouthing other agents does not accomplish anything.

Posted by Rose O'Reilly,HomeSmartRealty over 2 years ago

you know one of my best agents and top producers is someone that I offered help to when he was new in the business and needed it. I didn't cross any liability lines, but I pointed out (gently) a few overlooked things here and there. So when he changed brokerages he ended up with me and it's because I was helpful and not ugly about what he did wrong.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

Don't be afraid to admit you are a newbie or it's the first you've done a particular type of transaction. Most agents will go out of their way to help keep you on track. You learn as you go and both clients reap the benefits of doing so.  

Posted by Bruce Minter, One on one - Every step of the way! (James & Lee Realty) over 2 years ago

Isn't the agent's broker responsible for training and supervising their agents' transactions? Determining an agents abilities and capabilities can IMO be easily determined by communicating with them regarding an opportunity. To win, you don't have to be ruthless, yet, you shouldn't help your advisory win either IMO.  

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 2 years ago

I agree that you should not bad mouth another agent!  I simply say they are a good agent but here is what I can do for you.

Posted by Bobbi Ellis, Wagner Real Estate (Wagner Realty) over 2 years ago

It does not matter how old or how new one is to the business, you need to find a way to get along, train each and embrace each other's strengths and weakness for a common goal, closing the deal. I have seen lots of agents using texting more than they can pick up the phone and have a conversation or simply have a five minute meeting to know the other human being on the other side. Just get to know the other agent eases hostilities and badmouthing. The trick is meeting and learning from one another. Our business is not acing a math test but preparing for our next deal from the current client. Some agents badmouth themselves out of business. You badmouth at your own expense! Stay collected and predictable, listen, learn and quietly act without taking credit. Closing the deal is every agent's goal.

Posted by Kaunda Matoke over 2 years ago

I like your thoughts in regards to the title line.  Badmouthing says more about you, rather than the person you are trying to hurt.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 2 years ago

Badmouthing should not be a part of any Realtor's presentation.  Like I always taught my children, "Two Wrongs don't make a Right"

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) over 2 years ago

Good morning JL. Bad mouthing anyone only makes you look petty and insecure. Helping those who genuinely don't know is a very good thing to do.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 2 years ago

Karma can come back to bite you at any time! 

Not to mention just how bad it makes YOU look when you bad mouth someone else!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 2 years ago

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all - I heard that from m Mom for years. As a broker I've run into many new agents that simply need a little advice or steering in the right direction...plus a lot of encouragement too.


Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRS, Broker, Instructor, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) over 2 years ago

I believe it's part of our job to be professional and that includes other agents, vendors etc. Great post and I agree 100 percent.

Posted by Chris Lima, Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you. (Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise) over 2 years ago

There is a difference in an agents actions. Some are just not the type we like. That is our opinion and never should be disparage another agent. It is an Ethics violation.

There are agents that break the law or commit an Ethics Violation. To report them to the proper governing body is not bad mouthing them, it is the right thing to do.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA over 2 years ago

You are right. I completely agree with you and understand you are talking about things that are not true violations. We need to help one another grow and learn - big egos trip people up. Who can carry all that extra weight around. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 2 years ago

The time and place to vent about another agent is private conversation only with trusted spouse /friend---and even then, sparingly!  

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) over 2 years ago

You are so right!  It does take effort sometimes NOT to say something, restraint is difficult.  However, we all need to educate others and being a model for new agents is one of the best practices.  Great post!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 2 years ago