Brisbane real estate agent Patrick ‘Ryan’ McCann was charged earlier this week with over 34 drug offences ranging from supply, trafficking and possession, following a two-year police sting operation.
Mr McCann, 36, was fired by LJ Hooker after a raid on his Cleveland office and home early this week due to his involvement in a methamphetamine distribution ring.
A majority of estate agents who spoke with Real Estate Business regarding the arrest said they "never saw it coming". Estate agents familiar with the area and Mr McCann's client base said they were not aware of a drug culture within the real estate industry and his clients were generally always happy with his work.
All agreed, however, that it is "sad someone could stoop that low in their life".
Local resident and Belle Property Cleveland principal Christine Carroll said simply that no-one saw the arrest coming and it has taken a lot of people by complete surprise.
"There are not many people around here discussing the matter," Ms Carroll said.
"I have lived and worked here for 17 years and never seen or heard anything like it, but McCann was highly regarded by clients who were happy with the way he treated them.
"It is sad someone could stoop that low in their life."
Other estate agents, speaking on condition of anonymity, said being involved with drugs at any level is a fairly strange thing to do for a successful agent. All agreed, however, it is a cut-throat industry, and suggested maybe Mr McCann turned to drugs as a way to enhance his lifestyle rather than succeed through work.
"Everyone makes their own decision in life but McCann made a poor decision and greed got in the way of his ability to make good judgements in life," one real estate agent said.
"It is a really strange thing for a successful agent to do and something like this can tarnish an industry – we already have enough of a hard time defending our reputation and this may reflect badly on the brand and agency as well.
"We are really not an industry that associates itself with that sort of behaviour as we are supposed to have a name and reputation to uphold."