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How to Fire a Real Estate Client Gracefully

Posted by Jessica Schweppe

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Feb 17, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Agent Insights: This week, Doug Rogers brings us another great guest post about how to fire a Real Estate client gracefully. No agent likes to let go of business, but sometimes circumstances just don't play out right and you have to cut someone loose. So how do you initiate an amicable split? 

Here's Doug:

Doug-RogersThe excitement of working with a new client begins to fade as the showings mount up. Perhaps they write low-ball offers or refuse to keep the listing show ready. Whatever the case may be, at some you have to pull the plug.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Firing a Client:

  1. Will this relationship end in a check?
    Much like the world's oldest profession, real estate is all about the bucks. Ever worked with a client you KNEW would never buy or sell? Yep, me too.

  2. Are the clients being realistic based on the market?
    Would your buyer's offer been laughed at even during The Great Recession? Good luck getting that junk offer laced with concessions to be taken seriously in a seller's market.

  3. Who Is REALLY calling the shots?
    The name on the title indicates the owner, not necessarily the decision maker. Parents selling their home in Memphis may have know-it-all kids in Kansas telling them what to do.

  4. Are they missing or chronically late for appointments?
    I respect my client's time, so a client who can't respect my time will not remain a client for long.

  5. Do They Take Your Advice?
    If not, that's a big red flag. You're the expert, and your expertise is what they're paying you for!

  6. Are you dealing with a correctable issue?
    If so, talk to your client and be specific about what needs to change. Pay very close attention to how this conversation goes - you'll have to use your judgment to decide the fate of the relationship.
     

If you Decide to Fire the Client, End the Business Relationship Gracefully:

  1. Make the choice to terminate a business relationship:
    Don't waffle - if you decide that you need to move on - decide to do it and stick to your guns.

  2. Write down specific reasons why you are ending the relationship:
    Not only will it help you if your client has further questions, you can also refer back to this list in moments of weakness.

  3. Formally end the relationship:
    The best way to manage this is to have a face-to-face meeting in your office. If there are safety concerns, the phone is your next best option. Whatever you do, don't have this discussion in the driveway at the end of a home tour (...I have done this) or while the seller is cooking dinner for her kids (...yep, been there too).

Let's be honest - firing a client means you are missing an opportunity for a pay check, right? Not necessarily. Difficult clients can be draining of your time, gas money and energy. Imagine all the LOST business opportunities this client may have cost you!

Be sure to treat the soon-to-be fired client with respect and dignity. But most importantly, move on. Real estate is a numbers game!


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