Realtor Karma & Behind-the-Scenes Cooperation

Even though there are a couple thousand attorneys in the Twin Cities, only a fraction of them are direct competitors.

That’s because lawyers’ practice areas are increasingly specialized (corporate, personal injury, intellectual property, etc.). In fact, even those practice areas divide into multiple sub-specialities.

The same specialization is generally not true of local Realtors.

So, out of a couple thousand (plus!) local Realtors, hypothetically, your competition for that next listing could be . . . . a couple thousand local Realtors.

Such a hyper-competitive environment could certainly make for lots of nasty rivalry, backstabbing, and otherwise “bad behavior.” And some of that definitely goes on (ask any office manager).

But in general, “relations” between Realtors are surprisingly collegial and professional.

Real-Life Examples

To pick just two examples:

In the course of doing a CMA (“Comparative Market Analysis”), it’s common for Realtors to ask fellow Realtors about the features of a home they recently sold — usually, to explain an otherwise puzzling premium or discount.

I have been on both the originating and receiving end of such calls many times.

Example #2 occurred just this week.

I’m currently representing a Buyer who’s purchasing a townhome in a larger development in the west suburbs.

The inspection is Thursday, and my client wanted to know if he should pay extra for a radon test. Radon is an invisible gas caused by decomposing soil and rocks, and is a health threat at elevated levels (generally defined as over 4.0 picoliters per million).

From previous deals, I know that the incidence of radon is highly localized: one neighborhood can have an issue, and another a mile away, not.

Who to ask?

It turns out that one Realtor in particular handles a big chunk of the transactions in the complex.

So, I called him.

“Nope, not an issue,” he helpfully volunteered.

The handful of tests that have been performed all passed with flying colors, he told me.


About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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