Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


It's NEVER the Other Agent!

DSC00394For about five of my twenty-four years in real estate, I was lucky enough to work with an amazing broker named Charlie Krogman, another one of my patron saints of real estate (yes, he is now St. Charlie).    It was the mid-1980s, and Charlie was wise, a character and a legend in Washington, DC real estate.  He managed the Uptown office of the old Shannon & Luchs Company (now Weichert) during its hay day.  And he was amazing.

There were also a lot of legendary heavy hitters in the office, as well as a few legendary pills.  

And the most legendary of the pills targeted me.  When I had phone duty, she hung around the duty desk to make sure that I did it right – and she was probably trying to make sure I didn’t steal leads.  Since I never stole a lead in my life, I wouldn’t have minded, except that she had really bad B.O.

One day, I showed up for floor duty feeling a little queasy.  You know, hung over and it wasn’t manifesting itself with just the usual bad headache.  Well, this agent was swooping around the duty desk with an aura of strongly perfumed soap and arm pits.  

So, I said something.  I told her that I was having some sort of allergic reaction to the perfume in the soap she must have used when she last showered, and I asked her if she would please go back to her own desk until my shift was over.  She lost it, but she did leave the duty desk area.

When my shift was over, Charlie called me into his office – something he rarely did with any agent.  He closed the door.  Then he asked me, “Did you tell _____ that she had B.O?”  

I lost it!  I not only told my side of the story, but I went on a rant about how she made me, and everyone in the office, crazy!  She was awful!  She was nuts!  She was negative!  And, I explained, while I did not say to her “You smell like incredibly nasty arm pits!” she certainly did!

Then, I got a dose of some of the best advice I’ve ever had from anyone – broker, therapist, or best friend!

“It’s never the other agent.”


He repeated himself.  

No, no!  That might be true a lot of the time, but this is an exception.  

No, he said.  It’s not.  Then he asked what about her did I see in myself?


I thought about it for a while and realized that she was reflecting back my suppressed dark side!  She was what we are all was afraid of turning into – a non-productive, negative pest who does not smell good and has no friends.

I did not try to make this woman my friend. I didn’t bake her cookies.  But I did learn to ignore her and to slough off her negative energy.

So now, thanks to Charlie, whenever I encounter a colleague or even a client who is making me nuts, I take a deep breath.  And I look at whatever it is about me that this person is reflecting back.  

Recently I met my match – an agent who was a total control freak who made me crazy until – Oh!  Wait!  She’s being me!

Then, I let go of it and got to really like and respect her!  We had a totally fabulous transaction!

Now, a lot of the posts I read here are about agents who are making themselves nuts over really awful clients, colleagues or whoever.  

My advice?  Just remember the wisdom of Charlie Krogman, and get over it!

Comment balloon 7 commentsPatricia Kennedy • August 26 2007 09:54PM
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