Do you set rules with clients?

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03/30/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

You'd do just about anything for your clients, right? Before you give prospects and clients a chance to test how far you're willing to go to please them, consider setting professional boundaries up front that address issues like these.

  • Availability. Are you willing to respond to clients’ calls, texts, and emails 24/7, or do you want to shut off at a certain time?
  • Safety. Will you require prospective buyers to meet you at a safe location, such as your brokerage office, before viewing properties?
  • Communication. Let clients know if you prefer to answer certain questions over the phone or in person—instead of by text message or email—to avoid any potential confusion.
  • Cooperation. Remind prospects and clients of the role they play in helping the transaction run smoothly, like responding to information requests quickly.
  • Bad behavior. Buying or selling real estate can be stressful, but there's a difference between clients venting frustration and verbally abusing you. Let them know you won’t tolerate the latter.

What rules do you enforce when working with clients? Share yours in the comments below. 

Categories: Business tips
Tags: business tips, buyers, sellers, client relations


Lynn on 12/19/2015

This is so very true; especially when we do not have just one client; we have many and all clients need our time.  We ourselves are our own clients.  We have to take care of ourselves and enforce our boundaries because no one else will.  If we neglect ourselves we are setting ourselves up for failure.  In the 42 years I’ve been in this industry [albeit commercial] I have been able to protect my time off and evenings.  And it is interesting that those very few times that I caved and met with someone they did not do anything.  They went away.  It’s also more than respecting time.  I set communication boundaries I.e.  I ask them to e-mail me and include their phone number with the e-mail as it expedites my calling them if that is necessary.  I also do not text, only rare occasions I.e. An attorney client asked me to text him because he was in court all day.  And probably the biggest is that when they call me, leave a message.  If they do not leave a message I have no clue that they are trying to get a hold of me.

Kimberly Dixon Dudley on 04/03/2015

This was a good reminder…people will push the boundaries if you’re not careful in creating them upfront. Reasonable availability, safety, communication, cooperation and good behavior are a few uncompromising standards that all agents should maintain to ensure a solid and professional transaction.

Mike E. on 04/03/2015

I am in wholehearted agreement with Bob.  Well said, I cannot add anything, very concise.

THERESA AKIN on 04/02/2015

I let the client know I’m available to talk from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.  They can text me before or after and if I can I will call. If it’s an emergency that takes precedence as always. I prefer to meet at the office. If they are sitting in front of the property (if they’re the buyer), I tell them we need to discuss the process before looking at any property.  I want to see a preapproval from their lender or proof of funds and we need a buyer rep agreement in place. They need to know the process. I do a background check on everyone I work with. I will pay to check them out. One needs to be careful of the potential buyer or seller.

Aleshia Sandel on 04/02/2015

I somewhat agree however, I will say this…if you are new to a market and are relying upon paid for buyer and or seller leads in a competitive market you are basically working around the clock to gain the advantage over these leads from what the other agents receiving the same lead will not do.

Its NOT ideal I concede, however it is necessary to gain the advantage and get the lead to contact you.

Irene Pence on 03/30/2015

I agree with Bob entirely, people respect your time but only if you establish reasonable expectations to begin with.  It’s about boundaries on BOTH sides.  And, don’t violate your own boundaries!  It may be tempting to respond to an email at 10pm just because you’re viewing and wrapping your day in advance of starting the next day;  but, wait and respond the next day if possible.  Accepting a Buyer or Seller Client is most definitely a “dual two-way interview” and decision from the get go, no one likes to fire or get fired.  Have expectation discussions in the beginning and it establishes your commitment and their expectations.  It’s so easy to do, and so often overlooked.  Agents are too concerned with grasping, adopting and capturing every lead, instead of establishing a mutually rewarding business relationship so that Client expectations, and Agent’s willingness to delivery those expectations, are compatible.  Don’t be afraid to let go of a Client whose expectations are not realistic to begin with, on any level, whether time, pricing or services.  You will soon be their first agent they identify their disappointments about when they talk to the second agent they move on to if unspoken expectations are not met.

Bob Leonard on 03/30/2015

Regarding Availability: I have found that, if you set boundaries up front, it’s not a problem.  People really will respect your time if you just tell them.  It’s only an issue when we don’t say anything and they don’t know it’s not ok to call at 10pm or work Sundays.

Communication:  Just ask up front what form of communication they prefer.  I promise that makes it easier in the long run.

Bad Behavior:  Life is too short to deal with mean people.  I have no problem firing anyone who thinks it’s ok to disrespect me or my time.

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