When Should Brokers Let Go of a Bad Client?
In the early days of one’s real estate career, every lead is treated precious, and young brokers invest their time, work, and energy to making a sale. Additionally, giving their best effort is in hopes that they keep their clients and building on the relationship, something that has proven vital to a broker’s success in the competitive real estate industry. Referrals are born out of good client relations, which is why brokers are encouraged to approach each client with optimism and do their best to close each deal. However, it’s unavoidable that certain brokers just don’t get along with their clients or vice-versa.
Letting go of a client is often perceived as a damaging move to one’s career, especially as this could affect their reputation in the market. But veteran agents who have worked with different personalities throughout their careers can testify to letting go of a client as not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, it proves to be the best approach for everyone involved.
The signs of a bad client may not be evident at first. It can take a while to appear. But when these factors have shown their faces and it has become too difficult to work with a client, it’s time to let go of them.
- Constant dishonesty
Dishonesty covers a broad spectrum of issues. Unfortunately, a dishonest client – no matter how pleasant they appear to be – will always put a brokers’ back against the wall. A dishonest client puts a broker’s reputation at stake, and potentially makes them liable for more illegal or ethically questionable actions in the future. No client is worth staking one’s career, risking a professional license, or even ending up in a legal entanglement.
- Excessive rudeness
It’s always good to define what one’s time is worth and figure out what is acceptable in terms of time spent on a client. If the client constantly comes in late to meetings or viewings and cancels at the last minute, it should already pose as a red flag. Limits should clearly be defined, and it’s important to indicate when something is too much.
Brokers – or any professional – should not tolerate any kind of behavior that infringes on their rights or the rights of others. This could include racism or sexism that could offend. Being associated to a client whose behavior is offensive is a risk that many brokers should not take.
- Communication issues
The most commonly heard complaint that clients voice about their brokers is dissatisfaction with their communication process. Many times, clients complain that they feel their broker doesn’t have their best interest in mind and that they aren’t prioritized. It’s important to stay calm and remain level-headed when handling irate clients.
One way to deal with communication issues is to clearly iron out the mode of communication their client prefers from the onset of their working relationship. This sets boundaries for both the broker and the client. Both parties are also encouraged to share what they expect from one another.
If communication issues still prevail despite establishing limitations and boundaries, it could be an indication of a doomed working relationship.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the broker to establish what they are willing to do for their client. It’s putting boundaries on their work depending on their capabilities. But it’s important to be open to possibly letting go of a bad client. Aside from saving time from possibly over-committing to a deal that’s unlikely to push through, it could also give clarity of mind and peace to focus on more productive tasks and goals.