By Sydney Callie | Nov. 27, 2019 12:00 AM
Let’s face it. As a real estate agent, you’re going to encounter difficult real estate clients. As with any business, not everyone involved will be easy to deal with. Between the non-convinced crowd, hard listeners, aggressive customers, and low-ballers—what’s it going to take for any of them to green light a home purchase?
To prevent yourself from encountering difficult real estate clients altogether, interview them before doing any of the leg work. When you meet them for the first time, be sure to ask high-value questions like, “Do you have any specifications regarding the area where you’d want to live in?” Don’t be afraid to get a bit personal and ask what their lifestyle and family are like.
Ultimately, this will help you work up a profile of what house fits them best. You’ll also be able to decide for yourself if the potential sale is worth your effort.
Don’t be afraid to educate difficult real estate clients
While the internet is certainly a helpful resource for anyone looking to know more about things, this has lead others to overestimate their actual knowledge on topics. In real estate, we’ve got shows like Million Dollar Listing and Income Property. Though they may be fun to watch, they aren’t always accurate portrayals of reality.
For some clients exposed to these shows, their enthusiasm can get in the way of you doing your job, so it’s important to lay the groundwork for realistic expectations. No client likes being blind-sided or being over-promised.
Listen to them
Everybody has a dream house, but not everybody can articulate what they want right away. For example, they might tell you they want something “warm and cozy,” but that can mean a lot of things. Do they want a compact bungalow with low ceilings? Or a two-floor house with less square footage?
By listening intently, you assist difficult real estate clients in figuring out what exactly they’re looking for. Moreover, an article on Customer Experience Insight states that listening to your clients helps build trust and lowers their resistance during times of disagreement.
Empathize with them
Some difficult real estate clients will challenge every suggestion you make, but this may be because we try too hard to make them see things our way when it should be the other way around. Maryville University psychologists emphasize that having a deeper understanding of people’s psyche has become a crucial skill across a number of different industries.
But simply understanding isn’t enough—you have to be able to apply it practically, which means being able to put yourself in your client’s shoes when needed. It’s also important to keep in mind that home-buying can be emotional, whether it’s because of financial issues, separation in the family, or a personal move.
At the end of the day, purchasing a home is no ordinary expense, so it’s normal for difficult real estate clients to get pushy and aggressive when their expectations aren’t met. During times of tension, however, it’s important to never fight fire with fire. According to business writer John Mehrmann, customer conversations tend to come in waves.
So when the customer is at the height of their anger, just be patient. Once again, let them know you’re listening, and don’t bother interrupting them mid-sentence. Instead, stay calm. And as soon as they start to mellow down, take the opportunity to provide reassuring comments that you’ll help solve their worries — even when you don’t quite know how yet.
That said, tough clients are present in any industry. Instead of getting rid of them, you have to learn how to work with them. Here at CA Realty Training, we’re all about cultivating client relationships. After all, there is so much more to earn from a customer than money — no matter how difficult they get. Learning how to treat them right is the foundation of a successful real estate agent career.