Should You Ever Fire a Real Estate Client?

February 13, 2019

You will get varying opinions on the question: Should an agent ever fire a real estate client? The truth is, it’s not cut and dried. Some people will urge you to let go of a client if it’s not working out or if they’ve been blatantly disrespectful toward you. However, some hold on to the fact that once you sign the listing agreement, you owe it to the seller to stick it out until the home is sold.

Consider these factors if you are working with a difficult client and considering pulling the plug on the relationship.

Ask yourself these questions:

How did the listing presentation go?

Did the client seem enthusiastic about your strategy? How did they react when you told them about your great track record of selling homes? If the client is enthusiastic and supportive of the marketing plan to sell their home, you can be confident that going forward, the rest of the deal will go smoothly.

However, take note of any signs of hesitation or if they challenge your approach for selling the home. This could be a sign that you don’t see eye to eye on the sale of the home, which could lead to issues down the road.

Do they take your advice?

As your relationship progresses and you begin showing the house to potential buyers, how does your client react when you share your advice? If you’re staging their home for an open house, are they open to your suggestions to scale down flashy décor and let in some natural light? If your client is resistant to your recommendations, then they are prohibiting you from doing your job well. Remember, you’re the expert, and you know how to get their house sold for the best price in the quickest amount of time. If the client wants to be the only one to call the shots, this could spell disaster.

Are they dragging down the rest of your business?

Does your client call you at all times of the day and night? Do they treat you less like an agent with years of experience and more like hired help? If your client is taking advantage of your time and/or being disrespectful, you should seriously consider whether or not to continue the partnership. If they are exhausting your resources, this makes you less available to other clients and can have a negative impact on your business overall.

Another thing that drags down your business? Negative reviews. If it’s not a match made in heaven, it isn’t your fault or the client’s, but you owe it to yourself to break off the relationship if it is not going well, because you run the risk of getting a bad review.

Other things you should consider:

You work for free until you sell their home

As you’re well aware, agents don’t make a dime until the home is sold. So, gauge the relationship. Do you see it ending in the seller taking the house off the market because you can’t agree on a successful plan of action to get the home sold? If there is a doubt in your mind that you won’t be able to sell the home because of “creative differences,” you might be better off getting out now so you don’t waste any more of your time working for free!

New agents might not have an option

If you are a new agent, keep in mind that you may not have a choice but to see this thing through to the end. Agents who are just starting out need to build their portfolio of homes sold. If you’re new to the game, you may not have other options than the client you’re currently working with because you’re still building your sphere of influence.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you come across a new real estate client, to measure whether the relationship will be successful. Also, make sure that you keep in touch with current and past clients by sending out scheduled newsletters that your sphere of influence will come to know and depend on. If you’re not set up with your own real estate newsletter yet, click to learn more.

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