5 ways to handle an angry client

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08/10/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

With all of the people and moving parts involved in a real estate transaction, it’s possible that your client may experience disappointment, frustration, or even anger during the process. But there are a few ways you can help disarm the situation when a client decides to take his emotions out on you.

Acknowledge his anger. Is your seller insulted by what he considers an unreasonable offer? If you would feel the same way in the situation, tell him.

But stick to the facts. If your seller lashes out when you suggest a price reduction, be prepared to show him evidence that justifies the reduction.

Ask for his ideas. Even when you have a solution in mind for what’s upsetting your client, get his input, too. This reminds him that you’re listening and you care—even if you don’t agree.  

Sleep on it. If a client asks you to take an action you think is unwise, suggest that he take some time to consider the idea before moving forward. This could be a few hours or a day or two, depending on timeliness.

Let him vent. Your client may just need to say out loud what he’s thinking without taking any specific action. Just remember that it’s not personal. 

How have you handled upset clients? Share your advice in the comments. 

Categories: Business tips
Tags: business tips, business advice, client relations


ANNE L BOKALO on 08/16/2015

I agree with Linda,  some how our opinions aren’t considered as seriously as they do from other professionals.  Also,  agree that there should be a charge for an opinion or advice re their property.  From my experience people don’t take seriously anything free but if you have to lay down some bucks, won’t you listen then.  Additionally, people don’t trust Realtor’s and take any advice with a pound of salt because there are those out there who are just interested in their commish and we all have met those who bring down all of our reputations.

Rick DeVoss on 08/16/2015

One lesson I have tried to learn is:  talk to your client/customer instead of trying to deal with the problem by writing an email.  Many times my written words are not interpreted the same way as I intended them.
~Why would a seller trust Other agent’s opinions more than they would the agent that they hired?  Perhaps we are getting too emotionally involved with a seller when we take a listing.  Maybe we need to underscore that we are simply there to give a professional opinion, and they have “hired” us for our sage advice.  Then if they don’t follow it, they will pay the consequences.
Perhaps out problem is that we are not charging a fee up front for our opinions.

@Linda—- I don’t believe we should need to “hire” other Realtor’s opinions.  They do not work for the seller anyway.  Same for “feedback” from a showing agent.  That agent is representing the buyer, and not getting paid by the seller.
When they go to their doctor and he/she gives them a professional opinion, do they ignore it??
When they have a legal issue and seek an attorney’s opinion, do they ignore it??
~We need to put ourselves on the same footing, and only You can let the client know that right up front.  You don’t ask a bus load of doctors to come over for a house call and give their opinion to a sick person.
But think about it:  The main difference is that a doctor is smart enough to charge them for an office visit up front.  ~When are Realtors going to figure that out??

Brenda on 08/13/2015

The tone of your voice is very important when responding to anger.  Responding in a soft tone seems to help calm them.  Also, your choice of words can sometimes worsen the situation.  Angry myself because the buyer was a spoiled brat, I remember using the word “whatever” and that just sent her to my Broker demanding I not even show up at the closing.  That was one loss I was happy to let go of.

Linda Randall on 08/10/2015

Anne, if you have weekly property tours in your area, that is a great way to get sellers to understand what you are trying to tell them they need to do to.  I have found that if I tell my sellers what needs to be done and they ignore my suggestions, they will not ignore 20-30 comment cards from other agents suggesting the same thing!  :o)

ANNE L BOKALO on 08/10/2015

My buyers have really been good.  However, my seller’s sometimes have not listened to suggestions to improve their home to sell, which leaves me angry, but I don’t show it of course. That wasn’t anything really expensive such as trim limbs away from the roof or shampoo the rug. They think things are fine and no need to do so.  As Realtor’s we see things on both sides, but what are we to do if they are harming themselves by not listening?

Lane Mabray on 08/10/2015

Bob, excellent comment. Yes, many times they do think we are just interested in the commish, but when I say “You can walk away, but I always use the example that if you’re playing tennis and don’t like the way a ball is served to you and you never try to hit it back, you will never win a game”. They usually understand that.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I had literally my first angry and unreasonable seller, who was furious because I could not get the buyer’s lender appraisal even though I explained to her that many times even the buyer doesn’t get a copy. Just that the property met the lender’s qualifications.  This was one circumstance I just let her vent.

Bob Leonard on 08/10/2015

These are all good points.  At the same time I acknowledge his/her anger, I find a way to remind him I am on his side. and that any advice I might have is in his best interest.  Also, when the other side is being difficult, it’s easy to think we may be advising in an effort to protect our commission.  Advising the client they have the option to walk away takes that off the table.

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