As a real estate agent, you spend a great deal of time soliciting to build your roster. The goal is generally to garner clients that will give you repeat business—and good word of mouth. As such, the thought of ending a client relationship may seem unfathomable. However, success—for both you and your clients—depends on a solid working relationship. Sometimes breaking up with difficult real estate clients is the best thing you can do for both parties.
Reasons to end a client relationship
There are several reasons why you would need to end a client relationship. The most common types of difficult real estate clients include individuals who are rude, dismissive, abusive, or downright disrespectful. They aren’t considerate of your time or efforts and express that every chance they get.
Time wasters are another type of difficult real estate client you may encounter. These people are just testing the waters—effectively expecting you to do a lot of busy work with no intention of making a move anytime soon. Then, there are those with unrealistic expectations. Part of an agent’s job is to manage expectations, but only if the client is willing to accept the information. Difficult real estate clients are often unable or unwilling to understand and accept the realities of the market.
Advice for breaking up with difficult real estate clients
Once you’ve surmised that you’ve got difficult real estate clients with whom you are not going to have success, the next step is to end the relationship. But how can you do so without burning bridges?
In most instances, it’s best to be honest, concise and firm. Any conversations that you have verbally should be documented in writing as well, as a point of reference for both of you. The client has the right to know why you have opted out of continuing to work together. Ending the relationship not only gives them an opportunity to find an agent with whom they might be a better fit, but it also helps them recognize any bad behaviors that may hinder them from success with the next person.
In the end, everyone wins
Ultimately, breaking up with difficult real estate clients can be a challenge. However, when handled efficiently, everyone wins. After the breakup, your clients are free to find another real estate agent who has a working style more like their own. You are able to keep your reputation intact and focus on those individuals with whom you’ve established a positive working relationship. Plus, you have more time to devote to advancing your real estate career.
McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at mckissock.com/real-estate.