Ethics Case – Property Sourcing


Sometime ago, I dealt with a seasoned broker whom I’ve closed several deals with in the past,  However, we know that we human beings come in various ways ( character, looks, business practice, etc.. just the way we were created, change is possible though ) this broker is one who is very protective of his property listings.  On the other hand, I am one who is more flexible and would give reasonable trust to new networks ( i am not saying this is right or wrong, this is just my practice ), that’s how i continuously build my network and more importantly, fulfill my obligation of reaching my clients / network’s objective !

It should never be the money to be made by Us brokers that’s important but rather accomplishing a goal needed  by our clients.  Everything else follows ( at least in my books ).   I look at every call or inquiry as an opportunity to  HELP others but unfortunately for some of us, it’s about making the Deal and making money that matters most !  Nothing wrong with that as it’s human nature to act so natural given the circumstances.  I believe this comes with maturity but more importantly, All in God’s time, believe me as I’ve experienced super natural deals, no matter how small or big they were,  just like some of my networks who have their remarkable stories to share !

Now the issue i don’t understand and feel very frustrated about is as brokers ( licensed ), should a property be of interest to our client or something we believe we could move, we research and source the listing from various social media contents, and of course, newspapers, particularly, Manila Bulletin ( I’ve noticed quite a decrease  in their paid advertisements, was it another long weekend or has social media really taken over ?).  Should we find something interesting, we inquire from hopefully, the owner, administrator of the owner,  listing broker, salesperson or someone who doesn’t really know the owner of the property ( thanks but goodbye ).  We then  get “general” details of the property such as  location ( if it’s the least person you want to be talking to, the answer is, the property somewhere out there … am referring to very protective // paranoid brokers, agents, salespersons, etc.  lol ), indicative price, lot area and how to deal with the property ( are we dealing directly or indirectly ? )

Take note that as the list of individuals involved in transacting the property increases or there is what is called as “OVER PRICE, chances of CLOSING the deal and negotiating for a win win situation fades.  99.9999% of the times ! Why ?  There will always be someone who isn’t flexible and makes the deal complicated, owner or sibling not happy with terms, sharing of professional fees, providing documents, or others reasons that are just simply too weird to comprehend.   I just walk out of the deal, learn from the situation ( where and what went wrong ), move on as  there’s so many other clients ( sellers or investors ) and networks to work with.

Now going back to my experience years ago, inspite of several deals with this seasoned broker which always went smooth, this broker refuses to give the exact location inspite of formal registration of my personal client.   For those in our “inner” network, our practice has always been, give me your “true” client’s name and in exchange, complete details of property will be given. We even go to the  extent of having our networks show the property if our schedule doesn’t allow it as time and availability of listing is of the “essense”.  Take note that there are very few “Sellable” properties for quite a number of Buyers / Investors ( it’s been a seller’s market specially for prime residential, industrial and commercial properties ), otherwise you are invested in properties that is undergoing a glut ).  For example, I am servicing personal clients / friends looking to buy property in prime subdivisions in Makati  but realistically, for one good listing ( good bones on the structure if ever, price, location, feng shui, etc ), there are at 25 possible buyers ready to pay just on my portfolio alone !  What more about other well respected practioners and companies, the numbers do add up.   But there can only be one Buyer given the right parameters of the deal !

We’ve been waiting for a correction, but all we’ve been getting is a consolidation.

Again, looking into this particular situation with this seasoned broker, if I’ve done him wrong then i would understand why he is the way he is.  But, there’s nothing to be concerned about, our deals have always gone smoothly without any hitch.  He should have trusted and valued our relationship sometime ago !  I deserve his trust at the least.

Solution : If you can’t have an open and trust worthy relationship with a network, move on as there is always someone who can provide a similar listing and better yet, good networking ! Now that broker is calling me for an exclusive property i listed which he needs badly, how do you handle someone like him ?

I’ve actually ignored him and taken him out of the viber group I created three years ago.  Sorry to say, but it’s really hard to deal with short sighted people or probably, this seasoned broker is just the way he is, we all have different traits, some acceptable, some aren’t.

Trust is a “must” to succeed in Business ( whether it’s real estate, banking, currency trading, commodities, mergers and acquisitions, food condiments, stock brokerage, to name a few ) and please take note specially for new brokers / practioners coming from well known developers or other real estate companies ( it’s a fact that you normally deal directly with a client but real estate brokerage is so different, the industry norm is dealing with a broker away so as to move deals fast, if you will stick to a 50 50 deal ( searching for the broker who has a direct client ), it will take sometime and also turn off brokers from dealing with you.  This is something you will come to realize once you analyze your activities. ( Will do another blog on how to handling listings ).

The key is to Build your network and name first, never ever burn bridges as you’ll never know when you will need that same person again.

Of course, there will always be exemptions to the rule specially if the listing is rare, priced right, sellable, you’ve got personal clients to offer to ahead and if you are exclusive to the property listing.  Just a thought to think about …

Please take note that there are several seasoned brokers i admire and given the time and resources given them, i am sure we can learn more from them.

Have a great day !

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Thank you.

Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
Professional Affiliation :
Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards
Member, City of Taguig Real Estate Board 2016
Real Estate Broker’s Association of the Philippines
President, Greenhills Chapter 2008, 2009
Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers
San Juan Mandaluyong Chapter 1998, 1999
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