Ok, today I was told a situation that happened over the weekend that tripped my "rant" trigger. Realtors deal with a nasty public perception of our profession pretty much on a daily basis (we’ll discuss some more of these in later posts). But this little act that happened over the weekend exemplifies how disrespected we are by some of the public.
A competing Realtor placed a call to one of my agents this morning asking about the placement of some of our directional arrows that led to a home that we had recently placed on the market for sale. She said that she had placed some arrows for her listing as well and had noticed ours out previously. When she went back yesterday, she noticed that all of the arrows were mysteriously gone.
My agent interjected, "Oh, I’m sure the city must have grabbed them". "Not hardly", the other agent replied. "I know exactly what happened". It seems that our signs were hijacked so that a lady in the neighborhood could use them to help her find her lost dog! Now we are all dog lovers here, but she literally stole our signs, cut them up to fit her needs and taped lost dog signs on top of them and placed them all over the area. The agent knows this because a) she found the destroyed signs; and b) because she found the lady who destroyed them.
When she was driving around, she ran across the lady. She decided to question her on the missing and misused arrows. The lady readily admitted that she had taken them because, as she said her in words, "so what, I figured your company has tons of them that they give you, so whats the difference?". Unbelievable! The agent took a breath and decided to give her a piece of her mind.
She explained to the lady, that although she too is a dog lover and wished her best on finding her pooch, that these signs are not provided to her free from the broker. They are purchased by each individual Realtor when they are customized. Did she not notice the custom house shape? Didn’t she notice that they had the agents name and phone number printed on them? These signs cost on average about $15.00 a piece. She went on to mention that it has been a hard year as it is in our industry and money is tight for many Realtors as it is. But, no remorse, no apology, nothing but smugness from a thief.
I know most people who are not selling a home hate directional arrows (privately, I do too). But, when the time comes for people to sell THEIR homes, they sure change their tune. I have NEVER had a seller request that we do not use directional arrows to point the public to their home. NOT ONCE in 12 years. But boy, do I get phone call after phone call from the people who are not currently selling a home requesting that they be removed. Funny how their opinion changes when they put the For Sale sign in their yard.
Private property is private property even when it is placed on public property. I don’t care if the signs are owned by the broker or the agent. The fact is this is vandalism and theft, period. This mentality is why there are so many people in our Country that think it is ok to take home office supplies from their place of employment to supply their kids all year long. Or, to fudge their hours on time sheets because they deserve it. It’s the act of ENTITLEMENT. That feeling inside you that says, he or she has more than me and I work hard too so I deserve it even if theoretically, it’s wrong. Stop the madness people! Be honorable! Treat others as you would have them treat you!
So I ask you to consider this; the next time you see a directional arrow or open house sign think about how you would feel if someone came to your home and stole something out of your landscaping or yard because they needed it, or because they were tired of looking at it? You would be appalled, just as we are, as you can tell by this post.
Even though I hate to receive those calls by neighbors asking us to remove a sign, I respect the fact that they gave us notice to retrieve the signs rather than disposing of our private property. That’s called R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and it’s sure nice to have every once in a while.