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Attitudes Are Contagious



bad apple


When something is contagious it is easily transmitted.

Anything can be contagious…. laughter, fashion, a cold, a virus or a attitude.

•    On a team a bad attitude will spread and destroy the team.

•    Bad attitudes spread faster than good attitudes.

•    Most bad attitudes develop when there are petty jealousies.

If someone on your team develops a “bad attitude” everyone knows it. A bad attitude must be nipped in the bud, before it grows and infects the whole team.

Gossip and Back Biting

If someone on your team has a problem with you or a new requirement, they need to go to the person who has the power to change it and not go gossiping to other team members to express their dissatisfaction. The team member they confide in may not have the same problem. That person become contagious as soon as they go spread their negative opinion to other team members. Consequently those other team members  become infected.

Handling Dissent

In order for the members of a team to feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns you have to create an environment of openness and be approachable.

If you are building a team and can’t welcome critisism, or a difference of opinion, then you are probably not cut out to lead a team.

If you as a team leader foster a attitude of “it’s my way or the highway” this will not foster an environment or confidence they can come to you. Instead they will go to other members and complain.

Recently I had a situation come up, that I needed to address. One team member was not happy with my team split. Rather than come to me, they discussed this with two other people, swearing them to secrecy. Thankfully, the other two buyer agents came to me. I made an appointment with the one who was unhappy and asked her to share why she was upset with this as nothing had not changed since she joined the team.

All my buyer agents are given the same split and have the same team fee. I don’t make deals with certain buyer agents, they are all treated equally. This is one of the mistakes I see happen in many Brokerages, the broker is so excited to recruit a top agent that they give away the store, in a manner of speaking. Although no one is suppose to know, everyone finds out. This contributes to jealousy.

In the course of the discussion, I told her that there was one thing I would not allow on the team and that was discussing any dissatisfaction with me to other team members. The other team members had no control over the situation, had no power to change anything, didn’t make the rules and didn’t pay the bills. Go to the one who has the power to change the situation and come up with a workable solution. After we sat down and talked were able to work out a solution that was the same amount of money but was handled in a different way.

Bad Apples

You can not allow one bad apple or attitude to ruin the team. Look at a championship sport teams it is usually not just the skill level of the players on the team but the intangibles of attitude that make them champions. Sport teams can have all the talent in the world, be the best individual players but if a team spirit is not fostered they will not accomplish all their goals.

Remember the LA Lakers with Kobe and Shaq?

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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  1. Melanie Wyne

    March 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm


    So true! Its true in a real estate business. Its true in a corporate or other organizational setting and its true generally in life. Thanks for the post.

  2. Lani Rosales

    March 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Missy, fabulous thoughts- I like that as a team leader you understand the value of listening before ruling. Fantastic advice here! 🙂

  3. Erica Ramus

    March 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm


    I am impressed you worked out an agreeable split with that unhappy Buyer Agent. Good for you.

    One backbiting, gossipy person can put an entire office off kilter. It is good you nipped that in the bud.

    Oh, and swearing someone to secrecy rarely works!

  4. Missy Caulk

    March 23, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Erica, my husband says a secret is telling ONE person at a time. No they don’t work.

    Lani, that is one thing I see with agents that have a high turnover. They just don’t listen and try to work things out.

    Melanie, yes it is true in life…in many venues. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Matthew Rathbun

    March 24, 2010 at 6:59 am


    I think it is all about the Broker’s Culture and what they will allow. Our companies owner/Broker has no issue showing people the door who raise discontent or are so unproductive that they have time to sit and gossip.

    I’ve sat in many companies and hung me license in a few where the mainstay was agents who sold nothing but hung around the first part of the day just to catchup on gossip.

    Why do agents stay in environments like that?

  6. Missy

    March 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Matthew, I have no idea. Some I guess just need a social life. One of my friends when he first started in management at a pharmacy company, was given the lowest producing region in the U.S.
    He came in and found they were taking 2 hr. lunches, 1/2 days on Fridays etc.
    He got them in shape and in 9 months brought that region to number 2. The next year number one.
    He had an excellent work ethic and expected no less from the people under him.
    Needless to say he moved up in the company and became a 7 figure top executive.

  7. John Coley

    March 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    So true. Plus, I think our profession, (at least for me) is so driven by having a good, positive attitude. It sounds sort of cheesy or cliche but the longer do this the more I am convinced I have to surround myself with people that contribute in positive ways. There’s more than enough negative vibes that come from the news or whatever – why associate with that inside your own office?

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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