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How to Make Difficult Clients Happy
By Joe Sesso, National Speaker for Homes.com
Human emotions play a significant role in the home-buying and -selling process. Sellers may feel excited to be moving into a new home; however, at the same time, they may feel remorse and sadness for leaving family memories behind. Homebuyers may be overwhelmed with wonder and glee to start a new life, but worried and cautious about the responsibilities of owning a home. As a real estate professional, you work in the service industry and deal with these types of emotions every day. Luckily for you, many clients are happy and thrilled to start their new life—but that isn't always the case. Difficult clients are part of the business, but with a few tips, you can turn a hardship into a profit.
 
Listen

Many difficult situations arise because the client feels like they are being ignored—a situation that can be avoided if you listen to your client's needs, wants, and negotiables from the start. Create an "interview" process for all clients prior to working with them to find out all this information. This is the perfect time to ask questions to figure out what the client is looking for, as well as understand them as a person. 
 
Some situations need to be seen from the other person's point of view. By constantly trying to make them see things your way, you are telling them that their concerns don't matter and are not important. Think about how you would act in this situation and give the client a response in a manner you would like to hear and/or see.
 
If the client is already feeling frustrated and you see signs of difficulty arising, let the client talk until they have finished stating their worries and/or concerns. This lets the client feel like they are being heard and listened to. This is also the perfect opportunity to start evaluating different solutions you can offer your client, then once they are done, acknowledge that their concerns matter and move the conversation towards the end result, rather than continuing to focus on the problem.
 
Communicate

Have you ever heard the saying "It's not what you say; it's how you say it?" You might be the cause of difficult situations without even being aware of it. A great way to overcome this is by mimicking your client's tones and dialogue. For instance, if your client is using a more professional tone and you are using a more laidback tone, then slightly adjust yours to the level of the client.  
 
By watching your client's body language, you can notice if they are uncomfortable with the way you are speaking. Take note of what phrases and words are being used and see if/when they react to what is being said. By adjusting your speech, you should see the client relax and calm the situation before it escalates.
 
Educate

Sometimes, as an expert of your field, you may communicate with clients in a manner that makes them feel like you are patronizing their intellect without even knowing that you are doing it. As a real estate agent, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the industry and market trends, and know to communicate this knowledge to clients. With a clear understanding of the industry, your clients will be less likely to disagree with your insight. This is especially helpful when dealing with unrealistic pricing issues.
 
Be Goal-Oriented
Selling/buying a home can be an excruciatingly long process and create frustration for your client. They want to be updated often and see results quickly. As an agent, you want to stay goal-oriented and focus on the end result. Create a document that can be easily updated with what tasks have been completed and what still needs to be done, so your client can have a visual aide showing where they are in the sale.
 
Know Your Limits

Differences in personalities can be the cause of major difficulties within the client/agent relationship. As a service provider, you need to learn how to deal with all types of personalities in order to make the sale; however, there are times when the client's personality just doesn't mix well with yours. When this happens, it might be best to refer the client to a friend or a different member of your team who could provide the client with better service by understanding how to deal with their personality type.
 
There might come a time when you have tried everything possible and still failed to maintain a positive client/agent relationship. If your situation ever becomes so toxic (for you) that it outweighs the potential revenue, it may be better to cut your losses than to continue moving forward with this client. Once you do, you can take the time that would've been spent with this difficult client to work with a more productive client. Let Homes.com Local Connect introduce you to leads in your area. Secure your zip codes today.
 
For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

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