PHOTO: In the post the 23-year-old claimed that the “market does not dictate your home’s price, the agent does”, a statement which sparked backlash from some commenters. FILE
There has been a surprising update after a Sydney real estate agent sparked fury for a comment he made about “renters” – resulting in his suspension.
A Sydney real estate agent who was suspended following backlash to a comment he made about “renters” has revealed he plans to continue his career in the property sector.
Abnit Kumar, from the Ray White Macarthur Group in Campbelltown, recently found himself in hot water after he posted about the recent sale of a $958,000 home to his professional Facebook page.
In the post the 23-year-old claimed that the “market does not dictate your home’s price, the agent does”, a statement which sparked backlash from some commenters.
During a heated exchange with one social media user, Mr Kumar remarked they “must clearly be a renter”.
“Please stay away from my agency as we would not like to deal with people like you,” he said.
This comment sparked major backlash, prompting the agent to delete the post and eventually apologise for the “offence and upset caused”.
Ray White Macarthur Group also apologised and confirmed he had been placed on a temporary suspension and that an internal investigation was under way.
News.com.au can now reveal Mr Kumar had only been a stand alone agent for six-months prior to making his controversial online comments.
Real estate agent Abnit Kumar has been suspended for four months. Picture: Ray White Macarthur Group
The situation unfolded on Mr Kumar’s Facebook post. Picture: Don’t Rent Me/Facebook
A spokesperson for the Ray White Macarthur Group told news.com.au they believe the 23-year-old will “learn deeply from this episode” and plans to continue with his real estate career.
“His intentions are to continue his real estate career with ongoing success, operating with care within his community and we will support him,” the spokesperson said.
“The internal investigation has concluded and Abnit has been issued with a formal warning due to his misconduct on social media.”
Mr Kumar has been placed on suspension for four weeks, will undergo external training to “build awareness and tolerance of others” and complete community service through non-profit Nova Employment.
“Please understand this agent does not represent the Ray White Group, nor the Ray White Macarthur Group,” the spokesperson said.
“We are a family owned and led business. Our core values are all about our clients and communities with the intention to be proud of every single transaction and interaction since our establishment in 1902.
“We strongly believe in respectful conduct in all our dealings and have taken this incident very seriously.”
Mandatory staff training has also been conducted by the Ray White Macarthur leadership team focused on appropriate social media conduct and “reinforcing the family values which they have upheld for their 17 years of service within the network”.
The agent got into an argument with a commenter. Picture: Don’t Rent Me/Facebook
Mr Kumar’s comments didn’t go down well. Picture: Don’t Rent Me/Facebook
Agent ‘deeply sorry’ for comments
In a statement to news.com.au, Mr Kumar said he was “deeply sorry for the offence and upset caused”.
“It was a total error of judgment on my part and I promise it will never happen again. I am very remorseful for my comments,” he said.
“I am 23 year old, and I know I have made a serious mistake.”
The heated exchange initially unfolded after a person commented on his Facebook post asking, if the market didn’t set the price of a property, why are agents “artificially inflating house prices during a period of high inflation”.
Mr Kumar responded by asking – wouldn’t the commenter like to “maximise on the profits you can make” when selling their “biggest asset”.
“Unless you wouldn’t then feel free to contact me as I have a buyer for your place,” he said.
The commenter then claimed that is “not what your post said”.
“You said you inflate prices, so that the market is over priced. Your words, not mine, I know when I’m in the market for a house I will be staying well away from your agency,” the person wrote.
“It’s no wonder real estate agents are one of the least trusted professions. But you do you pal!”
But it was the real estate agent’s next comment that really fired commenters up.
“Hey buddy you must clearly be a renter. Please stay away from my agency as we would not like to deal with people like you,” Mr Kumar wrote.
The commenter responded asking how Mr Kumar came to that conclusion, saying it was “interesting” that he didn’t want renters coming into his agency.
Another commenter questioned whether by “people like you” Mr Kumar was referring to renters.
Mr Kumar said people took his comments ‘the wrong way’. Picture: Don’t Rent Me/Facebook
He then said his comments were ‘uncalled for’. Picture: Don’t Rent Me/Facebook
Social media users were quick to call out the real estate agent, branding his views “disgraceful” and “disgusting”.
Other’s called them “despicable”, “unprofessional” and “vicious”.
Mr Kumar appeared to delete the post following the backlash, but was confronted about the exchange by another commenter on his Facebook page.
In response, he said “to clarify I didn’t mean renters”, alongside a laughing-crying face emoji.
He explained he instead meant people who “don’t see value in getting the best price for there (sic) asset”, adding that “clearly you guys took it the wrong way”.
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