Advice for Agents: Working with Difficult Clients

Real estate professionals are aware that emotions play a very important role when it comes to buying or selling a home. On the one hand, sellers may feel excited about moving into a new home; yet may also feel sadness about leaving a home with many shared memories. Homebuyers may also feel excited about a new life in a new home, but worried about the responsibilities that come with the purchase.

A recent article in RISMedia written by Joe Sesso, How to Make Difficult Clients Happy, offers some solutions to dealing with clients in order to produce a positive outcome for all parties.

Listen – Many times a client may feel as though they are being ignored. This situation can be avoided by listening to a client’s needs and wants from the outset in the first “interview.” This is the ideal time to ask the right questions to determine what the client is looking for, in addition to understanding them as a person.

It is most important to see situations from the other person’s point of view. If you continue to try and make them see things your way, you are telling them that their opinions and concerns do not matter. Consider how you would react in a similar situation and respond to the client as if the situation were reversed. If the client is already feeling frustrated, let them know they are being heard. Acknowledge their concerns and aim the conversation toward the end result.

Communicate – Remember it’s not always what is said, but how it is said. Adjust your tone so it mimics your client’s. Watch a client’s body language for telltale signs they may be uncomfortable with the conversation. Try to get your client to relax by adjusting your speech.

Educate – Do not be patronizing. As a professional, it’s vital to understand the industry and the market trends and impart that knowledge to the client. This is most important when it comes to dealing with pricing issues.

Be Goal-oriented – Buying and selling a home can be a long, drawn-out process and the client may become frustrated. They are anxious and wish to see quick results. You, as an agent, need to stay focused on the end result. You may wish to create a document so that your client can see what tasks have been completed and what is ongoing. A visual aid can serve to show progress in the sale process.

Know Your Limits – While there may be sharp personality differences, a professional learns to deal with these personality differences in order to achieve the end result. However, if working with a client becomes impossible, it may be best to refer them to another team member who can provide better service and work with the client.

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