New Zealand: fist-fighting in the real estate game

Unsurprisingly atrocious behaviour from appallingly competitive salesgirls.

In New Zealand, real estate salespeople working for the same firm compete against each other when selling.  Claims to the contrary are made by most real estate agencies, yet a prospective buyer has only to spend a few Saturdays or Sundays joining other punters at Open Homes or attending Auction Sales to witness at first hand the lack of team-spiritness amongst competing agents.  Conversations with real estate agents themselves are an eye-opener, too, as stories abound of devious practice and selfish behaviour.

Not so surprising therefore that two salesgirls ended up recently in a fist fight over a sale - witnessed by a tenant and a buyer.

Surely, now, the industry in New Zealand ought to consider adopting a more team-spirited approach, perhaps along English estate agency lines?  The firms themselves should "own" the client relationship, and individual agents could receive a salary plus commission - rather than be paid on a commission-only basis and be overly protective about personally-held client relationships.

Otherwise, an industry which already sports one of the worst reputations for duplicity and dreadfully bad business ethics will sink even further in peoples' estimations.  Yes, there've been improvements to the real estate industry codes of conduct of late in New Zealand.  And yes, there are truly charming and talented real estate agents out there continuing to provide excellent service.  But they are few and far between, and the general population's patience is running very thin indeed.

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