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Case Study 3

A licensed salesperson has undertaken extensive prospecting activities over the past few years.

During a routine prospecting call to a contact on the company’s database, the licensee was informed by the contact that a neighbour within their area had recently lost her husband.

The licensee had had no previous communication with the widow.  The contact stated that he thinks it is inevitable that the owner will sell her home as it will be too large for her to manage on their own, and suggests that the licensee contacts the widow regarding the possible sale of her home.

The licensee initially dismisses the opportunity, sensing it to be too soon to initiate any contact.  However, in a subsequent conversation with the same neighbour, the neighbour convinces him to approach the owner.

The licensee decided to make contact with the widow and prepared and delivered a handwritten card with a message that read:


‘I am sorry to hear of your sad loss from some of your caring neighbours.  If at any time in the future you would like to discuss your options or just ask for advice regarding your property and the market, please don’t hesitate to call me.’

With the card, the licensee also included a property summary report (obtained through Property Guru) which included information about the property such as rating valuations, title, and owner details.

Within days of delivering the card, the licensee’s branch manager receives a letter of complaint from the widow’s daughter expressing her concerns about the manner in which her mother was approached by the licensee, and the distress it has caused her mother and members of the family.

The complainant states in the letter that she is also considering sending a copy of the letter to the Complaints Assessment Committee.

The real estate agent or salesperson should not take advantage of the emotional situation of any property owners to sell or rent his or her property especially during the time of any great loss.

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