How real estate agents can handle difficult clients
Real estate agents work with a variety of clients every day. While most people are usually excited and eager to look at homes, some clients can be demanding, causing you unnecessary stress and dragging out the buying process.
As an agent, it’s a good idea to know how to respond to these clients who seem to have roadblocks along their path to buying a home. The more you know how to diffuse some of those difficult situations, the less stressed you’ll be, and the more successful you’ll be. With that in mind, let’s cover a few common examples of demanding clients and what you can do to keep them on track close on the right sale for them. In most cases, it might be easier than you think!
Curing a case of cold feet
It’s not uncommon for homebuyers to second-guess their decisions. That’s especially true for first-time buyers. People are waiting longer to buy their first home. As of 2020, the average age of a first-time home-buyer was 34 years old. People want to be financially stable and have a good idea of what they’re doing with their lives. Even then, though, it’s easy for some buyers to get cold feet and want to back out.
So, what can you do?
The most important thing is to keep them calm. If they’re getting cold feet, it’s likely because they’re confused about something or don’t understand the whole picture of the process. It’s your job to make sure they do. You can help them by:
- Making a pros and cons list
- Getting them to stop nitpicking every home
- Encouraging them to talk to a trusted third party
- Giving them an accurate assessment of repair costs
- Reminding them that there is no “perfect” home
It’s also a good idea to encourage your buyers to stop browsing for homes online. It can become addicting and cause them to second-guess a home they’re already interested in. Doing so might cause them never to be satisfied, so they’ll keep questioning whether they’re making the right decision. Assure them that you’re there to help and guide them in a way the Internet and some pictures online can’t ever do.
Fixing financial fears
Another reason people might back down or even be downright tricky during the process is due to finances. Buying a home is a considerable expense. It’s understandable that people will be passionate about it and want to make sure they’re doing the right thing with their money. Maybe you have a client that is worried about their finances. In that case, it can be beneficial to sit down with them and go over their budget in detail. Many times, if they see what they’re working with right in front of them, the financial concept becomes easier to understand, and they feel more comfortable.
In other cases, you might be dealing with a client who was denied a home loan. They could have low income or bad credit. While it might not be the right time for them to buy, you can encourage them to improve their credit and find a stable income. Helping them out with that kind of advice and encouraging them will make it more likely for them to use your services in the future when their finances are in order.
Pushing through problematic personalities
As a real estate agent, you already know that you regularly end up meeting all kinds of people. You want to have as many clients as possible, of course. But, sometimes, that can feel overwhelming when you’re dealing with clients who have difficult personalities. While no two people are the same, there are some common “problem personalities” that you might regularly run into, including clients who:
- Are always negative
- Are people-pleasers
- Think they know everything
- Overreact about everything
- Don’t provide feedback
Each one of these personalities needs to be handled a bit differently. But, there are things you can do to help your cause and make your job easier. For starters, listen to them as much as possible. Sometimes that might be easier said than done. But, simply listening will give you better insight into what they’re thinking. They are more likely to calm down and listen to you, in return, when you take the time to make them feel valued.
The best thing you can do is stay calm, be decisive and direct, but never argue. Offer to fix any problems that might arise, and offer as much information as possible when you think it will help your client.
In the end
In this line of work, it’s impossible to avoid working with different types of homebuyers. Some will be more difficult than others. By keeping these tips in mind, you can focus on a successful career and help those finicky clients find a home they deserve.
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