Nothing could be better for a real estate agent than working with customers who are eager to buy, sell, or close, and love the very first home show they attend.
In reality, however, it’s far more frequent that we encounter difficult clients than it is to work with those who know exactly what they want and what they’re willing to pay or sell.
How can an agent eliminate potential client problems before they pop up?
Unless you’ve not had a single client in months, carefully choosing with whom to work can eliminate most headaches before they begin. A pre-screening of homeowners in search of buying or selling will help determine if their values are in line with yours and can be as beneficial to the client as it is to you. A poor match doesn’t necessitate a rejection and failure. Perhaps, you know a colleague who would work better with these clients and could refer you to any customers of theirs who are in search of someone new.
Ask Clients What They Want
It is a fantasy to have a family of four walk in and instantly avail of a 3-bedroom house that has been on the market for weeks without so much a nibble. The job of a real estate agent, however, isn’t to check properties off a list but to connect customers to the perfect piece of real estate. Be direct in asking any client what they’re looking for, and you may get quite the response. Some may want to vent. Others who are uncertain about the perfect home may want input. Still, others may have one or two qualifiers that are most important. A challenging client may create drama for drama’s sake but, much more often, the agent can overcome most issues by listening for their client’s needs.
Make Efforts to Educate Clients
Just like drivers take their cars to repair shops because they don’t know how to replace the suspension, so too do people utilize the professional services of real estate agents because they don’t know much about the real estate market. Some clients may think the rules still function as they did in 2008 when it was not a good time to be a buyer. Some may have notions that pre-date the housing bubble. The best way to develop a healthy client relationship is to help them become more knowledgeable about their property or a property in with they’re interested. Success stories and tips, such as how to close a sale quickly or how to make a home appear more valuable to a different audience, can go a long way in helping change a difficult client’s mind.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
It’s hard to break from the viewpoint of your realty firm and professional needs. Whenever you can, however, put yourself in the perspective of a problem client by understanding their economic situation, their ownership history, their family needs, and so on. This consideration helps build trust and helps understand why properties will not work even if they appear to be good matches or why they will work even if you aren’t certain the client is making the best decision.