4 Tips for Working with Difficult Clients
Remember, real estate is not just the business of buying and selling homes. It’s a business of dealing with people. As a real estate agent, you’re going to work with many people in your career and deal with many personalities.
So eventually it’s going to happen. Sooner or later you’ll end up working with an indecisive client.
So how do you help someone who has trouble making decisions? Don’t worry. We’re going to talk about some of the tactics and strategies that you can use with an indecisive client that may help.
Defining Difficult Real Estate Clients
An indecisive buyer struggles with making decisions as it pertains to the home buying process.
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments a person can make. For most, the idea of buying a home someday is something that people dream about. When that time comes, it can be very exciting. It can also be extremely overwhelming, confusing, and emotional too. This can lead to a buyer being indecisive and not being able to navigate the process.
#1. Be Patient
So how do you deal with a client that can’t seem to make a decision? You may believe that helping your client make a decision more quickly is part of your responsibility as a real estate agent. But actually, you aren’t helping. Pressuring your clients will have the opposite effect and only deter them from making a decision.
The best thing to do is to be patient. Don’t rush your client. Don’t rush the process. The experience of buying a home should be enjoyed. Think of the home buying process like a fine dining experience. You want to savor the moments. You wouldn’t want to be rushed by the waiter to decide what you want to eat or drink. Would you?
As a real estate agent, being a good listener is important. We all know that being an active listener will clue you in on what your client is really looking for in a home. The more you listen, the more you will learn to zero in on what they want.
So how does this help with an indecisive buyer? Listen to what they are asking for and analyze what that really represents. Because at times, your client may contradict themselves. Learn to read between the lines. They may say they want a 2 bedroom one day and a 3 bedroom the next. You can still learn from listening that your client wants the option of enough space. So now you know that you can also show them 2 bedroom properties with a loft or a bonus room, effectively offering them that option.
Also, listen actively to what your client doesn’t want. This will help you narrow down properties as well and filter out what may not be a good fit.
Take everything into account about what your client says they want and don’t want in a property, analyze it, and let it help you hone in on exactly what they are looking for. But remember, your buyer’s inability to decide is not always about not being able to make a choice. It can be an indicator of other issues that your client may be dealing with like doubts, a fear to commit, or being uncomfortable with the unknowns.
Understanding this is crucial because it speaks to their state of mind that motivates their actions. One method you can implement to help combat this is by being a sounding board for your client. Invite them to ask questions and continue to explain every step of the home buying process to empower them with information.
Being able to effectively explain the home process is probably the most vital thing you can do. Especially with a client that wavers back and forth. If your buyer can’t seem to make a decision based on fear or doubt, providing information and answering questions on what they can expect will inspire confidence and alleviate anxiety. The more you learn about something unknown, the less scary it will become.
Sometimes the underlying reason buyers get indecisive is financial. When they think about if they can really afford to purchase a home, they get nervous. They may feel like they are about to get in over their head. It’s important to address that as well.
So, if they are working with a lender, bring them into the conversation. Have them answer questions about the loan and the loan process. Be proactive and discuss other expenses that might be a concern as well. These might include items like payment amounts, interest, taxes, and insurance. Remember, the more you explain, the more comfortable they will feel.
#4. Limit Options
Let talk about the issues that may arise from an indecisive buyer when you start to show properties. We already went over the importance of listening to what your buyer wants as well as what your buyer doesn’t want. This will successfully narrow down the properties that are a good fit.
When it comes time to show your client homes, don’t give them too many options. Show them a handful of options. Focus on the quality and not the number of properties presented. For someone that already has problems making decisions, too many options will overwhelm them and complicate the matter. Limiting options makes it easier to make a decision.
Final Thoughts on Working with Difficult Clients
Remember that indecisive buyers are people that just need a little extra guidance. As a real estate professional, you can use your knowledge to inform them. Information leads to empowerment. This will ultimately help your clients make decisions and get through the home buying process.
In review, implementing the following tactics will not only help with indecisive clients but all your clients. Once again, be patient, be an active listener, explain the process, and limit options.
TL;DR: At the end of the day, when you're working with a difficult client, you have to take your time. Be patient, explain yourself, and provide limited options to narrow the search.