Dealing with bullies and big egos


Here are a couple of stories about dealing with aggressive, big-ego people in the real estate industry. You don’t need to put up with bullies or arrogant jerks who are being unprofessional and disrespectful just to make themselves feel good. This short video might help you deal with belligerent people and make you smile too.

Story continues below
Barry Lebow, FRI, Master-ASA, ABR, SRES, is one of Canada’s most recognized real estate authorities. Now in his 54th year of professional real estate, Barry has been honoured by many real estate associations for his work in the profession. He has testified in more than 500 trials across North America. He is the founder of the Accredited Senior Agent designation program. A teacher, trainer and educator, he is an active broker at Re/Max Ultimate Realty in Toronto. Contact Barry by email.


    • M Jeffrey:

      Re “bad language”:

      Do you mean the wholly appropriate ‘assholes/bullshit’ modifiers used by Barry and me herein, or do you mean incorrect use of grammar? In this case, being a video, neither was used in real estate. I suspect Barry does not use ‘assholes/bullshit’ whilst conducting real estate negotiations, but maybe I’m wrong. If so, it wouldn’t be sad. Full disclosure: I occasionally did, depending upon the type of people I was dealing with.

      B.T.W.: Who says said language is bad, beside you? After all, everyone has one, and bulls crap. “Derriere-orifice trap-door sphincter” and “expelled fermented male cow grass” don’t quite cut it. Gotta keep it simple. Remember: K.I.S.S.:-)

      I think your beef is with our friend, that effin’ editor guy.

      Welcome to the real world.

        • Careful PED. Methinks ‘M’ would prefer ‘lmdo’, and no, ‘d’ does not refer to a male first name other than: David; Derrick; Donald; Demetri; Dustin; Denny etc.

          Give me a cursin’, spittin’, name-callin’ redneck Realtor who tells it like it is—thus, a revealer of the truth—over a sweet talkin’, politically correct adjective-jockey sidewinder who lies like an oil-soaked junkyard-office rug any day, and I’ll show you a diamond-in-the-rough, git-‘er-done, John Wayne’ish pro…Pilgrim.

          I think the politically correct crowd needs to go out and find some frozen road apples, make nice like no-hit hockey players, and get the puck outta here:-)

  1. A great story Barry, shared it with all my agents to make sure they listened to your short but brief video. Been there and done that!!!

  2. Ironically I have recently had to deal with a young female realtor for second time who tries to use very aggressive behaviour on everyone in a transaction. Being in the business for 35 years I just continue with my normal process of stating how things will be including putting details in the offer so she cannot have the upper hand. Cooperation in this business is crucial and the sooner she realizes that the more money she will make. She decided the deal was dead! The same day I received another offer from a terrific cooperative realtor and the deal will likely close as we both will make every effort to make it happen!

    • Kudos to you. I have dealt with some really unpleasant realtors in this business. And I just stick my ground calmly. I recently dealt with an agent and his clients who were extremely disrespectful. I told them how things are done and agent threatened to go to court and RECO. My answer to them was ‘You are well within your rights to do what you want to, but threats do not work on me or my client. When you go low, we go high’. This is why I document everything. Agent wanted to do it all by phone. I told him to respond to my emails. I refuse to let people project their issues on me. Good on you for sticking your ground calmly.

  3. Hi Barry:

    LOVE IT!

    Isn’t it funny how so many assholes are bullshit artists?

    Your correct psychological assessment of how some faux bullies’ “I’m bigger than you!” tactic (re the heightened seating arrangement) can actually work, and it does indeed work, unless one is aware of such crap prior to going into a potentially contentious meeting.

    True story:

    When I was working as a conciliator with the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (now Tarion Corp.), especially when a lawyer would be present during a conciliation meeting, the lawyer almost always tried to take control by trying to seat me in a submissive position at the table. On one occasion, upon entering the dining room wherein the meeting was to be conducted, everyone was already seated. There was one seat left open for me off to one side, between—as it turned out—the lawyer’s clients, and the lawyer was seated at the head of the table on a padded Captain’s arm-chair. I quickly scanned the scene, realized what he was trying to do, and walked right up to him. Standing over him as he remained seated, and looking right down into his startled eyes, I plopped my briefcase noisily on the table beside his notes, whereupon I declared for all to hear, “Excuse me sir, but I wonder if you could help me out here. I’m deaf in my left ear (true) and I need to be seated in a spot where I can see everyone so as not to miss anything that might be said on my deaf side.” I stood there, unflinching, still locking onto his startled eyeballs, now bigger than ever. He thought quickly. “Oh yes! Of course Mr. Martindale! Please, take my seat. I’ll just go over there and sit at the empty chair.” He noisily gathered up his notes and scampered around to the empty, low-rider seat, where sat down, now looking small. The meeting went well. The file was closed expeditiously. There were no appeals from the lawyer’s clients on any items that did not go their way. The lawyer couldn’t have been nicer.

    Moral of the story: You and your dad know what it is; one needs to be able to be one to know one. I turned the bullying behaviour against the bully. I bullied the bully. He did not want to put me in a position of ruling against his client because he would have pissed me off before we even got started by denying my request. At least he was a smart bully. I’ve dealt with many a dumb-ass bully over the years. Like you insinuate, dumb-ass-asshole bullies are bullshit artists who too often get away with their tactics because too many let them.

    Looking forward to your next politically incorrect video:-)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here