Property executive for Daniel Real Estate Amie Siggins told Real Estate Business a number of her properties had been deliberately targeted by a major competitor in the past fortnight.
“Our vendors gave us a brochure that had been put into their door and one had been spoken to by our competitor,” she said.
“We do a lot of drumming-up of business – we all do it – but we usually don’t touch anything that isn’t at the end of its authority, and these ones were new properties that we just recently listed, so there was no real reason for anyone to have gone knocking on their door. And it was only those properties that received them.”
According to Ms Siggins, the brochure made false claims in regards to how long the property they had been advertising had been on the market.
“Everybody, even people who had their property's door knocked, were aware that these properties had been on the market longer than two weeks, and it [the brochure] said that the property had been sold in two weeks," she said.
“It was a deliberate attempt to entice our vendor to talk to them.”
Jodi Wolfe from Raine&Horne Burpengary/Narangba in Queensland also experiences this on a regular basis.
"There are two particular agencies that target every single one of my properties, but I explain this to my sellers from the beginning," she said.
“I always tell my sellers, 'It’s going to happen, you’re going to get the phone calls, they’re going to knock on your door and give you their business cards, so give them one of my mine and tell them I’ll be calling'.”
Unfortunately, the problem is not going to stop while management fail to take any action against it.
“There are so many principals that do encourage it, which I think is disgusting, particularly when the listings are a bit tighter than usual. People do unfortunately cross that boundary," Ms Wolfe said.
“It’s a common courtesy – you shouldn’t do it. If I have a sign in the street, I’m happy for them to work around my sign – target the neighbours, target the street, you go for it.”
Ms Wolfe said she found the culprits were usually people who were new to the industry.
According to a spokesperson for the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), Robert Larocca, there was an expectation between members that they would not try to approach each other's clients.
“Generally it’s not encouraged,” he said. “It’s against our codes, but the most important point is that if they’re successful, it could be the vendor who finds themselves in a difficult position because if they have two exclusive sales authorities and the original agent sells the property, then they may find themselves having to pay two commissions.
“Compete furiously for the listing at the initial stage and let the person who’s been contracted to do the work do the work,” he advised.