Two White Rock real estate agents sent this card to a man who

Lessons follow agents’ sympathy card to South Surrey widower

Business message shouldn’t have been included in condolences, daughter says

A South Surrey woman said she’s shocked at the “hornets nest” she stirred after posting online a sympathy card local real estate agents sent her grieving father.

“I think it touched a real chord with a lot of people due to our crazy real estate market,” Launi Bowie told Peace Arch News Tuesday.

On Sunday, Bowie posted an image of the card on Facebook. In it, two White Rock agents expressed sympathy to her father, Ted Smith, for the loss of his wife of 51 years, Audrey. They included their business cards.

By Tuesday morning, following coverage on news programs and newspapers in Vancouver, the Facebook page had been shared 2,300 times, while generating numerous angry comments.

“The knee-jerk reaction is it’s become fairly ruthless, unethical and coldhearted,” Bowie said of the red-hot market. “I don’t believe that these women are cold-hearted, horrible people. It was just a really poor judgment on their part.”

Audrey Smith, 72, died July 17 in hospital after a fall at a birthday party the day before.

Soon after, two agents happened to be canvassing the South Surrey neighbourhood of the Smith family and in speaking with Ted Smith, they learned of his wife’s passing, and sent the widower a sympathy card in the mail.

“So sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. Please let us know if we can help in any way with your real estate needs when the time is right,” reads the note.

Bowie said that although her post garnered many comments of support for her family, she’s also “slightly horrified” by the reaction.

“I really don’t want this to turn into a witch-hunt. Everyone is really, really heaping on these two women who I think now realize that was a really big mistake,” she said.

Bowie said she’s heard from others with similar experiences, and hopes this can serve as a reminder to other agents to stop and think before sending a sympathy card that also appears to be an effort to generate business.

“It’s clearly not only my issue. This has happened to other people. I just don’t think it got the attention that mine got,” she said. “If other Realtors saw this and watched the hornets nest that stirred up, I’m assuming they’re not going to make that mistake.”

Homelife Benchmark Realty Corp. agents Linda Shaver and Leanne deSouza said they simply wanted to follow up after speaking with Bowie’s father, adding they regret adding their business cards.

“We are so sorry we upset the family, which is actually the furthest thing from our intention, and we are very grateful the family has accepted our heartfelt apology,” Shaver told PAN Tuesday morning.

Shaver said door-knocking is a common practice for agents, adding it was at the end of their front-door conversation with Ted Smith when they learned of Audrey’s sudden death.

“At that time both Leanne (deSouza) and I expressed sincere sympathy and we abruptly left. As we were leaving, he mentioned that he would look over our flyer while he was away for a week. As a followup to our conversation, we sent him the card.”

Dennis Wilson, manager of professional standards for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, told CTV News the situation is a “very sad misunderstanding.”

“They meant nothing but goodwill for this gentlemen. They certainly weren’t intending to put any pressure on him,” he said.

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for missing teen

Dylan Peters, 17, has been missing since Wednesday

Seven years after daughter’s death, grieving mother issues new appeal for answers

Ashley Chauvin’s body was found near South Surrey’s Nicomekl River in July 2012

Friends of ‘Mac’ rally to fund young family left behind by former martial arts teacher in Surrey

‘He’s well loved,’ says operator of Fraser Heights academy where Mackenzie MacWilliams studied, worked

Police food drive to help feed North Delta kids

Donations collected will go support the Rotary Club’s Starfish Pack program

Surrey burglar loses appeal on Hook & Ladder break-in conviction

The case centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in at the Newton pub

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Isn’t it spring? Forecast calling for snow across eastern B.C.

Up to 10cm expected within 48 hours; motorists urged to prepare for deteriorating conditions

B.C. parents still missing out on hundreds of thousands in free money

Chilliwack financial advisor still banging the drum over unclaimed $1,200 RESP grant cash

Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’

Research has shown that people have a tendency to project human traits onto robots

Two Vancouver police officers could face charges in crash that injured five: IIO

IIO BC requests consideration of charges against two Vancouver police officers driving two police vehicles

5 to start your day

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver released, woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR and more

One million recyclable bottles ‘lost’ daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Most Read

l -->