Saturday, May 26, 2007

An Intriguing Dilemna; and a bit creepy

Received this email from a regular reader this week:

This past weekend, on Saturday, the house I rent had a showing. There are two of us that live here, me in the top, and a single 30-something woman in the suite below, and both of us were out at the time. The person who looked at the place, a single male, was quite enamored by the woman in the pictures that are scattered about the suite downstairs. He inquired with the agent if she was the one who lived here, and he said yes.

The next day the man came back on his own, came into our back yard, and left her flowers with a note saying something like ‘you are beautiful, I’d love to take you to dinner’. Neither of us know the man, and she's pretty thankful she was not here when he came by. Maybe he’s a freak, maybe not. I personally believe he must at least partially get his ideas about women from porno movies to think a woman would react positively to this. What kind of idiot thinks something like that is OK? It blows my mind.

While I’m a little weirded out that a stranger trespassed into my yard while I was away, she [is]pretty upset. She called the agent, reamed him out and he apologized. Neither she or I think that is enough. It’s my personal opinion that the agent should be at the very least severely reprimanded for giving out personal information about the tenant to one of his clients. If I was his boss, I’d fire him, frankly. I realize he just didn’t think and he meant no harm at all, he just wants to sell the house. Should she cut the agent a break and just forget it?

All we know for sure is that the listing agent confirmed that it was her in the pictures. We don’t know if the flower guy was told or just guessed that the woman is single and lives alone, or if her relationship status didn't matter to him. I honestly can’t think of how he could confidently guess that she is single.

My question is this… should the agent’s boss be made aware of this in a formal letter of complaint? She is incensed, and I’m fully supporting her. It would be quite easy to let this go in some ways, and she gets enough strange men that make inappropriate advances that I suspect she will let it go as well. However I really do believe the agent acted in a very unprofessional and disrespectful manner.

Talked to Ms. HHV about this. She was a bit weirded out by the whole thing, although in her beautiful, rational mind pointed out several interesting things:

  1. The agent obviously doesn't have much in the way of common sense nor "street smarts". Regardless of whether or not he is a listing or buying agent, he should have "seen" what was going on by these questions and protected the resident. That said, he can't be held responsible for the actions of the man.
  2. The listing agent (not sure if it's the same) should have spoken to all tenants in the rental house and suggested that personal effects be put away during showings. Most agents want this done for selling purposes. But in a rental home like this, it should have been strongly suggested for this very reason. It's to protect the tenant first and foremost.
  3. The Guy. There's no excusing his behaviour. Someone did not teach him what is an appropriate way to approach someone. This is definitely not an appropriate way of introducing one's self. We both agreed that if he was really that "smitten" a more appropriate way of "introducing" himself would have been to patiently wait outside the property... even that is stalking though and would be creepy regardless.

We think the real issue is not between the woman tenant and the guy. Hopefully she never is forced into a face-to-face confrontation. The real issue is between the landlord, tenant and listing agent. The listing agent did (we assume) not due his/her due diligence in protecting the tenant, and by extension of that relationship nor did the landlord.

The agent in question is an obvious dolt; let's hope that survival of the fittest in the RE marketing business will swallow this one up soon. Will a formal letter of complaint result in much? We highly doubt it will result in much other than a talking to, but more likely a gentle ribbing at the water cooler.

Over to you dear readers...


VG said...

That is creepy,obviously some unstable guy. The agent shoulda said the didn't know her,but some whackos can act pretty normal, bet he won't make that mistake again. Firing him is a little extreme though,alot of people have pictures up without thinking and you can usually assume its someone who lives there.

At the same time you do have to be careful, there are alot of nutbars in this town too,just have a garage sale sometime,they come out of the woodwork.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about this and I don't think anyone is at fault.

There are a lot of perfectly normal looking weirdos out there.

Who would have thought this possibly perfectly normal looking weirdo was going to hit on a girl he saw in a picture.

I bet it doesn't happen that often to a real estate agent that they would think to mention it to the tenant or the owner.

Let's hope though that now that the real estate agent knows this can happen that he will mention something to the next owners or tenants about having people put away personal things that can identify them like pictures, mail, cards.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you people have no sense of romance! In Europe every woman would be joyously telling her girlfriends she has a secret admirer and dreaming of whom the man might be. What man doesn't feel attracted to a pretty lady? Yeah, it's a little over the top, but hardly scary or weird... GOOD GRIEF! No wonder she is single, and same for the landlord upstairs.