Clients duped into believing their agent was dead

A Tasmanian agent has had to email his database to confirm that he is still alive after competitors told his clients otherwise.

Principal of Ray White Hobart Ant Manton sent out his weekly newsletter with the Mark Twain quote “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”, a tongue-in-cheek way of hitting back at his competitors.

“There are a number of delightful agents telling my clients that I have effectively kicked the bucket, or am about to do so,” the email reads.

“So, to set the record straight, if I was any fitter I may explode. I will die at some point, but not through anything I have recently gone through and certainly not soon enough to satisfy some within the real estate industry.

“Surely my competitors can come up with different and less revolting ways of securing business? And if not, please leave the industry.”

The news comes the same week agents were encouraged to focus on individual ethics to improve the industry. Click here for the full story.

Speaking with Real Estate Business, Mr Manton said he was fairly used to his competitors, but found the latest rumours too personal.

“I went into surgery in late January, and initially I didn’t want to tell anyone. Even the staff here were just told that I was going in for a minor procedure. But I started hearing other agents were telling people that I wasn’t coming back to work, that I was having major issues with my health," he said.

“So I thought I had to come out and say something, or else the rumours were going to run, but unfortunately they’re still running. Now I’m hearing it from clients.”

According to Mr Manton, two major listings from close contacts went to his competitors.

“They said the agent told them that I was having ongoing major surgery and wouldn’t be returning to work. When they said they’d call me to find out, they were told that I was currently unreachable in a hospital in Sydney," he said.

“It staggers me that people would stoop that low, and I don’t understand why they think they need to. The agents who are doing this are from major franchise offices and big name independent offices – I would expect something like this from a small office who’s struggling, but not these brands.

“I can cope with agents undercutting us on fees or poaching our agents, that’s all part of the business. I’m as aggressive and ruthless as I need to be, but we play ball – we do not under any circumstances play the man.”

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