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Put A Hold On Your Personal Feelings

In the course of doing business with a client, agents sometimes have a need to reveal their personal lives and opinions that they may have.

Most of them think that they are establishing “rapport” with the client and perhaps they are—in a perfect world.

But does everything go perfectly in a real estate transaction? Usually not, and that is why the expertise of a good agent is invaluable in keeping the transaction on track to a closing.

How do clients handle the ups and downs of the typical real estate transaction? In some cases OK but in very many of them, the worst comes out in the attitude of the clients resulting in actual anger. We agents know that it will generally work itself out and close, with careful counseling and lots of patience. But when the client feels out of the cycle of everything being good, they of course must place the blame somewhere and it is always you, the agent.

That is when the call comes in to the Broker to “handle” the issues, because their co-workers and relatives have told them that Brokers, are in charge of the agents, who have caused all the negative things that have happened.

Now here is where the information that you shared with the client about your personal life comes in. For instance, one client told me that the agent had too many personal sob stories about her own current life and they therefore wanted a different agent because their agent was incapable of concentrating and doing their business. Hence—the problems they are now encountering have been created, in their opinion, because of the agent’s ineptitude and not caring about them.

Another deal that I received a complaint on outlined many things that were wrong with the agent in an incredibly long letter to our office. I asked the agent to respond so that I could salve the client’s feelings.

I received a very long chronicle that started off about the client ranting and raving and that her complaint has no merit. And this may very well be the true story but I cannot send a reply like that to the client.

It took time to build up a trust so that the client would buy a house from us and to kill that trust at this point is “pointless” although, it will be very hard to salvage any of that trust. How many people will hear about our company’s incompetency and complete disregard for the client’s business or feelings?

And after an explanation that was so negatively written, a positive result could never be expected, it was signed with this salutation: Oh, by the way….my business is based on referrals from friends and family like you.

Sending an answer like this to the client will only serve to further infuriate the client.

I had a couple of other complaints where agents had replied VERY negatively in writing by email and we had to coach them about that issue.

Both replied as to their points they were trying to make. I tried to get the message across to them that their points don’t matter.

Like Stew Leonard says on the rock outside his grocery store in Connecticut,

Rule # 1—The Customer is Always Right!

Rule # 2—If the Customer is Wrong, Refer to Rule # 1.

And unfortunately, when a client gets irritated with an agent, they usually say that they will never do business with anyone from the company, thereby a thousand other people also very innocently become the culprits and they don’t even know about it.

So the issue was not the points the agents were trying to get across as to the reason for their negative response to the client, but rather that in order to see progress in your business---PUT A HOLD ON YOUR PERSONAL


- Bob Stephens