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Opinion Editorials

Show Me The Money

Come On Jerry

Is it really just about the money for your brokerage? Real estate offices are like nursery schools.  There’s no way I’d volunteer to manage all those whining babies who throw tantrums to get their way.  You know the ones.  The Prima Dons and Donnas.


With the contracting of the market comes the downsizing of offices all over the nation.  Decisions have to be made about the way to run the new version of the old office.  Should we keep that money-making batalacks who runs through the office like a town crier wreaking havoc in the township?

The House Is On Fire

Agents spread rumors like a Malibu wild fire.  If you have a pyro in your midst they’ll fuel every rumor and that match-lighter will ruin the morale of an entire office in one quick burn.

Napoleon Syndrome

It’s usually – not always – the money makers who are the trouble makers.  Some people just have an innate need to be a jerk.  Although Napoleon thinks he’s displaying his superiority we all know he’s an insecure moron.  (paragraph 4)

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Prima Don

I’ve been with the same brokerage for ten years.  I complain about it occasionally – who doesn’t.  Before I switched to the San Mateo office a few years ago, I was a happy camper working in Peyton Place, Pacifica.  The office was open territory to every conversation, no matter how private.  We were a happy, though dysfunctional, family.

But then there was Don.  Don was a long-time, very successful agent who had an insatiable, unquenchable need to tell everyone how successful.  We heard about everything from his extravagant trips to his multi-thousand-dollar suits.  Although no one cared – see paragraph 4.

He was loud and offensive.  Management looked the other way.  His business practices were questionable.  Management looked the other way.  He was rude to staff.  Management looked the other way.  He sexually harassed other agents – made inappropriate comments among other outrages.  Management looked the other way.  Agents threatened to leave.  But Don was a money maker – and a big one.  So management always looked the other way.

That one guy could get the whole office in a firestorm and walk out the front door like he didn’t even sniff sulfur.

Then one day he burned his last bridge.

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Do What’s Right Or Take The Money?

During a time of major backfires offices have tough decisions to make.  Dons and Donnas are nothing new to real estate.  But how you and your office deal with them could make the difference between your success and your failure.  Don’t get burned.

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Written By

As a lifelong resident and local Realtor, Vicki has established herself as a respected member of the San Mateo County real estate community. She’s known for her wit, sarcasm, and her personality that shows through in her posts. You can find her spouting off at Twitter, here at ag, and her personal blog, San Mateo Real Estate



  1. Paula Henry

    November 10, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    In many instances, brokers will do whatever they need to do to keep a human body on the roll, regardless of problems they may cause in the office – One of many reasons I office at home. I don’t like Malibu wild fires.

  2. Ruthmarie Hicks

    November 11, 2008 at 12:12 am

    I’m with Paula. I really like my new office with Keller Williams – and I’d like to keep it that way. A certain amount of distance makes the heart grow fonder. Therefore I will stick with working from my home. There are way too many Prima Dons and Donnas in this world and life is just too short for things like that. I say avoid Don and Donna. I focus better at home anyway.

  3. Vicki Moore

    November 11, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Paula – Great solution.

    Ruthmarie – I agree. Life is too short – sometimes it’s hard not to get sucked into that stuff.

  4. Mark Storolis

    November 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    The Harvard Business Review states that quality is almost always compromised after the staff exceeds 40. Rare is the small brokerage that hand-selects their staff and brokers. See: Brown Harris Stevens [NY], the Hom Group [CA], or French Christianson Patterson & Associates [TN].
    A solid working environment is critical for morale, and also to communicate ideas. In my opinion, there is a certain motivation that includes dressing for work and putting yourself in a psychologically stimulating environment. I commend those who can do that from home.
    If you want tips on how to deactivate hot-heads like Don look into Dale Carnegie’s legendary “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

  5. Vicki Moore

    November 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Mark – I don’t like to work at home because I do like some interaction and getting dressed in my “professional” gear helps my attitude.

    I deal with Don by ignoring him. Fortunately in a real estate office, as opposed to a “regular” office, I don’t have to deal with it. I had to learn that skill though. Walking away isn’t easy.

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