You know exactly the kind of clients we mean. Challenging clients who are exhausting, confusing, and either a little unhappy or potentially unhappy.
These relationships are often full of miscommunication, tension, and a unique combination of guilt and frustration that comes from not knowing if you’re doing too little or too much for them. The pattern we’ve seen is that the clients pose the most challenge also require the most energy; which runs the risk of impacting your whole business negatively.
The other thing we’ve noticed is that, with a few exceptions, there is no client who is universally hard to work with. Much like there aren’t actually REALTORS who are uncoachable, there aren’t actually clients who are terrible clients, only clients who are a bad fit.
Our theory is that what makes a bad fit is a difference in values. There is a gap between what you see as being important, and what they do. You want an emotionally connected personal relationship, and they just want to get the deal done. You want to focus on acute strategy and get an awesome price, they want to have a ton of fun looking for a house, you believe in collaborative negotiations, and they are dead set on a competitive approach. The possible causes of disconnects are endless.
When you come across these clients you have two options.
You can choose not to work with them. Acknowledge that they deserve a REALTOR who really gets their needs, and refer them to someone who is a great fit.
Stay open-minded, aim to understand what’s important to them, and lean into it. If you can understand their values, ask the right questions to not only understand them but show them that you’re working to understand them and have fun with the opportunity for a new perspective, you’ll be able to learn a lot. The key here is a deep appreciation for whatever it is that’s important to them rather than being judgmental of them for their values and approach.
Both of these options are valid, and we hope you’ll find the right times to use both. The thing that isn’t an option is attempting to force your clients into your way of seeing and doing things. They are the client, it’s their process, and it’s your job to cater to them and support them or let them go.