Saturday , 14 September 2019

Dealing with Difficult People – An Interview with Dustin Harris

Working with others can often times be frustrating, but when others are working against you, it’s a completely different story. Throughout the appraisal process, there are multiple people who aren’t necessarily coworkers, but directly influence everything you do. While some people are great, others, not so much. We sat down with Dustin Harris, also known as The Appraiser Coach, to discuss his podcast episode, “443 What to Do When A Realtor Tries to Blacklist An Appraiser.”

Buzz: In your podcast 443, you interviewed an appraiser who had been targeted by a real estate agent with a “vendetta.” The reason was because the appraiser had come in under the contract price a few times over a period of several years. She also posted derogatory comments on a closed real estate agent Facebook page. The agent went so far as write in her contracts that “Appraiser X” is not permitted to do the appraisal for this contract. What do you recommend in a case like this?

Dustin Harris: I have found that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Rather than feel bad, talk about someone behind their back, or just be angry about a blacklisting situation, get it out in the open. Talk with the person face-to-face. If they are unwilling, talk to their broker. If they are using Facebook to slander you, use the same venue to professionally respond. Most people are more willing to talk in a mature manner when they know the conversation is open.

Buzz: What’s the first step in contacting this person if you’ve never had contact before?

Harris: I think it is best to either pick up the phone and call them directly, or show up at their office. They will not expect this, but do not hide in the shadows. If an agent or someone else is actively trying to destroy you and your business, the best option is to confront it; but do it professionally.

Buzz: In what ways can other appraisers “nip this in the bud” when in the presence of it?

Harris: Realtors® need to understand that most appraisers are Realtors® too (members of the National Association of Realtors®). We all have an ethical code to follow, and we need to encourage our fellow real estate professionals to do so as well. Agents who are actively trying to harm another real estate professional’s business need to be reprimanded by their managing broker. Brokers who engage in this kind of activity need to be approached and possibly reported.

Buzz: What was something you’ve learned about this type of person and how to deal with them?

Harris: Again, this type of person typically likes to work in the shadows. Confronting them face to face will typically do wonders to turn them around. Treat them with civility and kindness. These are great opportunities to educate and possibly turn a foe to a friend.

Buzz: In a legal sense, would the correct thing be just staying low and getting a lawyer?

Harris: It depends. Some situations require a lawyer. Most probably can and should be dealt with by having a civil conversation. In the end, most agents and appraisers get along just fine. Once in a while, things tend to escalate. The worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is to sit back and do nothing. Your reputation means something. Your business means something. Blacklisting (or the like) is not something to take lightly.

Thank you again to Dustin Harris for answering our questions and giving us some insight. Have any comments or would you like to submit an article of your own? Email comments@appraisalbuzz.com for more information.

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Appraisal Buzz Staff
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