Best Practices for Handling Problem Clients

March 20, 2020

It’s no secret that some clients may be harder to work with than others in the real estate industry. But, like it or not, as a real estate broker or professional you’ll have to learn how to work with all kinds of clients in all situations in order to get the job done right. Instead of running away from problems, it’s important to learn how to handle problem clients to help everyone out in the process.

From different personalities to different needs, all clients differ from each other. From those who think they know everything about the real estate industry from looking things up online to those who always seem to be missing some information or must-have document, real estate brokers need to be agile and have the ability to work with all potential hiccups along the way.

Pre-Screen Clients

It can help to interview clients before they are taken on as official clients. While landing a deal is, of course, one goal for brokers, it doesn’t help to have to trudge through the process with  difficult or problem clients. While not everything can be determined from an interview, meeting with someone will at least provide a good outline of what a broker may be getting into.

During a pre-screening discussion, it’s important to be alert for any signs of a difficult client that is not going to be worth time, stress and effort. If the client has unrealistic expectations about their needs or comes off as too aggressive, it may not be in the broker’s best interest to work with them.

Educate the Clients

Some clients may be pushy or demanding or negative simply because they don’t understand the industry or what’s involved in a real estate transaction. Education can be the best thing for a client who comes off as troublesome. First-time homebuyers and home sellers don’t know the process of buying or selling, so brokers need to be sure to proceed with understanding and patience.

Also, many buyers and sellers may be proactive in their approach to the real estate industry and look up certain data points when it comes to selling or buying a home. They want to feel like they’re staying on top of the industry and not feel taken advantage of in the process. If this happens, it helps to work with the client and be able to translate what the data means and how it relates to their exact situation and needs. This not only helps give clients a good understanding of the real estate market but also offers up an opportunity for brokers and agents to exercise their knowledge.

Brace for Emotions

Buying or selling a home, no matter at what stage of life a client is in, is a really big deal. It’s expensive and important and confusing all at the same time, so it’s no surprise that emotions will likely be running high in the process. Instead of being overtaken with emotions, brokers and agents should be prepared for emotional phases of a deal and combat them with empathy and understanding.

It’s important for real estate professionals to stay calm and be sure to listen and acknowledge the issue at hand. If there is a real concern, such as something to do with the financial aspect of a deal or misrepresentation of a property, the client may go a step further and make a claim of fraud or negligence against a broker. While this may seem extreme, it’s better to be prepared for anything, which is why having Real estate insurance is important.

Problem clients can be hard to read and trouble to deal with, but it’s important to understand where they’re coming from and look for potential educational opportunities. Following some simple steps can help to clear up some confusion and deflate some emotional struggles along the way.

About Associations Liability Insurance Agency (ALIA)

The ALIA Team (part of the Riverton Insurance Agency Corporation), specializes in helping real estate professionals find the affordable and comprehensive liability insurance they need, without the hassle. ALIA dates its roots to 1991 with the founding of FREA, Foundation of Real Estate Associates. In 2013, ALIA was created to work with multiple insurance companies thereby broadening the portfolio of products to customers. For more information about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 882-4410.