How to handle difficult clients

A Real Estate agent must learn to work with different personality types in order to be successful. Some people you meet will be easy to handle and the communication between you will be comfortable and acrimonious. However, at some point, you will come across a difficult client who may have unrealistic expectations regarding what their investment can buy. In these cases, an agent needs to utilize the following skills and communication tactics in order to salvage the sale and working relationship.

Understand Your Client’s Personality and Needs

Obviously, being a realtor, you probably have great people skills and you understand the art of subtle persuasion that moves your clients to a decision and keeps your commissions on schedule. However, these natural talents can always be sharpened by exploring your client’s background and history, asking about their preferences and tastes, and understanding the needs and concerns that motive them. Remember to cover the simple details that are important to them during this process: what is their favorite color, what is their desired floor plan, what feature would they like to see in potential properties, and what would your ideal home look like if you could have everything you wanted. This information will give you an advantage in preparing a short list for them to review, which will help you save time by tailoring a specialized selection for your clients.

Show Passion and Determination

It is important for you to convey a positive attitude to all of your clients because they are influenced by your demeanour and how you conduct yourself will determine how they feel about the process. Before you show any housing options, be sure to understand the pros and cons of each from the client’s standpoint. Do your homework beforehand and make sure you do a walkthrough before taking your clients for a site visit in order to limit any surprises that could undermine your credibility. When you are prepared for a showing you can talk with authority about the conditions of the property and you have time to tailor the analysis of the home to include the hot buttons of the potential buyer.

Be a Good Listener

Challenging clients are people that know exactly what they want, regardless of whether or not it’s realistic, and they do not want to settle for anything else. Although you may understand the problems of getting all of their requirements met, you should still attentively listen to every detail they outline for you. These personality types will react negatively when they think their instructions or preferences are being ignored by a business associate. In order for you to facilitate a compromise, you need to acknowledge their initial want and explain the challenges and propose a way to meet in the middle. You can help them understand the situation and evaluate their expectations when you can anticipate their disappointments and concerns and already have a strategy in mind of how to show them the value of an alternative move.

Don’t Promise What You Can’t Keep

Never make promises you cannot keep or say yes to a question that might not end up being possible. For example, never promise for a low asking price if you know the current owner has set a fixed price on the property. Price is always a sensitive issue when it comes to most home buyers, and it is easier to be honest with your client than having to come back at a later date and say you misspoke. It is a better idea to tell potential buyers that you can negotiate with the owner to match their asking price than telling them something that might not be true. Your credibility and reputation is the most valuable asset you hold, so be careful to always preserve both.


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