Vetting clients thoroughly will ensure that you have more time and energy for the people you truly enjoy working with
If you’re not putting time and energy toward giving your clients an amazing experience they won’t soon forget, you’re not putting yourself in a position to grow your business down the road.
Having said that, however, not all clients are worth going the extra mile for. In fact, some clients aren’t worth working with at all.
Here are rundowns on three types of fixer-upper clients that aren’t worth your time and suggestions on how to end professional relationships with clients amicably.
With websites such as Zillow and realtor.com making property-related information easily available to the public, some clients really do think they know it all. For real estate agents, this can lead to serious problems and plenty of headaches.
A know-it-all seller, for instance, could easily waste an agent’s time due to his or her inability to budge on pricing because of what the Zestimate says.
Of course, with the right scripts and detailed market knowledge, a know-it-all client can be reasoned with. If you’re willing to endure some frustration and risk wasting your time, working with a know-it-all client isn’t always a bad idea.
Working with a nit-picky client also isn’t necessarily bad — if you’re a listing agent. If you’re a buyer’s agent, however, nitpickers can drive you to the brink of insanity.
It’s not uncommon for a homebuyer to look at 10 to 20 homes before finally finding the right one for them. With an extremely nit-picky homebuyer, on the other hand, you could show over 50 homes before finally finding one that they’re willing to make an offer on.
It’s just not worth your time.
The world is full of jerks. They surround you in traffic, they’re always at your kids’ soccer games, and sometimes, they even visit during the holidays!
Unfortunately, you can’t avoid jerks altogether. However, you can control whether or not you work with them.
Although a jerk’s money is as good as anyone else’s, working for it often isn’t worth the abuse. If one of your clients treats you like trash, you have to ask yourself if that commission will make up for the terrible experience in the end.
If not, cutting ties early is often your best option.
Fix up or fire?
If you find yourself working with a client from one of the categories above or with a client you can’t stand for another reason, it’s often in everyone’s best interest for you to cut ties.
In other words, you might have to fire them.
To fire a fixer-upper client, explain that you’re not able to help them as anticipated. You should offer to refer them to another agent if possible.
Also, avoid the blame game — try to end the relationship as professionally as possible.
In the future, remember to vet potential clients more thoroughly. Doing so will ensure that you have more time and energy for the clients you truly enjoy working with.
Pat Hiban is the author of the NYT best-selling book “6 steps to 7 figures: A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Building Wealth and Creating Your Destiny,” the founder of online real estate sales training site Rebus University, and the host of Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, an agent-to-agent real estate podcast with Hiban Digital in Baltimore, Maryland.