Stop SignIt seems like our area here in Annapolis, Maryland, has an unending supply of road construction projects going on right now.  I'm sure that you've all driven past construction projects from time to time.  When I do one of the things that strikes me is that there is usually one person working and four or five leaning on shovels... watching.

Nice work if you can get it.

As I was sitting there in traffic the other day waiting for the STOP sign to be turned into the SLOW sign I was thinking this kind of relates to real estate as well.

Most of us have had those transactions where you felt that you were doing the bulk of the work.  Metaphorically, the other agent was leaning on their shovel. It seemed they were just content to watch you doing all the digging?  When that happens do you step up or do you just get angry?

Since I believe that the real estate profession has an overabundance of Type A personalities I think I know what the answer is going to be.

According to Wikipedia: Type A individuals can be described as impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about their status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation. They are often high achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays. WOW...that definition hits a bit close to home.

What should you do when the other agent in a transaction is a shovel leaner?

  • First take a deep breath before making that call to gripe.  Seriously, it's like counting down from ten when you're angry.  It does give you a moment to reflect and check your mouth before you speak.
  • Remember the goal...getting the transaction to settlement.  Who's purpose does it serve if you alienate another of the parties to the transaction.  It might make you feel better, but that will be short-lived.
  • Visualize how you would want the perfect transaction to go and work towards that visualization.
  • Accept the fact that not every agent is as perfect as you. 
  • This one is going to be hard for some people to accept. Think about this: "What is it in your behavior that prevents the other agents from doing their job responsibly?"  What?  You mean maybe it's something I'm doing?  Internalize on that one for a while and see what comes up. Sometimes it's appropriate to look internally before you look externally.
  • Move on, life's not fair.  Don't move on from the transaction but from your negative feelings about being taken advantage of.  You don't really think you can change someone else's behavior, do you?   Theres an old expression: "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it". George Bernard Shaw 

Leaning Shovel

What type of Road Agent are you?  The one in the pit doing all the work or the one leaning against the shovel watching.

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 Richard Iarossi is a full time licensed REALTOR®, working in Crofton, MD. My coverage areas are: Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Howard, Calvert, Queen Anne, and Baltimore City and County. I specialize in residential real estate, working with both buyers and sellers. Use the registration free search on my website at If you’re not already working with a REALTOR®...I can help. Call me at 443-995-9595 (Cell) or 410-451-6255 (Office).

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Comment balloon 2 commentsRichard Iarossi • October 03 2008 03:58PM
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