Let’s just be honest – for all the marketing we do, for all the outreach, for all the networking… there are still some real estate clients we really don’t want.
You’ve probably had at least one nightmare client. They:
- Don’t listen to your advice
- Don’t want to price properly
- Refuse to take the time to get financially approved
- Want to see 10 houses on the same day
- Call you constantly when nothing has changed
- And much, much, more…
So how do you avoid getting stuck with a nightmare client? Here are some tips.
Require New Clients to Follow a Process
When you have a consistent process for all new clients, it saves you an enormous amount of time. It also helps to weed out the buyers or sellers who aren’t serious.
Require a customer to fill out a needs questionnaire, obtain financial approval, and take any other steps that make sense in your business. If they won’t take the time, they aren’t worth your time.
It may sound harsh, but it’s essential that you spend time with the clients who are serious about buying and selling. You don’t have to ignore the others, just keep the relationship on “simmer” until their ready to commit to your process.
Carefully Question Expired Listings
We’re a huge fan of working with expired listings. There are an enormous number of reasons that a listing can fail to sell during the contract period, and many times you can have a far better outcome given your expertise.
However, sometimes these listings fail because the seller is completely unreasonable. Maybe they won’t negotiate on price, insist on having their personal clutter on full display, or won’t listen to their Realtor’s® advice on needed repairs and updates.
Don’t rush into an expired listing without a bit of fact-finding. With careful questioning, you can often get a sense of whether this expired listing will be an ideal client for you or if you should let it go.
Know Who’s Pulling the Strings
Whether it’s a nosy parent providing the down payment or small children swaying their parents with a single remark, it’s always frustrating to feel like your client isn’t the real decision maker.
In your initial interview with a buyer, make sure you understand the full situation before you pull out a contract. Ask explicitly, “Who else will be part of this buying decision?” If they mention kids, pets, or roommates, be sure to ask how important it is to them that these parties are happy with the purchase.
If your buyer wonders why you’re asking, just point out that as a professional you want to make sure everyone is happy with the home. It’s vital to know who’s involved.
If it sounds like someone else is pulling the strings, consider carefully if you want to be involved. There can be a lot of drama in those types of situations, and you may not make minimum wage by the time it’s done.
Trust Your Instincts
Even if you don’t have a lot of real estate experience, you’ll have a gut feeling that some people aren’t going to be ideal clients. If you have years of real estate experience you will have an even better instinct about clients.
The key is to listen to that feeling! Don’t be blinded by money or desperation. Nightmare clients aren’t worth the hassle, assuming they ever do get around to closing a deal.