Depending on who you listen, the saying, the customer is always right,
can be traced back to either Marshall Field who founded well known women’s clothing stores in Chicago in the late 1800s or to Harry Gordon Selfridge, an American born retailer who made retail history in London at about the same time.
While it’s easy to remember, and points in a direction of truly being of service to your real estate clients, it’s one of those sayings that can get you into trouble. A truth is, customers and client’s are sometimes flat wrong. When they are, it’s up to you to say say no to them.
Here are some are some of the real estate client you should say no to:
Rude and abrasive customers
There is simply no need for you to put up with a real estate client who is abrasive and rude. You know the type – for whatever reason they never say please or thank you. Instead they put you and the people who work for them down. They constantly criticize, either directly or by innuendo.
It can be tempting to try to sweeten them with charm or extra service. It rarely, if ever works.
Not so by the way, they will treat your service providers the same way, which won’t earn you any points with escrow officers, landscapers, people who stage homes, etc. That poor behavior will reflect on you in ways you don’t want.
Say no to the rude and abrasive customer.
Customers who want you to cut corners
As you know, perhaps even from direct experience, there are real estate buyers and sellers who want you to cut corners. This can show up in all sorts of ways, from asking you to do things that are illegal like ignore building permits or earthquake studies, to suggesting you cut your commission.
Sometimes these corner cutters are pretty subtle; it may take you a bit to realize that they are cleverly pushing you toward something you don’t want to do. Others are more obvious.
f they trick you in to doing something illegal you could lose your license or worse. And even if it isn’t actually against the law, joining these folks in corner cutting will only make you feel sleazy about yourself.
Say no to these corner cutters just as soon as you figure out what they’re asking.
Customers with unreasonable expectations
These are the customers who expect you to move mountains just for them. Examples might include demanding the seller re-carpet the whole house at no additional charge, or insisting you list their house at top price even though they refuse to make even simple, obvious repairs.
Sellers expect unreasonable prices and quick sales; buyers want more than a bargain, often day before yesterday.
Some of these folks only need education to become reasonable. They really don’t know or understand how the real estate market works. Others border on the corner cutter we described above.
Educate those who will be educated and say no to the others.
Customers you can’t close
There are some customers you simply won’t be able to close. They won’t make a decision to buy or sell, but they’ll lead you on and on and on, wasting your time, and theirs, although they don’t seem to care about that.
It’s so tempting to keep trying with these people, because they lead you on. Some of them actually don’t’ want to say no to you! Your chances of actually getting a listing or making the sale are nil.
It’s hard to know exactly where to draw the line, but notice when you begin to suspect you’ve got a client you can’t close. Then it’s time to turn the tables a bit and suggest they contact you when they’re ready.
By the way, if may also be that some other agent will close them not long after you didn’t. Don’t worry about it. It was timing or a personality clash or who knows what. By letting this customer go, you’ve freed up your time for one who will complete a deal with you.
In what other situations should you say no to a client? Post about it in comments. We’d love to hear your thoughts.