Real estate is a “people business,” and because it is, you’re going to meet all kinds. Some you’ll enjoy and some will test your patience, but “losing your cool” over them is never a good idea.
Not long ago I read a rant written by an agent who had blown up at his buyer client.
The short version of the story: The man kept finding “the house” and saying he’d sleep on it and call the agent in the morning to make an offer. But he never did. Instead he’d call asking to see more homes. To further annoy the agent, he wanted to look at them on Sundays.
The agent had shown him homes 4 Sundays in a row – he had “wasted” 12 hours with the man while missing time with his family. He resented that a great deal. So when the man called to ask for yet another Sunday showing, he lost his cool.
First, getting that worked up is bad for the agent’s health – both mental and physical.
Second, blowing up at a client is a bad career move. Sure, he’s just one man, but he probably has family, friends, and acquaintances. And when he chooses his next agent, he will undoubtedly tell that agent why he’s making a change.
Third, writing about it on line compounds the damage. It was a “members only” post, but most people do know how to cut and paste these days. That’s all it would take for his competitors to use his rant against him. Who in their right mind wants to work with an agent who refers to his clients as greedy, stupid, and inconsiderate?
This agent should have taken steps early on to prevent this unfortunate situation.
If he truly resents showing homes on Sunday, he should have declined from the start. In this case, it would have been easy to say “I’m sorry; I’m already booked for Sunday.” The buyer doesn’t need to know that the “booking” is with his family.
If he believes a buyer should make a decision after one or two showings, and doesn’t want to “waste” more time with them, he should have politely bowed out at that time – instead of becoming so angry that he reached a boiling point.
If he can’t tolerate indecision – maybe he needs to learn to meditate. The truth is, some buyers are indecisive. They’re not doing it to hurt anyone – it’s just the way they are.
I read posts from frazzled agents all the time… These agents are frazzled, upset, and resentful because they feel like people are taking advantage of their good nature. And the truth is that those people probably don’t even know they’re taking advantage.
If you let them believe that you’re happy with showing homes on Sunday, or after 7 p.m., or early in the morning, then they’ll believe you’re happy. If you tell them “call any time, 24 hours a day,” you have only yourself to blame if they decide to call at 2 a.m.
What about buyers who want to see everything, and never make a decision?
This is a judgment call. You may reach a point when you decide that they’re “career lookers” who will never buy. If so, you can politely decline to show them more homes.
Or, you may realize that they’re simply the type that needs to see a lot of homes in order to believe that they’ve chosen the best one.
Either way – remember that the decision to keep going is yours. The decision to miss your son’s Soccer game to show a house is yours. The decision to answer the phone during the dinner hour is yours.
If you set boundaries and stick with them you may miss a sale – or you may not. But you’ll avoid being eaten up by unhealthy anger and resentment over poor treatment by your clients.
But – What about clients who are rude?
Back when I was an agent there was, for a short time, another real estate agency right next door to us. One day I met one of their agents in the parking lot as we were both coming in.
She was steaming mad – but also proud and boasting – because she had just told a prospective buyer to “Get the f… out of my car, leave, and don’t come back. We don’t need people like you in this town.”
It seems he had done nothing but complain and tell her that every house they viewed was over priced. Then he went on to say what a pathetic community we had, etc. etc.
She felt good about blowing up, but I still think she should have politely told him that he needed to find a different agent. Who knows how many friends and/or relatives he had in town.