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Welcome to the world of people. Some clients you have are going to be just terrific. Others can make you regret getting into the real estate business altogether. Most are probably going to be somewhere in between.
With that said, one of the benefits of working in our real estate business is the ability to work one-on-one with people. Not only are you helping to fill their needs, but also create positive, long-lasting relationships in many cases. Remember that after you finish real estate school with us and get out into the real world you’re going to find that not all people are as easy to deal with as you might like. Sometimes, you’re going to have a client that is.. well.. let’s just call them challenging.
Whether you are a seasoned real estate agent or a new Realtor who just passed the real estate license exam, there are a few simple things you can do to make these difficult relationships easier to manage.
#1: Keep Your Calm
No matter how awful the things are that the client may be saying, it’s essential to remain professional. If you have to rant and get some of your frustrations off your chest do so in private (not with agents or other clients). It is always important to keep the focus on the transaction. Remember, you do not have to work with them again.
Consider this. When a client is difficult, you may feel as though they are not worth your time or energy. Keep in mind that some difficult clients may be self-aware enough to recognize this about themselves. If you stick with them long term, they are more likely to continue the process and transact. They may even surprise you and refer you other business. It’s not always going to be easy, but it can be necessary to stick it out and maintain your composure and professionalism.
#2: Listen to Their Underlying Concerns
What happens if you encounter is a client that’s seemingly always unhappy? They complain about every property even though they’ve just asked to see it. They may say that the price is too high and the neighborhood isn’t good enough.
A true leader can recognize that constant negative behavior like this may point to a larger, underlying problem. Sit down with your client and talk about what you’ve looked at and the concerns you have had thus far. Then, ask them what they really want. Try to uncover their concerns. Are they truly ready to buy? Perhaps they are not sure if they have their finances teed up. In other cases, they may be be a fear of completing the purchase and make this type of commitment. Their complaints are just symptomatic of another issue.
Bear in mind that there are situations where their concerns will be valid. Perhaps they don’t feel you’re putting enough time into them or that you aren’t giving them what they need. It’s important to get them to clarify the root of the problem so that you can address it and move on.
#3: Respond to Them Sooner
Let’s say a client contacts you at 9 pm. What he or she said is irritating to you. You want to clarify the situation, but it’s already so late. Are you going to spend the night tossing and turning as a result of this situation? If so, it’s better to respond now and get it over with, so you can sleep.
The key here is when a client raises a concern about any factor, make it a priority to get it figured out as soon as you can. This helps to validate the client’s concerns. That doesn’t mean you are agreeing with them or even accepting any type of blame. Rather, you are simply moving things forward to the next step in the process.
Be sure to restate their claim or concern. For example, you might say, “Thank you for your email. I understand you are concerned with the timing of this sale….” You do not have to provide a solution right away, but you can tell the client you’re working on it or set up a time to talk about it.
#4: Let Go of Fear
Let’s say there is a client that just downright doesn’t understand the rules of the game. The buyer may want to underbid every property you show them. What about a seller who is adamant about overpricing the home? Worse yet, what about a seller who is refusing to make proper disclosures to a buyer? In these situations, you may be afraid to lose the client, but you have to step outside of that fear.
Be frank and honest with your clients all of the time. Tell them what is going to happen in any given situation. “If we underbid this by that much, we’re going to lose it to a competitor’s bid. Here’s what I think we should do.” Or, state, “It’s legally required to communicate this information. If you are not willing to do that, I need to step away from this relationship to protect my real estate license.”
Sometimes, you have to say what they need to hear frankly. Taking charge like this doesn’t mean being aggressive, but it means reminding them, in a positive way, that you know what you are doing.
#5: Find a Solution as a Priority
When clients are difficult, there is generally a reason for this. Your goal is not to ignore that concern. Rather, it is to find a compromise or solution that works for them.
We are in the business of helping people, and that often means figuring out what they want and need without them clarifying this. There will be times when you will miss the mark or make a mistake. The great real estate agent will admit those mistakes and find a solution to recover the client. How can you improve this situation if you were wrong?
On the other hand, if the client is wrong, you may want to throw your hands up and walk away. Before you do that, explain what’s happening. Then, offer more than one solution. By giving your client an option, you put the ball in their court. They now remain in charge of the outcome.
Difficult clients happen in every business. As you work to build your real estate career, you will find that there are 10 good clients for every bad one. Those are good odds, and it can mean that that one individual is pushing you to become a better agent, one that has to step outside of their comfort zone to support their client and your real estate sales business.
I’m always looking to bring our readers value. If I can be of service, please let me know. Feel free to reach out on Instagram or by phone at 888 768 5285.
Side note - If you read this and aren’t scared away at the prospect of real estate sales and want to enroll in our real estate school, feel free to do so here. We would love to have you as our newest student!