In a working life, never encountered worse.
OPINION by Neil Jenman
READING TIME: 7.5 minutes
This time last week, I had never heard of an agent called Tom Esze.
That was my first response to his name.
It was also the most common response when I started asking about him.
Come on, surely. Someone must have heard of him. He does plenty of self-promotion.
Tom Esze – that’S E-S-Z-E.
He’s an auction agent in Perth. And claimed by REIWA (found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour more than 20 years ago) as having done the most auctions in WA.
Esze came to my attention when several consumers said he was attacking me on social media. Many were distressed by his nastiness. Even some agents were appalled at Tom Esze’s abuse. According to one agent’s wife, she was “horrified” and felt sick.
So, of course, I looked at what Tom Esze, an agent who was hitherto unknown to me, was saying about me.
Here is what I discovered: In my working life in the real estate industry – with more than 25 years as a consumer advocate – the abuse that this agent, Tom Ezse, hurled at me and my family is the worst and most offensive.
It is also the most cowardly.
As my son, Harry Jenman (16) said: “He’s brave behind his keyboard, Dad.”
Tom Esze is, in my opinion – and the opinion of my wife and my children who work with me daily – the most vile agent we’ve encountered.
But let’s try to be understanding.
One of the reasons abusers hurl abuse – especially from a distance – is because they intend to hurt the people they are abusing. Some enjoy inflicting pain on their victims.
Well, this abuser, Tom Esze, has succeeded. He has hurt my wife, my children, many of my friends – and, he has offended me.
Generally, I ignore abuse from agents. It’s consumers to whom I am beholden. Real estate consumers – sellers, buyers, tenants – have my permanent loyalty. It is their respect and trust I cherish. Nothing that any agent can say or do – from massive financial incentives (bribes) to massive abuse – will make me betray consumers.
I am proud that I have never had a complaint or received abuse from an honest consumer. Nor a single complaint about the content of any of my books. Agents are the only ones to complain.
And unless I meet agents who place the interests of consumers ahead of the interests of agents, I care little for what agents think of me.
Sure, fighting to protect the interests of consumers incurs the wrath of some agents, but it also wins what I treasure – the trust and support of consumers, especially mums and dads in the suburbs.
Selling a property for the best market price is rarely the aim of agents. Indeed, with some methods – such as public auctions – it’s near impossible to get the best price. Most homes sold by auction are under-sold including those sold by Tom Esze.
As I often say, even the most well-intentioned person who enters the real estate industry is taught systems that work against consumers. I rarely mention specific agents. I just expose flawed systems.
Some agents have supported me over the years. As one agent, Howard Shedden, a long-term real estate veteran wrote after reading my new book on auctions: “I still follow your principles, Neil. It’s quite simple really, to act in your clients’ interests.”
Yes, and selling by public auction is never in the best interests of the home-owners.
Tom Esze is an agent who promotes auctions. He makes the usual erroneous claims about the benefits to sellers of auction. On his website, he asks this question (about public auctions):
“Why would you sell any other way?”
Well, the answer to that question, Mr Esze, is simple:
To sell for the highest price. That is why you should sell another way and avoid auction.
Here is what seems to have prompted Tom Esze to abuse me and my family.
A few weeks ago, I released my latest book: ’88 REASONS WHY YOU MUST NEVER SELL YOUR HOME AT AUCTION.’
Another agent, Jason Gard from Bunbury (a friend) read the book. He wrote a review which he shared on Facebook.
Here is some of what he wrote (and please remember: Jason Gard has done something that the abusive agent, Tom Esze, has not done: Read my book):
“One of the most compelling books about why you should never sell your property by auction. Especially the new online version of auction promoted by some agents. This book is a must read if you are thinking of selling. It easily allows you to understand how the auction process works and [how it] doesn’t achieve the highest price for the seller. When knowledge is power, this is certainly one book that will put the power in your hands and save you thousands of dollars and a lot of emotional grief.”
These are the words of an agent. Not a consumer.
Another agent said: “If this book gets into the hands of all home-sellers, the auction system would be relegated to history.”
So far, every agent who has read this book has agreed: Auctions are the worst way to sell.
One agent from Cairns wrote: “The book is factual and straight to the point.”
Of course, as always, the comments I appreciate most are from home-sellers, especially when they read the book and change their mind about selling by auction which has then given then hundreds of thousands of dollars more for their homes. In some cases, millions.
It is not my intention to abuse this abusive agent, Tom Esze, in this op-ed piece, other than, of course, to point out that the auction system he is promoting as the best way to sell a home is, in fact, the opposite. A public auction is the worst way to sell a home.
The only success I can attest, for sure, that Tom Esze, has achieved in the past few days is this: He has succeeded at emotionally hurting my wife and family – although my sons are as angry as they are hurt. As Alec Jenman said: “His abuse of you is the opposite of the truth, Dad. Just as what he tells home-sellers is the opposite of being true in that auctions are not the best way to sell, they are the worst way.”
THE RIGHT TO TRUTHFUL INFORMATION.
One of the fundamental rights of consumers is the right to truth. To try and supress my book – and to abuse me and my family – is a breach of consumers’ rights.
My message to Mr Esze is this: Why not read my book? And then, rather than viciously attack me and my family, why not address each of the 88 reasons which explain why auction is never the best way for sellers get the best price.
That’s right, Mr Esze, never.
No abuse, just a simple fact. Auctions are a dud. The proof is in my book.
You claim to have sold more than 4,000 properties at auction. If so, then one fact cannot be denied: Home-sellers have collectively lost millions of dollars by under-selling at your auctions. I can prove it. I am sure you know it. That’s what’s making you so vicious and angry.
As the old Arab Proverb goes: “When your argument is weak, abuse your opponent.”
I will respond to your abuse with facts. You can tell lies about me, but I will just tell the truth about you.
If you are so sure that public auction is the best way for home-owners to sell, why not let sellers see both sides of the auction argument?
Why not give them all a copy of my book which, to remind you, is called, ’88 REASONS WHY YOU MUST NEVER SELL YOUR HOME AT AUCTION.’
Let home-sellers be the judge.
Even though you belong to an organisation (REIWA – the Real Estate Institute of WA) that was fined for anti-competitive behaviour and the flagrant long-term abuse of consumer rights, there was a court order for REIWA to undertake training on how to make sure the rights of consumers were upheld.
So therefore, if you are interested in obeying the law, you will be quite okay with all people who plan to auction a home with you as the auctioneer (and I understand you are mostly a “hired gun” not the listing agent) receiving a copy of my book.
So, here is an offer to any person planning to sell their home in WA where the auctioneer is Tom Esze: If you contact Jenman Support on email@example.com we will send you a free copy of ’88 REASONS WHY YOU MUST NEVER SELL YOUR HOME AT AUCTION.’ The only condition – and this is a handshake – is that you read the book before you auction your home (it will only take a couple of hours) and let us have your comments.
Also, I will ask our support staff to find sellers who are planning to sell by auction with Tom Esze as their agent. We will mail them a complimentary copy of my book.
Here is a suggestion for you Tom Esze: I have spent my entire real estate life studying all the methods of selling. I have spoken all over the world on real estate issues. More than two million copies of my books are published. And yet, you have not read the one about which you hurl foul abuse at me. Why not do what I have done? I have studied the system you support and have found it to be seriously flawed. I suggest you study the system I support – one based on what’s best for consumers not agents.
While I do not like your method of responding with abuse to those who disagree with you – and I certainly do not like the selling method you are promoting – I will not personally abuse you in response.
I will, of course, warn real estate consumers about believing many of your claims especially the one you make to sellers about auction getting the best price. This claim is false. There are 88 reasons in my book for not auctioning a home.
The book concludes with an offer to abusive agents like you: Why not debate me, publicly? But then I think my son, Harry, is right: You will feel safer behind your keyboard than facing me in public.
One final point: As you state on your website, auctions have been around since Ancient Greece – thousands of years.
I respectfully suggest it’s time to find a modern method of selling.
For those who may be wondering exactly what Tom Esze said that was so offensive, he said I would “sell my children to Satan” to promote my beliefs. What kind of a person makes such a comment about a man and his family? I can’t answer that question. Although I believe Esze has previously faced action for abuse on Facebook. He is also abusive (using the F word!) towards Mark McGowan, the most respected state premier in Australia. Charming.
I can’t fathom men who abuse others, especially families and on topics of which they have no knowledge. But I am no longer going to accept malicious abuse against me and my family from agents who have never met me or read my book. Instead, I will simply write to their sellers – and tell both sides of the auction story. I will show sellers the truth that is hidden from them. Any help from any members of the public will be much appreciated. Don’t worry about the abuse from agents such as Tom Esze. Let that encourage you to do what I am doing: Spread more truth to combat the auction lies.
It’s about time the public had more access to more information that’s based on their interests not the interests of agents.
The book ’88 REASONS WHY YOU MUST NEVER SELL YOUR HOME AT AUCTION,’ is just $14.95 plus postage. All profits go to help victims of domestic abuse. If you know anyone who is selling by auction with Mr Tom Esze, please let us know so that we can express post them a complimentary copy of my book. Thank you.