‘Lazy and undisciplined’ agents blamed for ethics breach

The CEO of Harcourts Victoria has weighed into the debate about an alleged increase in ‘behind the sign’ activity, stating she does not believe the practice is on the increase.

Yesterday, Real Estate Business reported that the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) had voiced concerns about a growth in practice of some in the real estate profession deliberately going behind the sign to entice vendors into an alternative sales agency agreement.

The REISA said that "certain east coast techniques are not condoned by them".

Sadhana Smiles, CEO at Harcourts Victoria, has refuted the claims that going ‘behind the sign’ is on the increase, instead laying the blame on just a handful of rogue agents.

“It's not the type of behaviour I feel is on the increase,” Ms Smiles told Real Estate Business.  

“If you’ve got agents going behind other people’s boards to try to solicit business, well, the first thing you’ve got to ask is how good is that agent, because they clearly don't have a database, they're clearly not prospecting - these are the basics of what a real agent is expected to do.

“More importantly, they’re not behaving ethically either,” she added.

Ms Smiles said the market was big enough, and there are enough properties in the market for all agents to get business without resorting to such tactics, which she said at the end of the day is one of the worst things agents can do. 

She added that where it was being carried out it is was being done by "lazy and undisciplined" agents, which begs the question, what type of culture has the agency management created? 

“You have to ask what culture and business they are working in,” said Ms Smiles.  

"Most agents across the network agree it's not ethical. There’s enough stock on the market, enough stock for everyone to be successful."

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