Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

The University of HGTV™

Working with know-it–all clients
It’s great when clients are proactive in learning about the market, but when they begin telling you how the industry works, things may get a little mucky on how to recuperate your knowledgeable status with them, avoid perturbing the client, and working without frustration to find the best suitable solution for them.

Knowing how to deal with clients is a necessity in the real estate business. Any business that requires interaction with the public demands patience and understanding; real estate is no exception. An agent needs to know how to work with clients both professionally and intellectually. As an agent, you deal with people of all walks of life, ones that know nothing about the business and tell you so, ones that are truly intelligent in the industry, and those that think they know about the trade, because they’ve watched a TV show about it. 

Dealing with the know-it-all client who has maybe done a little bit of “research,” and who believes they now possess a degree from the “University of HGTV™” (or TLC™, or where ever) is nothing short of frustrating. It’s great when clients are proactive in learning about the market, but when they begin telling you how the industry works, things may get a little mucky on how to recuperate your knowledgeable status with them, avoid perturbing the client, and working without frustration to find the best suitable solution for them.   

The know-it-all client usually becomes a problem when setting the sale price of a home. She knows the market value of her home, and there are things she can do like mowing the lawn and planting a flower to make it even more so marketable.  Well, unfortunately, you’re caught in the middle of trying to sell the house appropriately and angering the customer. How do you avoid getting stuck between the rock and the hard place?

Listen to your client

Your client is trying to make sure she’s heard, so listen loud and clear.  She wants to have a sense of control over a situation that she palpably has no charge in. 

Be patient

Hear her out rather than cutting in to justify yourself or correct your client.  The customer is always right, or at least she is in her mind, so take the time to be calm and listen.  If your client is way off, make simple non-threatening statements that cannot be mistaken for a superior attitude.  If your client feels inferior, it’s likely she will trade in, and you’ll lose the sale.   

Agree with her

Make her feel like she’s been heard and respected. If you try to argue with the client about her knowledge, she’ll likely respond defensively, and that creates more problems. Be respectful, but don’t agree just to agree. What she says will have to be corrected if it’s wrong, but gently.

Ask her questions

Be engaged with your client.  Be interested in what she want, and what she says.  Ask questions about how big her family is, how old are the kids, if she has any pets and such, to get a peak into her lifestyle.  She’ll feel included and important.

Haggle (a little!)

If your client still won’t budge about something like the listing price, you’ll have to haggle, a little, to get it in a reasonable range.  If you don’t list it appropriately the house won’t sell and you both will end up wasting time and effort. 

Make her feel special

Be kind to those that graduated from TV-University; show them the reality of the market isn’t always as glamorous as it appears on TV, but don’t offend their intellect.

If she feels special she’s more likely to listen to your words of wisdom. Show that you’re impressed with her knowledge and that she is making valuable contributions.  When she feels special, she is more compromising and willing to listen to your suggestions. 

Be kind to those that graduated from TV-University; show them the reality of the market isn’t always as glamorous as it appears on TV, but don’t offend their intellect. Be respectful and agreeable and show them to trust you as the professional they hired.