New Zealand real estate agent caught sleeping at house set up for auction
An Auckland real estate busted spending the night at a house set to be auctioned the next day has been found guilty of disgraceful conduct
An Auckland real estate salesman busted spending the night at an apartment set for auction the next day has been found guilty of disgraceful conduct.
“Do I just grab my stuff and run,” he texted his colleague after being discovered. “I’m in the bathroom hiding.
“Do you reckon I could say I know the owners or something. Or run?”
Former Bayleys real estate agent Geoffrey Mairs was photographed leaving the Mission Bay property on the morning of the auction in February 2017 after the owner’s mother noticed someone had been sleeping in one of the bedrooms.
The apartment had been staged with furniture for the auction, including two blow-up mattresses piled on top of each other to appear like a bed.
But the woman and her friend immediately noticed the mattresses had been disturbed when they entered the bedroom, according to a Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal judgement dated April 27.
The woman’s friend also thought she could hear someone in the shower.
The pair then went outside and called another Bayley’s agent to ask if someone had been allowed to sleep in the apartment.
The owner’s mother then “heard the door to the apartment open and a man came out”, the judgement said.
The woman quickly photographed Mairs as he exited the home and spoke to him about returning the apartment keys.
Mairs claimed he was due to show someone around the property that morning, before he returned to grab his things from the apartment and left the keys on a wall.
The woman phoned police, who later located Mairs outside the cinema at the Mission Bay shops.
Mairs later claimed the agent in charge of the Mission Bay property, David Anderson, had given him the apartment’s keys the previous night and allowed him to sleep in it.
But Anderson denied this, saying he had been home with his wife.
The next morning Anderson said he received two missed calls and four texts, according to the judgement.
Mairs: The parents are here. Wt do I say Do I just grab my stuff and run I’m in the bathroom hiding Do you reckon I could say I know the owners or something. Or run?
Anderson: What are you talking about? What property
Mairs: Yeah you don’t want to tell them I was just getting changed before I show a client through
Anderson: Are you f***ing joking? You’d better not be in the property I’m listing.
Mairs: I’ve shot thru. But they were on my tail and I’m trying to get a taxi outta here, but it is difficult with no credit. Can you please call a taxi to the Berkely cinema. I just grab the key off ur desk and was getting changed before I show a buyer through Sorry about this. I’ll have to find you a buyer for it by tomorrow. So send me details. Sorry. Hopefully Matt doesn’t find out. I’ll be fired if he does no doubt.
Anderson: Let me know when you can talk. I need to get to the bottom of this.
Mairs: just got out of cells. Sorry bud. I had Ben Turner meeting me at 12 PM. I’m going into Federal Street detox unit … And I quit Bayleys.
The tribunal found the texts indicated Mairs had likely accessed the apartment without Anderson’s knowledge.
Mairs had hoped to have the charge of disgraceful conduct against him dismissed, but the
tribunal upheld the charge and said it would take 21 days to consider a penalty.
Mairs accessed “the property for his private advantage and in a way which was plainly un-authorised”, the judgment said.
“This was serious misconduct which in our view would be regarded by reasonable agents of good standing and members of the public as being disgraceful.”
Bayleys group licensee Tony Bayley said the company contacted the property owner the moment it heard of “Mair’s [sic] inappropriate behaviour”.
The company “took all steps possible to remedy Mairs’ indiscretion, then immediately notified the REA of the incident,” he said.
Mairs’ resigned from the agency immediately.