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Types of Difficult Clients and What to Do With Them

March 17, 2014
From Loan Officer Shellie Sexton

From Loan Officer Shellie Sexton

Handling difficult clients is a part of any business, but in real estate, when relationships are such a large part of your success, the way you manage challenging relationships can impact your bottom line. You can’t necessarily change  client behavior, but when you understand some of the emotions that go into it and plan a strategy for how to address it.

  1. “Know it all”:  They have never sold real estate in their life, but they know everything about how you should be selling their home. It should be priced higher, have more open houses, or have the yard sign facing another way.

What the client might be feeling:  Uncertain you know the business, nervous about selling, stressed about how long it will take.

Your response: Give them solid reasons to trust your expertise by building credibility. Ask lots of questions about their opinions. Be genuinely curious about why they think like they do. More than likely, they won’t have research or data to back up their ideas, so you can make a case for what you recommend, based on proven facts and successes you’ve had using those tactics.

  1. “No, no, no”:  Every house has flaws, and this buyer will point them out to you. There will always be something about every house that’s a deal breaker.

What the client might be feeling: Unhappy about moving, stressed, afraid to make a commitment.

Your response:  If your client is stuck in a rut of negativity, break them out of it so they can see some of the good in any property. First, let them exhaust all of their complaints first because they won’t be able to consider any positives until they feel they’ve been heard. Then try to guide them towards the positive features in the home, and note those in which you get their buy in so you can focus on them in future house hunts.

  1. “Sweet silence”: This client is easy to please, but not easy to read. She is pleasant, and has glowing things to say about every home you show her, and yet she makes no offers on any. She doesn’t share her honest opinion on any of the homes so you have a hard time figuring out what she really wants.

What this client might be feeling: Indecisive. Uncomfortable being direct about things she doesn’t like.

Your response: Tell this client early and often that you expect them to dislike many properties before they find “the one” and that’s okay. The more you know about the things they like and don’t like, the easier it is to find an exceptional home that does meet all their needs.

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