Staying Positive When Dealing With Negative Real Estate Clients

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We hope that you will meet many positive, enthusiastic people in your real estate career. Inevitably, however, you will come across some bitter, negative people who view the entire process of buying or selling real estate in a dark, dismal light. Worse, some of these people can turn their negativity into a weapon to target you. Here are some tips to deal with this when it happens:

Try to eliminate any negative thoughts about yourself and your work. Do your best, but don’t expect perfection. Expect your best efforts from yourself, but don’t beat yourself up over honest mistakes. Keep reaching for self improvement, but don’t hamper yourself with thoughts of “I’m so crappy at my job!” If you really think you’re crappy at your job, you have two choices – improve or leave. If you’re actively trying to improve, you’re doing a better job than a lot of people.

Remember that you needn’t believe what you hear. For instance, you might be “difficult to work with” for this particular set of clients, but that doesn’t mean that you are, in general, difficult for your clients to deal with. The person flinging this label at you probably finds a great many people “difficult to work with” simply because their personality doesn’t allow for dealing with many personalities – or perhaps anyone at all. If you feel that you are doing your best for these clients, you probably are.

Don’t feel that you need your clients’ approval in order to be doing a good job. If you are doing your utmost to bring their real estate transaction to a satisfactory conclusion, you are doing a good job. Your clients don’t know everything there is to know about real estate, which is why they engaged you. Accusations or inferences that you are “lazy” or not doing enough to see that their needs are met do not mean that this is the case.

Keep positive. Approach your client every time – on the phone, in email and in person – as if they are a good thing in your life and you can expect good things from them. Sometimes acting as if someone is a certain way can encourage them to be a certain way. It is often hard to be negative around someone who sees one’s negativity and chooses to respond positively.

Have expectations for your clients and communicate them clearly – for both your sakes. The process of real estate transactions is such that it requires work from both parties. Keep your communication lines open. Keep actively trying to find out how the client feels about how the process is going. It might feel stale and unprofitable if they are looking at things in the worst way possible, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your best for them.

When all else fails, it can be a good business decision to “fire” clients. It’s a step that should be taken with a lot of thought, but if they are destroying your enjoyment of your job, it might be the best. You don’t have to just drop these people; you might even be able to get a referral fee out of the hapless individual who takes them on. (Do warn your colleague; it’s not nice to throw them to the wolves without a heads-up!) Or, you might feel that in the interests of getting rid of your negative clients, you are prepared to waive the fee. Whatever you choose, be polite and professional. Do not take the opportunity to tell the clients what you really think of them as that kind of behavior often comes around to haunt one.

Negative clients can make a great job a living hell. You can deal with them by reminding yourself that you are a competent, decent person who has your clients’ best interests at heart. Don’t take what a client says or infers to heart; if you’re doing your best, then it is their own negative outlook on life that is poisoning the relationship between you. Try to approach these people positively; you may even help change their outlook to something more positive in the long run.

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