There are brokers and, as everyone knows, there are brokers. The lazy ones, the arrogant and the unquestionably rude ones such as the individual below (and the creature above) can be particularly hard to take.
Consider this smug one – call him Simon – who has several listings in the same historic building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
First, the e-mail and telephone call to schedule an appointment. The only telephone number provided is to an office, where the voicemail greeting offers no cell phone number. A message left there receives no response.
Then the email, which evidently goes to a handheld device. There is no response for more than 90 minutes. Granted, some folks may think that’s within the realm of acceptability. I don’t.
But Simon’s response ignores my request to reply either to an alternate email address (to a BlackBerry) and a phone number added to the message; as a result, I don’t come upon his reply for two hours. His response: He can show the condo, listed at $1.195 million and described below, only before 11 a.m. the next day.
To comply, my eager prospective buyers agree to 10:45 a.m., but they must check out of their hotel early and cool their heels for an hour until the start times of the open houses that they plan to visit later. There is no subsequent response from Simon, even though I sought confirmation was sought, until the next day – an hour and a half before the appointment.
That answer from him came only after another email and phone call to Simon that morning. In his call, he professes unawareness about any of the previous communications (including his own) and says he couldn’t show the apartment until after 11 a.m. Yet he somehow counters with 10:45 after I propose noon.
What he really meant is impossible to discern.
So, the buyers check out of their hotel early and show up on time, their tiny and extraordinarily well-behaved Maltese dog in tow. The broker, who is wearing blue jeans and a decidedly unfashionably rumpled casual shirt, tells them he is running late and that he will take buyers to the apartment in order of their arrival, no matter what their appointment. It is by then after 11!
Simon grimaces at the dog and declares that the buyers must use the grimy service elevator in accordance with the building’s rules. Fair enough, but only when the doors had closed did he volunteer that they could have used the regular passenger elevator if they carried their fluffy little dog, which doesn’t bark or balk all day.
While my buyers are examining the apartment, Simon whispers to me that buyers really shouldn’t take their dogs with them. I shrug. Then, escorts the buyers to the lobby well after 11:15. Two more parties are waiting to see the unit, and there is no reason that my buyers couldn’t have been scheduled for then at their convenience.
How that slovenly broker became successful is a mystery except, apparently, to his most ardent admirer – him.
As for the $1.195 million condo he was so graciously showing that day, it remains unsold after nearly two months on the market. You’ll find a description of the apartment, as well as the other units that I critically review during my visits to them two or three days a week in the “Out and About” section of my free bi-weekly e-newsletter.
Maybe that’s because there are seven other active listings in the building, five of them somehow with the same broker, whose record includes two expired listings as well.
Will wonders never cease?
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022