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Difficult Clients… How Do You Deal?

October 28, 2013
From Loan Officer Lou King

From Loan Officer Lou King

When you read that headline, you probably groaned, remembering a situation where you dealt with a challenging client. Maybe he was demanding, indecisive, unavailable, or unrealistic. Difficult clients come in all types, and they require different approaches. Ultimately, the way you handle them can help you protect your time, profitability – and your sanity!

Three Types of Difficult Clients:

“Not sure what I want” client: This is very common. Your clients tell you their wish list for a home, but when you find those properties, there is always something missing or a new request. In other words, the target keeps moving.

How to deal? In your first conversation, ask specific questions about the type of home they’re looking for. Ranch or two-story? How many bedrooms? Quiet, out of the way neighborhood or close to everything? Big yard or smaller, low-maintenance lot? Price range? Recap the conversation, in writing, and ask the client to confirm you caught everything. Then refer to the list. It won’t stop clients from changing their minds, but it will serve as a subtle reminder that you are simply supplying properties that match what they originally said they wanted.

“I know exactly what I want” client: And what she wants doesn’t exist!  She’s the buyer whose wish list is so specific that no home can match it exactly. And she’s not willing to budge. She asks to see more and more properties and isn’t fully satisfied with any of them.

How to deal? Find out why she wants certain features. Focus on her bigger goals – low maintenance exterior, open floor plan, close to good schools, etc. Write them down, and as you show her houses, explain how each one meets these goals. You will probably invest a lot of time and energy, and frankly, she may never be happy. Accept that you can only do your best, and be ready to let her go, if needed.

Pop-Up Client: This person is on fire to buy or sell a home, but sometime during the process, he drops off the face of the earth, and doesn’t return calls or emails. But never fear… he pops back up again later, now with an urgent need to get a deal done immediately.

How to deal? Try to set expectations at the beginning by letting him know that inventory is always changing and what’s available today may not be next month! Let him know in your follow up that “I would really like to talk about the properties I sent to you. I know how busy you are, so just give me a call when you’re ready to tackle this again, and we can talk about how to restart your search.”

Your loan officer is always available to assist you in satisfying even the most difficult home buyers with a large variety of loan programs and excellent service.

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