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Request Refusal: Rejecting Agent's Appeal for Wireless Device
Warren R. Sims, founder of Sims South Florida Realty, runs a successful real estate brokerage with 22 agents in three offices. Jon Tabaldo, an eager, new, tech-savvy agent, has discovered a handheld device that he thinks is the perfect tool to continuously access and monitor multiple listing service (MLS) data. This wireless device provides fast, complete Web access, enabling real estate professionals to increase productivity. They spend less time in the office and more time with their customers. The device also increases customer satisfaction because agents can respond quickly with data and full graphics for any- where-anytime service. Jon sent a persuasive e-mail to his boss asking that the realty company provide these handheld devices for all agents.
Mr. Sims uses e-mail, but he is not keen on employing technol- ogy to sell real estate. Regardless, he gave considerable thought to Jon's message recommending the devices. Mr. Sims did the math and figures it would cost him close to $8,000 for the initial investment plus
$5,000 per year/per office for updates. He thinks this is a lot of money for technology he's not convinced is needed or that may not be used. He also worries about ownership responsibility.
He could pick up the phone and talk to Jon personally. But
Mr. Sims wants to respond in an interoffice memo because he can control exactly what he says. He also thinks that a written response is more forceful and that it provides a permanent record of this decision in case agents make similar requests in the future. The more he pon- ders the request, the more Mr. Sims thinks that this kind of investment in software and hardware should be made by agents themselves-not by the agency. Don't they already purchase their own laptops?
Your Task. Put yourself in the place of Mr. Sims and prepare an interoffice memo that refuses the request but retains the goodwill of the agent. What reasons can you give for the refusal?