I have been a silent follower of yours since last year and I always admire how well you provide your advice to others. Now let me throw you a curveball on the territory that you are familiar with.
I’ve been in the real estate as a sales manager for 7 years and I have 2 sales associates under my wings to learn the ropes from me. Usually, there are more than enough houses to go around however due to the recent declining economy, it has become unbalanced with sellers, mostly needing the extra cash to tide their financial woes. Meaning to say there are plenty of sellers but the buyers are limited as most of them are feeling the pinch and being careful with their wallets.
My director has been coming down hard on every team to perform their best and let’s say, his target is asking for the stars and the moon to be served on a platinum platter. Everyone is feeling the heat and all of us are coming up creative ways to get rid of the houses off our hands as fast as possible to the most suited buyers. Some of us amp up the advertisements even went as far as the next city to advertise those hard to sell houses here.
My problem is that I caught one of my sales associates doing something I feel is borderline unethical and nasty. Rachel sold a house that knowingly infested with mites with a price tag way above the current market rates. I suspected that she did not disclose the mites problem and jack up the price that the seller gave her. Well, you might say it’s a free market right? Woe on those who did not do their homework. Nevertheless, I did impress upon her my displeasure and she promised not to do it again.
I can close an eye if it is a one-off case. Until much recently, rumours has it that she has been telling old folks to invest in properties on her hand with their retirement savings, convincing them that whatever they buy now will flip double, even triple within a year. That is totally impossible! Those properties are not even in the city but smack outskirts with bare amenities to speak of. Properties that we have been trying to sell since 2 years ago.
I ticked her off and we had a heavy argument. Things left off bad and she is asking for a transfer to another team. I know my director doesn’t care as long as there are sales to be made. As much as I want to ignore this and get on with my life, I can’t, knowing that she will continue to scam people. It’s ruining my sleep at nights.
Kally, tell me to let go now and I will try to get it off my chest. Otherwise, propose a solution, an explanation or anything!
Thank you if you decide to feature this.
Oh dear, you really do sound perplexed for a problem that is not really yours. There are a few ways to go about handling this type of situations and perhaps you explore some of my suggestions.
Go to your director even you know that he is all about the KA-Ching. Present it to him in a different angle, highlighting the fact if word gets out (through media, tradition or social) the company is going to get a bad reputation. If he turns a blind ear, go to your PR department and let them know especially since it will be them who will need to clean up the mess if shot happens. Approach them with an ‘I thought you would like to know’ attitude instead of demanding action to be done.
I’m sure in your country, there are laws protecting the unsuspecting buyers especially the elderly folks you mentioned. Try to find out which authorities handle such and you can drop an anonymous call or an email, asking for an investigation to be open against her and your company. It’s might seem extreme but if it takes to get rid of her unethical ways, it might be worth it.
You can keep your ears peel when her buyers start to complain. I’m pretty sure they will eventually. If you want to get in knee deep, you can organize a class action suit with the disgruntled buyers against her but make sure you are not disadvantaging yourself as your employment contract might tie you down with company confidentiality.
Let It Go
Yes, let it off your chest after you deem that you have done all you can, even pursuing the authorities in person. Her actions are unethical but it is not your doing. You are not her. If you find it impossible to ignore that she still works in the same premises with you, breathing the same air as you, hop on to another company that you know cares more about the dollars and cents.
That’s my two cents worth and I hope you find peace in you soon. Lack of sleep is a terrible state to be in.
Thank you for writing in.