Panic, regret, frustration, fear. Real estate agents witness it all. Here’s how to keep your clients’ emotions – and your own – in check.
1. Expect emotions
The first step in handling emotions properly is to fully expect them. When you’re helping someone through a process as life changing as selling or buying a home, you have to expect that emotions will be heightened.
2. Know the triggers
Try to understand why your clients feel the way they do. Things might be unfolding differently than they expected. They may not fully understand the process. Or financial worries may be in play. The list goes on and on. Prepare yourself by anticipating their concerns and offering solutions.
3. Measure expectations
Make sure their expectations are realistic. Help them understand that they may have to make compromises. Ask them what their expectations are and bring them closer to reality by using market statistics and your local knowledge and personal experiences.
4. Remain in control
It’s unsettling to feel like a situation is spiralling out of control. Good communication can ensure this doesn’t happen. Make sure your clients know what’s happening at every stage of the process. Clearly explain what they can expect and what’s expected of them, and always keep them in the loop.
Aretha Franklin was right. Respect that your clients may not understand every detail of the transaction process. It might be completely new to them. When you’re dealing with demanding clients, it’s easy to become frustrated and fail to treat them with the respect they deserve. Take a step back and breathe.
6. Avoid overwhelm
It’s easy for clients to become overwhelmed. There are so many details to worry about and so many decisions to make. The cure for overwhelm is to get them out of the big picture and focus on a single piece of the puzzle at a time. Keep reminding them of the progress they’ve made.
7. Don’t panic
Make a ‘don’t panic’ rule. This way, when a client starts to panic, you can ask them, “what’s the rule?” This causes them to stop thinking about whatever it is they’re panicking about and start trying to remember what the rule is. It’s a simple way to break the panic cycle.
8. Foster trust
When a client engages you, they’ve decided to trust you – and you need to continue to build on that trust. Always keep your word, do what you’ll say you’ll do and don’t promise something you can’t deliver.
9. It’s not personal
When emotions do fly, don’t take it personally (even if it seems like it is). If something goes wrong in a transaction, you’re the easiest person to blame and your clients don’t want to hear excuses. Make it your mission to keep the transaction running as smoothly as possible. Open communication is key.
10. Take a break
Bad days will happen. Clients will get mad. Emotions will fly. But on the flip side, you’ll see some wonderful emotions as well. You have your own emotions too and dealing with intense transactions can be draining. It’s important to take a break once in a while to recharge your batteries. You have to take care of yourself first or you’ll have nothing left to offer your clients.