Recently I had a great question from a YouTube Subscriber: “Could you please do a video on how to deal with a mean, nasty seller that texts you complaints, threats and gives you abuse all day. I have never given a listing back.”. SherryP on YouTube
No client pays you enough to be abusive. Here is a simple approach for how to deal with a rude, abusive client:
When you follow this plan, you will love working with your clients and you will feel great about yourself.
Now, that’s pretty dramatic, right? All day long you’re gonna be texting me abuse and threats? I have never given a listing back, and this question is from Sherry P. on YouTube. So, Sherry, thank you for the question. It’s an awesome question, because, look, “Who hasn’t dealt with a rude client?” The question is how do you deal with a rude client? Because there are good ways and there are bad ways to deal with it.
So, in this video I want to lay out four step, four strategies for how to deal with and how to relieve this tension, relieve the fighting, relieve the adversarial relationship between you and a client who is nasty, mean, and rude. And so there are really four things that you have to pay attention to. Number one, is you’ve got to decide what is your personal standard. Which means what am I willing to put up with? Am I willing to work with somebody that is, let’s just say extra grace required type personality.
They’re somebody that requires a little grace that you know that you’re gonna have to put up with some crap. Are you willing to work with people who are a little hard to work with? Or not? So, that’s one of the first decisions that really you need to make for your own business and yourself is, I mean, my approach is, the way I look at it is, I only wanna dance with people that wanna dance with me. However, when you’ve got a motivated seller, and they need to move, and they need your help, and they know, and you know they, you can help them, and you get the listing, and they turn out to be mad or angry, or rude, or they got a chip on their shoulder, or they never trust anything you say. I wanna do the deal. I want to help them, and I wanna get paid for all the work and all the hassle that I’ve gone through, right?
So, you’ve gotta make a decision, how much of that am I willing to put up with? Now, the reality is most real estate agents are willing to put up with more than they probably should. I just want you to be clear about it, because if you’re clear about what you’re willing to put up with, then you feel good about what you’re doing. I don’t like this guy, I don’t like this lady. She’s a pain. Whatever, but I feel good about what I’m doing and my decision to work with her. If it hits this certain point, then I’m just gonna be willing to cut my losses.
But you’ve gotta decide your standard of who you’re gonna work with and what you’re willing to put up with. And so, you decide on your own values, your own situation, am I willing to put up with this, this, and this? Have some self respect, right? Because what you’ll find is that when you work with people that treat you great, you enjoy it more, and you can do more deals. You can do more transactions. You can spend one … You can spend so much time with one of those impossible to please clients that you could’ve found more clients that were easy to work with while you were trying to please this one impossible client, because you didn’t want to lose a deal or lose a commission.
So, decide on what is my standard? What am I willing to put up with? Now, in Sherry’s case, she said I’ve never given a listing back. Well, there may be a time you’re gonna need to give a listing back, and when you do, don’t look at it going “Oh, I failed. I broke my perfect record.” Well look, I don’t know anybody that’s ever done anything great that has a perfect record, right? A perfect record, like “Well I’ve never given a listing back …” Forget about that. It doesn’t matter. What matters is, are you serving with great value? Are you enjoying what you’re doing, getting fulfillment and helping other people? That’s what matters, and it’s not gonna work out perfect every time. So, you’ve gotta decide on your standard.
Now, number two. You’ve got this client. They’re texting you. They’re mad. They’re threatening you. They’re giving you this kind of abuse. Here’s the next step, is you gotta ask yourself “Why am I getting this pushback? Why are they doing this?” The reason this question is important is because it may be that they’re a jerk. It may be just them, right? I mean, critics criticize. Jerks jerk. That’s just what they do, right? If they’re that way, they’re going to be that way.
But it also could be a reflection of sometimes people push back, or they treat people a certain way to protect themselves, because they’re scared, because they’re not feeling safe. They don’t feel secure. So, ask yourself “Why are they pushing back? Is it because it’s just the way they are and nothing I can do is gonna change it? Or is it just telling me ‘You know what? I think they think that I’m working against them. I think they’re feeling like they’re having to be on my back and watching me because they think I’m just in it for myself'”
Does that make sense? And it’s a totally different thing. If they’re just a jerk and that’s the way they’re gonna be, then you have to manage their jerkiness. But if it’s a lack of trust, if it’s that they don’t feel safe, I’m gonna manage their distrust in a different way because I can actually address that, which then leads to step number three, and that is once you figure out why are they acting this way, my next step is I wanna have a straight forward, I’m just gonna call it a straight up talk, how about that?
We’re gonna have a straight up talk. We’re gonna have a heart to heart talk. Look, there is very thing, very few things in the world more powerful in a relationship then a straight forward conversation. Now, I know it’s crazy that agents somehow want to avoid these straight forward conversations. It’s like, well, “Yeah, but I’m afraid if I tell them that, they’re gonna be that, this. They’re gonna react this way or whatever.” And? If you don’t, they’re already acting that way.
So, why not confront it in a gracious, professional, calm way and simply say “You know what?I think we need to have a conversation. I think I wanna just clear the air here. I don’t wanna muddy the waters, I just wanna have a conversation, and make sure, or get us on the same page, because right now I think the problem is that you think I’m working for me, and I’m not working for you, and the whole time I’m working for you. That my job is to help you get the best result. I’m on, I’m actually on your side, but I get the feeling that you think I’m trying to sneak something in on you, or I’m trying to pull a fast one. So I just wanna have a conversation about that.”
And have a straight forward conversation. Now have this conversation with them about why are they being that way. Okay? Now let me just give you a couple of examples. One, they don’t trust you. They’ve had a bad experience before. Now I have a straight forward conversation, I bring it up, and they go like “Oh, I know, and I apologize. I’ve had this past experience, blah, blah, blah.” And you’re like “Oh, that makes sense. Well, let me just make, just get us a fresh start here. I am not gonna do that. That is not me. That was that person. I’m not that person. So can we just start fresh and know that I am gonna do everything in my power to represent your best interest at every moment?”
Now, if you’re in it just for yourself, and you’re trying to get just a commission check, they have a right to not trust you. So, if you’re watching this and you’re one of those agents that’s just in it for the money, and you’re, you take advantage of people, then I I would fire your butt so fast. But if you’re like most great agents, if you’re conscientious, and you’re caring, and you care about the client and their best interest, then a straight forward conversation is gonna deal with it.
Now, the second way, the second example was I had, and I’ve had multiple clients like this, but I had one client I remember, that he abused my assistant. He would call my office and he would just rail on Kristen. He would just nail, he would just go all over her, and this happened twice. The first time I didn’t know what to do with it, and she was fine, I’m going like “Oh that’s just … Hopefully it won’t happen again.” Well, it happened again.
So, I had to ask myself “Why is he being that way?” And I had no idea. He was mad because that probably the property wasn’t selling as fast or whatever, and he had, he was desperate and all that kind of stuff. So, he calls again and gets onto her. Well now I immediately call him back, and I just said “Mr. Seller, I am sorry that you are upset. What’s going on? Da, da, da, da. Okay, cool.”
So, I talked to him. We have a straight forward conversation about the issue he’s upset about, we deal with it, and then I say “So Mr. Seller, I need to talk to you about one other thing. I do not pay my assistant enough for her to take being attacked by a client. And as much as I am on your side, I also protect my staff, and my team, and if you’re upset about something I understand that, but you, I can’t allow you, I won’t allow you to yell and swear at her. Because it’s just not appropriate, and I’m not, I don’t pay her enough for her to take, to be abused by you.”
And we just, after I resolved the issue and then I had that straight forward conversation with him, I just basically let him know I was standing up to him in a way that was polite, it was professional, but look, this isn’t appropriate, and I’m gonna stand up and confront it. I just, you need to have a straight up talk. You need to have a straight forward conversation. I’m gonna tell you a little secret in life, and that is you probably need to have a lot of these in your life. You may, with your family, you may need to have a straight up conversation with your wife or your husband, or with your parents, your kids. There’s, maybe your manager.
There are some people in this world that if you haven’t been … If you got, if you’re holding on to something, or they’re holding onto something, the power of a straight forward conversation to clear the air, to relive stress, to heal a relationship is unbelievably powerful. So, straight forward conversations. Are they easy? Nope. Are they tough? Can be very tough. Do they always work out great? Not always. But the alternative is you know it’s not gonna work out great. So, have the straight forward conversation.
And then the fourth strategy, the fourth strategy … If you’ve done this, you’ve done this, you’ve done this, and they’re still gonna be a jerk, and they’re still gonna abuse you, and you’re just like “This is too much”, right? And you’re just at that point, then here’s the next thing you need to do, is you just need to say “You’re fired.” Don’t be afraid of that. Sometimes ending the relationship, ending the work, the client-agent relationship is the right thing to do.
And I’m gonna tell you, will you potentially lose a commission? Yes. But what you’ll gain is, one, so much more joy and fulfillment in your work. Two, that you’ll be able to go out and get more deals, and you’re gonna gain self respect that you had the courage and the strength to say, “You know what? It’s more than money. This is about how I’m treated, and I don’t need, I don’t have to be treated this way, and I don’t have to take, I don’t have to take this.”
And when you do that, the other benefit of this, is you will feel this amazing sense of freedom and control over your business and your life. Now, the beauty of it is, it’s rarely gonna come to this. It’s not gonna come to this most of the time. But when it needs to, just get it done. Just take care of it. The main thing is don’t let this seller, don’t let this client consume your day. It’s just, you don’t have time. You don’t have time for it, and they don’t deserve to be able to steal your day. To steal, to stress you out all the time.
You’ve gotta be able to deal with it, let it go, and keep moving on. If the only way to do that is to cut the ties, cut the ties. If you can deal with it with these strategies, which most of the time you can, then deal with it. And you’ll find this is amazingly, just one, asking why are they fastened this way, gives you a great sense of empathy and putting yourself in their shoes, and then two, having the straight forward conversation.
You may find out something you didn’t know. And then, there is nothing more powerful than a healed relationship. In fact, I’ve had sellers who started out, they didn’t trust me, they started out being, trying to overbearing, and trying to control everything, and it was because they didn’t trust. And once we had the straight forward conversation, and I let them, I made it crystal clear and reassured them “I am here for you. I’m representing your best interests. It’s not me against you, it’s you and me together. It’s us against the world, okay? I’m gonna take your house and I’m gonna represent you and I’m gonna get it sold for top dollar and get you the best results possible.”
And once they came to terms with that, they turned into some of my most loyal clients ever. And you’ll find that. That when you go through that tough journey of having the conversation, of clearing the air, “Ahh. It’s beautiful on the other side.” So do this. Don’t be afraid. When you got the client, make it happen. Go out there, play to win, always expect YES, and remember that your responsibility is to be the best.
Now, if you like this video, give it a thumbs up, make any comments or questions you have down below. Share this with other agents that you know, because I guarantee you they deal with some of these people too, and I’ll talk to you real soon.