A young Sydney real estate agent has been suspended and an internal investigation launched after questionable comments were made online, instigating a backlash.
Abhnit Kumar from Ray White Macarthur Group in Campbelltown shared an advertisement of a property for sale to his professional Facebook page, with the otherwise ordinary post gaining attention for its caption.
It read: "The market doesn't dictate your home's price, the agent does. If you're thinking about selling don't leave money on the table, give me a call & let's discuss strategy."
The comment was quickly flagged by his followers, with one person asking if the market doesn't contribute to a property's price, then "why are you artificially inflating house prices during a period of high inflation?".
The 23-year-old real estate agent responded by asking "wouldn't you like to maximise on the profits you can make" when "selling your biggest asset". "Unless you wouldn't then feel free to contact me as I have a buyer for your place," Mr Kumar wrote.
The follower quickly responded by saying "that's not what your post said". "You said you inflate prices, so that the market is overpriced. Your words, not mine ...".
After sharing they would keep "well away" from Mr Kumar's agency if ever on the market for a house, the agent fired back.
"Hey buddy you clearly must be a renter. Please stay away from my agency as we would not like to deal with people like you."
The agent later deleted his last comment and responded to another follower who questioned his words, clarifying he was not referring to renters.
Ray White Macarthur Group responds
After Mr Kumar's last comment was met with a wave of scrutiny online, one of his followers made a screenshot of the exchange and sent it to his employer, branding his behaviour "disgusting" and asking the company to confirm whether his comments reflected its morals, forcing the company to speak out.
"We pride ourselves on customer service. We respect and value each and every one of our tenants," Ray White Macarthur Group wrote in a statement on Monday, addressing the outrage.
"The views of Abhnit Kumar do not align with the values of our group," it continued. "As a result, we've made the business decision to suspend his employment immediately while we conduct an internal investigation."
The backlash spilt over into the post's comment section, with one person slamming the "predatory behaviour" of real estate agents as "vicious", while another shared how "shocked" they were.
Mr Kumar's Facebook page now appears to have been deleted and his business profile redacted from several real estate agency websites. Yahoo News Australia has contacted Ray White Macarthur Group for further comment.
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