Do you feel that you have to work with all clients, no matter how difficult they are? They may be more trouble than they're worth. Find out how to manage expectations, deal with difficult clients, and how to fire them. Also learn about the effects of workplace stress and what you can do to manage it.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Tips for Dealing With Difficult People

Tips & Strategies for Working with Difficult Customers

How to Handle Difficult People (and Still Achieve Your Business Goals) (Forbes, Aug. 21, 2019)

How to Deal With (Seriously) Dysfunctional Clients (Investopedia, Jun. 25, 2019)

Dealing with Difficult Clients: 7 Approaches to Transform Challenging Client Relationships (Forbes, May 29, 2019)

Dealing with Difficult Clients in Your Home Business (The Balance, Apr. 22, 2019)

Difficult Clients are a Part of Business – How You Handle Them Sets You Apart (The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, Dec. 12, 2018)

Managing Client Expectations

Is Life Balance Possible in Real Estate? (RISMedia, Nov. 19, 2019)

Managing Your Client’s Expectations More Effectively (RISMedia, Oct. 22, 2019)

Set Healthy Boundaries with Your Clients (REALTOR® Magazine, Jul. 30, 2019)

Why Lack of Boundaries Can Lead to Burnout (Psychology Today, Feb. 5, 2019)

Stress M​anagement

Coping with Stress at Work (American Psychological Association, October 2019)

How to Handle Workplace Stress (U.S. News, Jul. 22, 2019)

Managing Your Stress as a Real Estate Agent (RISMedia, Jun. 27, 2019)

How to Practice Mindfulness in Real Estate (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 22, 2019)

Parting Ways with Difficult Customers

Ways to Tell When It’s Time to Fire a Client (The Balance, Jun. 25, 2019)

“You’re Fired!” What to do When a Client Rejects You (The Balance, Apr. 24, 2019)

Nine Ways to Effectively and Professionally ‘Break Up’ With a Client (Forbes, Dec. 6, 2018)

How to Tell a Time-Wasting Client, “You’re Fired!” (REALTOR® Magazine, Jul. 10 2018)

Useful We​bsites

Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual — National Association of REALTORS®

Safety - Helping NAR members understand the risks they face through knowledge, awareness, and empowerment.

HelpGuide — A trusted non-profit guide to mental health and well-being.

The American Institute of Stress — The mission of AIS is to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence of stress management in education, research, clinical care and the workplace.

MindTools — Learn the leadership, management and personal effectiveness skills you need for a happy, successful career.

Active Rain — ActiveRain is a community of real estate professionals who exchange ideas to grow their business. It provides a way for agents and other real estate industry contributors to connect, share, and learn.

eBooks & O​ther Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Dealing with Difficult People: 24 Lessons for Bringing Out the Best in Everyone (eBook, Kindle)

The Customer Service Survival Kit (eBook, Kindle)

Advanced Facilitation Strategies: Tools & Techniques to Master Difficult Situations (eBook)

Conversations for Change: 12 Ways to Say It Right When It Matters Most (eBook)

Coping With Difficult People in Business and in Life (Audiobook)

De-Escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less (Audiobook)

How People Tick: A Guide to Over 50 Types of Difficult People and How to Handle Them (eBook)

Perfect Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People (eBook)

Working with Difficult People (Kindle, eBook)

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.



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