A broker who is a friend of mine recently recounted an anecdote that I can only hope is apocryphal. But I believe it to be true.
He said he’s learned that some brokers are stealing names.
Those are the brokers who attend open houses, slyly snapping cellphone photos of sign-in sheets and then getting in touch with those visitors who don’t put down the name of their own broker.
Their desperate action is despicable, certainly unethical and arguably in violation of strictures against interfering with the business of another broker.
If you are a consumer, you probably don’t know that brokers aren’t allowed to offer their services to prospective customers at an open house, in the building’s elevator or anywhere in the building. They may do so only when they reach the sidewalk.
When I had a real estate business in D.C., I used to substitute individual sign-in cards for sign-in sheets and somehow stopped here. It is time, I guess, to resume using them.
An even worse practice also came to my friend’s attention. He said he became aware of phone calls from members of a team at a large agency. Those team members weren’t calling open house visitors. They were calling sellers to ask how satisfied they were with their listing brokers. The callers were, they said, “available” to help.
Making those calls–any attempt to interfere with a brokerage relationship–is against the law. I hope they get caught and get punished.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022