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Top 10 Reasons Consumers Hate Real Estate Agents



Drumroll, please…

10. Facebook listings from agents who don’t know how to type, spell or understand Facebook

9. Teams are dumb and people know it

8. Almost everyone has a license, so you are not anyone special in their eyes

7. You still advertise in a newspaper that no one reads

6. You try to make them sign a buyer broker agreement when they walk into your open house

5. Dual agency.

4. You write agreements when the possibility of the client getting a mortgage is zero

3. Overpriced listings

2. See number 8 again.

1. And the top reason consumers hate real estate agents…….Bad hairdos from the 70’s on business cards


Realty Reality! That describes Fred, a sharp witted and outspoken realist for the mortgage and real estate world who has appeared on CNBC and NPR's Marketplace along with being quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets. Fred is the CEO of U S Spaces, Inc/Arrivva (a real estate brokerage firm in PA, NJ, DE and CA) and U S Loans Mortgage Inc (mortgage brokerage in PA, CA, FL and VA), and serves on the Board of Directors and is the Federal Legislative Director for the UpFront Mortgage Brokers. Fred is also the co-creator of real estate startup, a mathematically driven rental search engine. See everything Fred at

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  1. Carrie Isaac

    January 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    LOL – number one is so true! Too bad more agents don’t get it.

    Our slogan is “Real estate has changed. Most agents haven’t even changed their haircut.” It’s funny to give a business card to an agent that *hasn’t* changed their haircut since 1970 and watch them try to figure out what on earth you’re talking about.

    • Marissa Myers

      January 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      Objections are like quarters on the sidewalk. Every objection is good because it’s information that can help you. For instance, Carrie Isaac’s comment demonstrates how she used an objection to write her slogan: “Real estate has changed. Most agents haven’t even changed their haircut.” When I write strategic website copy (or a proposal), I really tune in to objections/problems. They help me develop a persuasive business message that describes a problem and explains the solution. I just wish hearing objections actually felt like finding quarters!

  2. Ken Montville

    January 24, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Right on, as usual. Nothing more to say about it.

  3. Patrick Flynn

    January 24, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Absolutely spot on…sadly!

  4. Deb Tabor

    January 25, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Spelling and grammatical errors in listings or blogs make me insane. It’s the online equivalent of going to a listing appointment with spinach in your teeth, people. You’d check the mirror, right? So spell/grammar check your post! It’s not rocket surgery.

  5. Mike

    January 25, 2010 at 6:50 am

    “Police Officers are all corrupt, violent, racial profiling egomaniacs!”
    The same people that put all Real Estate Professionals in one, negative basket, are the same people that would be extremely offended if some one did it too their chosen profession. The difference is, that it IS too easy to become, and remain in RE. Anyone can be “In Real Estate”, it takes effort, knowledge and honor, to be a good one. Choose your Agent carefully, there are many very good one.

  6. Terry McDonald

    January 25, 2010 at 7:04 am

    too funny… the spell check miracle. Early in my career I tried to explain dual agency to an attorney and he cracked up. He said,I can defend a defendant and prosecute them fairly too haha just like in the Soviet Union.

  7. Sue Davis

    January 25, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Personally, I like the agents who do drive by shootings of their listings. You know them — the blurry photo taken out their car window with the side mirror in the frame. Very professional. And this is why people think we’re overpaid for what we do!

  8. John Kalinowski

    January 25, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Most is true, but not the comment on teams. If built properly, it’s the only way to build a real estate business that can professionally handle more than a handful of clients. If you want to make serious money, and do the best possible job for your clients, a properly managed team is the best way to go. Just ask Russell Shaw 🙂

  9. Fred Glick

    January 25, 2010 at 10:26 am

    @John. What I was saying about teams is that the public does not really care what team you are on.

    You are selling your self, your competence and relying sometimes on a brand name to get you in the door, but if the people don’t feel comfortable with YOU, then they are off to someone else.

  10. Matt Thomson

    January 25, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I get the humor here, so I’m not trying to be a total killjoy, but I think you’ve maybe missed the #1 reason. Every real estate agent seems to think it’s all of the other real estate agents who fit into your top 10.
    I know how to use social media, those other agents don’t. I never make mistakes in my marketing remarks like other agents. My photo is current, his is from his high school days.
    Overall, I don’t think consumers DO hate agents, and if they do it’s because of US. Like John said, teams can be useful (like Fred said, people care abou YOU). Dual agency can be very hard, but it can also benefit both parties (if you’re a parent of more than one child, can you settle a dispute fairly or do you take one and your spouse takes the other?).
    Like I said, I do get the humor and I’m not trying to squash it totally, but I really do think it’s time for agents–me included–to focus on what our industry does well and not point fingers at others who do things we’d never do.

    • Andy H

      November 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      The grammar in your post was atrocious, and your defense of dual agency is laughable. It is impossible to be an effective and fair advocate for both sides simultaneously. You only help to confirm the stereotypes about agents.

  11. Fred Glick

    January 25, 2010 at 11:51 am

    @Matt. Thanks for seeing the positive signs but until NAR and the state governments see the idiocracy of the current licensing system and the promulgation of many brokerage companies to continue doing what they have been doing for years, the industry will never be respected.

    As individuals, we can do our best and make sure the public realizes who the good guys are and only use them. That will eliminate the goofballs!

    • Dennis C Smith

      February 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      If they go after dual agency then I hope they go after broker owned mortgage companies and settlement agents. Here in SoCal almost every major real estate company owns an escrow company as well and either owns a mortgage broker or has hand in glove relationship.

  12. Atlanta Real Estate

    January 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Sweet do on that kid!

  13. Bob Stahl

    January 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Funny. I don’t think all consumers hate all real estate agents, though. . . But your point is well taken. I think service professionals, in every industry, need to be in tune with what they’re consumers want and need — and then meet those consumers where they are, not try to get them to meet us back in the 70s, or wherever. It’s always all about the client.

  14. Russell Shaw

    January 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Real estate teams are not important to the public- they never have been. Any more than a doctor’s big staff would be important to the doctor’s patients. I don’t know that all teams are dumb but what most real estate people have put together aren’t “teams” at all – but simply people working in the same building. And the way those “teams” get promoted to the public most certainly is dumb.

  15. ines

    January 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    same reasons I hate real estate agents 🙂 – and we can add a couple more:

    oh wait….I’m a real estate agent

  16. Chuck Rifae

    January 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Hey you forgot that they all drive a Mercedes Benz and claim to be poor oh.. ah.. forget that last one I drive a Benz but I am really poor;)!

  17. Ruthmarie Hicks

    January 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    That’s hilarious! Love the hair style issue. I see that a lot. There is one woman who has been on every shopping cart with a picture of her from the 70s or early 80s with a super girl costume no less. I don’t use photos of myself on my cards. I know its controversial, but the photos out there are so strange that I’m afraid if someone saw my 45 year old mug on a card they would figure that in reality I’ve got to be in my 80s.

  18. Constantine Isslamow

    January 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I love the hair from the 70’s. Sad thing is that it’s so true.
    take care

  19. Jeff Gingerich

    January 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Great post. Spelling is my pet peeve…proofread people!

  20. Brandie Young

    January 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Interesting list. Is it really that agents are hated? Or is it undervalued? What would cause someone to think “they’re not worth the $?” IMHO it’s actions and if they portray themselves in a manner which is consistent with the money they will earn from me.

    By comparison, I wouldn’t judge an attorney poorly if they were part of a team, had (what I consider to be) ugly hair or advertised in a paper. I don’t care about their use of Facebook. I’d look to see how he/she presented themselves as a professional service provider (with a hefty price tag).

    But, that’s just me. I’m not an agent.

  21. Dianne

    January 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    for someone just getting into the profession, I can understand some of these. My personal experience with RE agents has been pretty good though. when was this survey and where did this list come from?

  22. todd

    January 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    yup… we are just above the garbage man

  23. ross therrien

    January 31, 2010 at 10:55 am

    You forgot the glamour shots some got years ago then when you meet them in person -aHHHHHHHHH!.. At least we can poke humor at ourselves. It’s the $700 Jimmy Choos worn to show properties in a snow storm.

  24. Brad Officer - Jacksonville Real Estate

    January 31, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Thinking of getting a retro photo for my biz card.

  25. karenweger

    February 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    They all love me………on these occasions………..
    I have a supra key to get in the homes. I have access to MLS to get all information. I know all about the area and information. I have a free map. But most of all I have the power to give them heads up when a new listing hits the market. I can do all. They have their day to day jobs that are full time, serving me in another area, dentist hygenist, nurse, delivery, auto repair, etc… I work all day to find them a home, keep informed of local real estate market, financing options, laws and contracts, inspections, disclosures and more.
    They do love me as a realtor.

  26. Morgan Hill Homes, Will Klopp

    February 7, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Light-hearted and funny. I believe consumers that “hate” real estate agents are probably dealing with agents that are inexperienced, uninformed and lack professionalism. That is also most likely why 10% of the agents do 90% of the business. The drumroll at the end should highlight that fact and that hopefully now that things are tough a large number of the “hated” are departing the industry for the aforementioned reasons.

  27. Rogue Agent

    February 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    This was better list that esplained why folks no like ajents! great post! i’m an ajent two!

  28. Dennis C Smith

    February 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    What is worse the ’70s styling hairdo or the pet? I see the business card with the little pooch or cat, or the big boxer, and I think, “will that animal be coming on her/his appointment?” What does a chihauhua (did I spell that right?) have to do with listing my home or helping me put my life savings and family future into a home you recommend? Go to the stylist and dump the pet before hitting the photo studio!

  29. Michael Sosnowski

    March 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Even though we have a team ourselves, I had using the word team. It would be interesting to see what kind of alternatives your readers could come up with – something a little different. Not just “associates” or “group”. I have been struggling with this and don’t really have any good ideas!

  30. Kate

    March 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    One of the biggest pet peeves I have about agents is poor listening skills. So many are just unbelievably chaotic and scattered in their go, go, go mentlaity that they can’t connect. They seem intent on just shoving clients into a house and collecting their commission.

    I have also noticed that many are poorly educated and incompetent. It’s like, they failed at everything else in life and then decided to become an agent as a last resort.

  31. KMN

    March 30, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    What I want to see is the top ten list of why Realtors hate buyers and sellers.

  32. Nicole

    June 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I hate real estate agents because I have come across some that are the most unprofessional people I have ever meet. What other profession is it okay to make appointments and pull no call, no show without even blinking an eye. I don’t really get how hard it is to spend 10 seconds to cancel a showing. My cat could do that. There time is no more valuable then mine. Its crazy for an agent who isn’t mine to pull that but even crazier for my agent who works for us and has commented how unprofessional the no call, no show is to then do it to me. His excuse when confronted was ” I had an appointment to be at.” Really during the time you were scheduled to show my house to your client? So when did you know that you weren’t going to make it. And why is your time and work more important then mine. UGH!

    -Don’t leave my door wide open when you leave and no one is home. People actually like to steal Apple computers and flat screens.
    -Can you turn off a light or two. I thought you supposed to try to turn off as many as you can. But you can’t even get the one by the front door. Really?
    -If you let my cat out of the garage outside can you leave a note or something. So that I don’t have to find my indoor cat walk around outside.
    -Show a an obviously modern house to someone who obviously wants a traditional house. -Don’t know if you read the description were they mention modern or looked at the 18 pictures online or the 2 page color handout in the box outside but this is modern.
    -Come to the showing 40 minutes after it was supposed to end and just walk up in the house with the lock box key. How about calling to say you will be late and if its okay to show it. Too hard? How about knocking on the door before you walk in.
    – Calling 40 minutes before you want to show the house is so crazy.
    -Give us feedback. If you show my house I would like for you to take 30 seconds to let my agent in an email or phone call what they like didn’t like. It might not mean much to you but it helps me not feel so bad for being up till 3 am cleaning walls if I get feedback. Good or bad.

    The list goes on. And I am sure there are some good ones out there but I have yet to meet one.

  33. Greg Lyles

    November 19, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Oh, how the truth hurts!

    I recently posted a blog on one of the real estate networks about the limited viability of open houses insofar as the benefit sellers derive from them. Instead of sticking to the premise of the article, agents from all corners of the nation started sharing their personal stories about every open house they’d ever done. In doing so, they diluted the value of the article for potential sellers.

  34. David

    July 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I'm not sure about all 50 states, since the vast amount of regulation is left up to the states. But duel agency is definitely not legal in many states in most cases dealing with the majority of properties.

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Business Marketing

Ghost Reply has us asking: Should you shame a recruiter who ghosted you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Ghost Reply will send an anonymous “kind reminder” to recruiters who ghost job candidates, but is the sweet taste of temporary catharsis worth it?



Stressed woman at a laptop with hands on head, considering if she should send a Ghost Reply.

People hate to get “ghosted” in any situation, personal or professional. But for job seekers who may already be struggling with self-esteem, it can be particularly devastating. Ghost Reply is a new online service that will help you compose and send an email nudge to the ghoster, sending a “kind reminder” telling them how unprofessional it is to leave someone hanging like that.

Ghost Reply wants to help you reach catharsis in all of this stressful mess of finding a job. Almost all of the problems and feelings are compounded by this confounded pandemic that has decimated areas of the workforce and taken jobs and threatened people’s financial security. It is understandable to want to lash out at those in power, and sending a Ghost Reply email to the recruiter or HR person may make you feel better in the short term.

In the long run, though, will it solve anything? Ghost Reply suggests it may make the HR person or recruiter reevaluate their hiring processes, indicating this type of email may help them see the error of their ways and start replying to all potential candidates. If it helps them reassess and be more considerate in the future and helps you find closure in the application/interview process, that would be the ideal outcome on all fronts. It is not likely this will happen, though.

The Ghost Reply sample email has the subject line “You have a message from a candidate!” Then it begins, “Hi, (name), You’re receiving this email because a past candidate feels like you ghosted them unfairly.” It then has a space for said candidate to add on any personal notes regarding the recruiter or process while remaining anonymous.

I get it. It’s upsetting to have someone disappear after you’ve spent time and energy applying, possibly even interviewing, only to hear nothing but crickets back from the recruiter or HR person you interacted with. It’s happened to me more than once, and it’s no bueno. We all want to be seen. We all want to be valued. Ghosting is hurtful. The frustration and disappointment, even anger, that you feel is certainly relatable. According to several sources, being ghosted after applying for a job is one of the top complaints from job seekers on the market today.

Will an anonymous, passive-aggressive email achieve your end? Will the chastened company representative suddenly have a lightbulb go off over their heads, creating a wave of change in company policy? I don’t see it. The first sentence of the sample email, in fact, is not going to be well received by HR.

When you start talking about what’s “unfair,” most HR people will tune out immediately. That kind of language in itself is unprofessional and is a red flag to many people. Once you work at a company and know its culture and have built relationships, then, maybe, just maybe, can you start talking about your work-related feelings. I believe in talking about our feelings, but rarely is a work scenario the best place to do so (I speak from experience). Calling it unprofessional is better, less about you and more about the other person’s behavior.

However, it’s unclear how productive Ghost Reply actually is. Or how anonymous, frankly. By process of deduction, the recipient of the email may be able to figure out who sent it, if it even makes it through the company’s spam filters. Even if they cannot pinpoint the exact person, it may cast doubts on several applicants or leave a bad taste in the recruiter’s mouth. It sounds like sour grapes, which is never a good thing.

There may be any number of reasons you didn’t get the job offer or interview, and they may or may not have something to do with you. Recruiters answer your burning questions, including why you may have been ghosted in this recent article in The American Genius.

Ultimately, you will never know why they ghosted you. If it makes you feel better or at least see the issue from both sides, the amount of job candidates ghosting recruiters after applying and even interviewing is equally high. Some people simply either have awful time management skills or awful manners, and at the end of the day, there’s not much you can do about that.

Focus on your own survival while job hunting, instead of these disappointing moments or the person who ghosts you. It will serve you better in the long run than some anonymous revenge email. There are other ways to deal with your frustration and anger when you do get ghosted, though. Try the classic punching your pillow. Try taking a walk around the block. If it helps to put your frustration into words, and it very well may, then do so. Write it on a piece of paper, then burn it. Or type it all in an email and delete it. For your own sake, do NOT put their email address in the “To” line, lest you accidentally hit “Send.”

The sooner you can let it go, the sooner you can move on to finding a better job fit for you.

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Business Marketing

Free shipping is everywhere… how can small businesses keep up?

[BUSINESS MARKETING] Would you rather pay less but still pay for shipping, or pay more with free shipping? They may cost the same, but one appeals more than the other.



Person standing over pacakge, sealing with masking tape.

When it comes to competing with huge corporations like Amazon, there are plenty of hurdles that smaller businesses have to cross. Corporations can (and do) undercut the competition, not to mention garner a much larger marketing reach than most small businesses could ever dream of achieving. But this time, we want to focus on something that most people have probably chosen recently: Free shipping.

How important is free shipping to consumers? Well, in a 2018 survey, Internet Retailer discovered that over 50% of respondents said that free shipping was the most important part of online shopping. In fact, when given a choice between fast or costless shipping, a whopping 88% of those surveyed chose the latter option.

Part of this has to do with the fact that shipping costs are often perceived as additional fees, not unlike taxes or a processing fee. In fact, according to Ravi Dhar, director of Yale’s Center for Customer Insights, if it’s between a discounted item with a shipping fee or a marked up item with free shipping, individuals are more likely to choose the latter – even if both options cost exactly the same amount.

If you’re interested in learning more, Dhar refers to the economic principle of “pain of paying,” but the short answer is simply that humans are weird.

So, how do you recapture the business of an audience that’s obsessed with free shipping?

The knee jerk reaction is to simply provide better products that the competition. And sure, that works… to some extent. Unfortunately, in a world where algorithms can have a large effect on business, making quality products might not always cut it. For instance, Etsy recently implemented a change in algorithm to prioritize sellers that offer free shipping.

Another solution is to eat the costs and offer free shipping, but unless that creates a massive increase in products sold, you’re going to end up with lower profits. This might work if it’s between lower profits and none, but it’s certainly not ideal. That’s why many sellers have started to include shipping prices in the product’s overall price – instead of a $20 necklace with $5 shipping, a seller would offer a $25 necklace with free shipping.

This is a tactic that the big businesses use and it works. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

That said, not everyone can join in. Maybe, for instance, a product is too big to reasonably merge shipping and product prices. If, for whatever reason, you can’t join in, it’s also worth finding a niche audience and pushing a marketing campaign. What do you offer that might be more attractive than the alluring free shipping? Are you eco-friendly? Do you provide handmade goods? Whatever it is that makes your business special, capitalize on it.

Finally, if you’re feeling down about the free shipping predicament, remember that corporations have access to other tricks. Amazon’s “free” prime shipping comes at an annual cost. Wal-Mart can take a hit when item pricing doesn’t work out. Even if your business isn’t doing as well as you hoped, take heart: You’re facing giants.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.



Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

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