There are many days when our job as a real estate agent is everything we hoped it would be – and more.
- You get your first-time homebuyers qualified and they can afford more than they thought
- You find an accessible home for the family with the special needs child and they also happen to love it;
- You quickly sell the home for the family who must move out of state.
The satisfaction we get from doing a good job and helping others is one of the reasons we got into real estate.
But then there are other days…
Days when your phone rings and your caller ID says “Horrible Client” and you can’t even bear to answer. Days when you head out for yet another round of showings for clients you know will never pull the trigger. Days when it’s back to the drawing board because a home failed yet another inspection for your ultra-picky buyers.
Those are the days you wish you had the guts to just blurt out what you’re thinking, “Hey clients, you’re fired!”
But before you fire those clients, ask yourself a few questions.
Is it just a personality conflict?
Sure, there are times when you just don’t “click” with someone, but is that really a reason not to work with someone? Not every Realtor-client relationship has to end with your two families bar-b-cueing together on Sundays. But just because you wouldn’t want them as a friend, doesn’t mean that you can’t help them as a client. Remember, you’re the professional. Behave as such and don’t let your client’s idiosyncrasies get under your skin.
Did you fail in your job to properly set expectations up front?
Perhaps your client is being difficult because you did not have the guts to tell them the truth about their situation. For instance, were you too afraid to tell your sellers their home was overpriced (so you could get the listing)? No wonder they are complaining to you about their home not selling!
For your buyers, did you properly set expectations on what kinds of homes they could get for their budget? Do you even know their true budget or are you being dragged around, opening doors and your buyers haven’t even been pre-qualified? Do you always find your deals falling apart during the inspections because you haven’t properly prepared your buyers what to expect?
Is it really them?
There are a lot of things you can do as an agent to prevent bad situations from happening with clients and much of this will come from your experience and learning and improving from each transaction. In fact, as this article shows, you should review each transaction you do to see what can be done to improve the next ones.
The bottom line is, for the most part, you should love your clients because they are paying your bills and enabling you to live the kind of life you’ve chosen. When you have a positive relationship with your clients, they’ll send their friends and family to you to and be a source of referrals for years to come. And then those referrals will send you referrals and that’s how you build a successful business.
Firing a client should be a rare event and not one to be taken lightly. If you find yourself firing too many clients, it may be a sign that it’s you and not them. Only consider firing a client only if you can be honest with yourself and say that you truly have done everything you can to save the relationship. And if you have, it might be time to pull the plug and call it quits.
Next week, we’ll look at some of the reasons to fire real estate clients and some scripts to help you through it.