Listen to the uncensored profanity-laced call below (WARNING: contains language that may be deemed inappropriate for children, in some workplaces or homes):
“Yo. This is a message for Roger Cummings, the broker of your f***** up brokerage. If I ever see any of your employees poaching in front of open houses, in the San Diego area, they will be harmed. And we’re coming after you next, little f*****.”
A spokesperson for Reali declined to provide the caller’s name on advice from the company’s lawyer, but did say they were able to figure out the person’s identity, since the agent left a message from a listed phone number. Reali’s spokesperson told Inman the company contacted the police to file a report after receiving the call.
Compass confirmed to Inman that voicemail was left by one of its agents, but declined to identify the agent. The company said it was spurred by an incident were a Reali employee set up a sign advertising its flat-fee services outside a Compass open house and attempted to poach consumers that were attending the open house.
“Compass is investigating the matter and will address any unprofessional behavior uncovered by the full investigation,” a Compass spokesperson said in a statement.
Profanity-laden diatribes and threats between competing agents have not been uncommon in the often cutthroat real estate business (as memorably depicted in the cult hit play and film Glengarry Glen Ross), yet in an age when workplace conduct is under greater scrutiny, a threat to “harm” another agent may not be so easily shrugged off.
Other brokers and owners have likewise published voicemails of competitors, as Rodeo Realty owner Syd Leibovitch recently shared on his Facebook page.
Reali CEO Amit Haller first revealed the Compass agent’s threats against Reali in a post on the publication platform Medium.
In the same post, Haller alleged that REX Real Estate – another brokerage that promises low fees, this one by eschewing the multiple listing service (MLS) – specifically created a web page that was dedicated to comparing itself to Reali, “which misrepresented Reali’s offering and what we provide.”
“Reali is clearly making an impact on the real estate ecosystem, and the reactions from traditional brokerages have ranged from the occasional fib about what we do, to out right threats of violence,” Haller wrote in the post.
Haller says REX pulled the website after Reali confronted the company with the misrepresentations.
REX did not immediately respond to Inman’s request for comment from its marketing team.
Reali, which launched in 2016 in Palo Alto, leverages an app and its flat-fee model, offering buyers 2.5 percent to 3 percent cash back at closing.
For buyers and sellers of homes under $250,000, the company charges a $950 flat fee instead of any commission. That fee rises to $4,950 for homes between $250,000 and $750,000; and $9,950 for homes priced over $750,000.
Reali operates in three California markets now, and raised $20 million from investors in July, with an eye on expanding to 10 states by the end of 2019.