“When I have a difficult client, my biggest priority is listening. I let them talk until they finish. This serves two purposes: One, they get their concerns off their chest and they know I care. Two, I find out if any of their concerns are legitimate. Many times the concerns have no ground, but if it's important to the client, I need to give them a place to express those concerns. Then once they're finished, I reassure them and get back to work! This method has served me well in previous occupations as well as in real estate. Even controlling and aggressive people will be react differently when you listen!
2. Prescreen for personality conflicts
“Prior to working with any clients, I like to conduct a pre-client interview with each potential client to ensure that we can work well together. As we all know, each individual has different needs and wants, and it's important to know that theirs are in line with yours. After our interview and determination by both parties that it's a good fit, we then proceed.
“Nowadays — as we all know — we can't always pick and choose our clients or the other parties involved in the transactions. When situations like that come up, I always try to put myself in the shoes of the party with whom I am working with. What are their struggles? What are their challenges? And how can I help?
“Now, more than ever real estate professionals are more inclined to put up with difficult buyers. But really all real estate professionals should put their foot down and educate the difficult buyers as to how the interactions should go between the agent and buyer. For this to work, all real estate professionals need to do this, so the difficult buyer has to change his or her behavior and not be able to go and manipulate the next real estate professional they seek out.”
“As real estate professionals, we need to be proactive rather than reactive. We continue to further our education in the fields of our practices so that we can properly address the concerns of our clients and give them the confidence they need to proceed. I think once clients have a clear understanding and appreciation of all the efforts put forth by their real estate agent, they will then be much less difficult to work with and a pleasant transaction for all parties.”
4. Find creative solutions
“I recently had a client who wanted to do do everything! Controlled everyone! Was angry at all the professionals involved in the transaction. The entire transaction required a lot of listening, biting of my tongue and reassuring. I just always tried to imagine myself in his place, and tried to envision what would make me feel better at any given point in the transaction.”
5. Put yourself in their shoes
“Often, when we’re not able to connect with a client, it’s because we are trying to convince them to see things our way, from our perspective. Unfortunately, this attempt is futile. In fact, it works just the opposite. You need to communicate your position through their perspective.
Understand what the client’s challenge is and continue to be at peace, even if they want war.