Wasn't there a movie in the 1980s called "Dazed andConfused"? Well, I recently had an encounter with a propertybroker who said he was Amazed and Perplexed!

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So, a few days ago, I got a call from this commercial realestate broker who demanded to know why we hadn't presented to ourclient the two office buildings he represented. The twobuildings are located in a part of the country where our firmis representing a client in the acquisition of a 100,000 squarefoot office facility. In that market, a lot of vacant spaceexists and few 100,000 square foot tenants are currently seekingspace there. The broker first emailed me saying he was"perplexed" at why our client hadn't visited his buildings. When I invited him to call me to discuss his concern, heaggressively opened his conversation by exclaiming that he was"amazed," and was particularly strenuous when he loudlyproclaimed "because every company that considers over 100,000square feet looks at my buildings!"

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I did my best to explain to this guy that we and our client wereaware of his two buildings and why those buildings didn't meet ourclient's criteria. Afterall, despite this guy's distasteful manner,he was doing his job. During my explanation, hetalked over me and seemed much more interested in voicing hisopinion than listening. And, when I wouldn't yield, he beganto yell at me, saying that I didn't know the market. This guyhad never met me, had never spoken with me before, didn't know whatI knew, and had no clue about my market knowledge. If thiswas his lame attempt to draw me into a fight, he was not going toaccomplish that. When I disagreed with him, he called me asmart ass and began to yell at me again. I don't think hischarm school teacher would have appreciated his actions. Bythe way, this all happened during a three-minuteconversation. Talk about amazed and perplexed!

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This guy contacted me in an effort to inspire me to present tomy client the two properties he represented, despite the fact thatwe already had. What a salesman! What aninspiration! How motivating! If, in his initialpresentation to me he acted so arrogantly, how could I expect himto treat my client?! What an idiot this guy was! Ireally felt sorry for this broker's clients. He was obviouslyalienating potential tenants and their brokers. And, aftermaking a few inquiries, I learned that this guy had areputation for pulling stunts like this and commands very littlerespect in his local market. No wonder his buildings are soempty! Note to landlord: If you wish to fill yourbuildings, hire a more professional representative, and send yourcurrent broker to therapy!

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I ended the call by saying "When you'd like to have a politeconversation, please call me." and I hung up. I immediatelycalled our client to advise him about the incident and told him toexpect a call from this broker. Our client reiteratedhis faith in our firm and our market knowledge (not that I wasconcerned, but very nice of him). Our client laughed at thatbroker's ridiculous tactics, and said he'd be ready for him. And, while our client is generally a soft-spoken and relaxed kindof guy, he is a very accomplished executive, and a seriousone. A preference toward being laid-back, and in both my caseand our client's, being polite, is not to be confused withweakness. Accordingly, I am absolutely certain (from thatgleam I've seen in our client's eye), that while he'd prefer not tohear from that broker, he is fully capable of disposing of thisknucklehead with minimal effort!

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For the remainder of the day, I received a series of emails fromthe broker, each of which was more negative than the onebefore. In one email, he reminded me that his state was stilla member of the Union....huh?

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Now, I'm no gentle touch, and this is not the first time (and,unfortunately, I doubt it will be the last) that I've dealt with abroker or landlord who got lost in his own ego andself-importance. I've written before about the personalitiesthat are pervasive in commercial real estate, and how a focus oncustomer service (using honey, not vinegar) is the way to win theday almost every time. Evidently, this particular broker,part of a dying group that still gives commercial real estatebrokers a bad name, doesn't read my blog. As for his sillyand futile attempt at salesmanship, I can only say that I wasamazed and perplexed, and a bit disappointed, but notsurprised!

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Follow me at http://Twitter.com/RealStrat

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Where is Andrew Zezas?

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Check out '2010: More Business,Now!'

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Copyright Real Estate Strategies Corporation 2010. AllRights Reserved.

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