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 & Strategies for Working with Difficult Customers
How to Deal With a Difficult (or Angry) Customer: 16 Tips (HubSpot, Dec. 15, 2021)
- Practice reflective listening
- Consider their affect heuristic
- Tap into the beginner's mind
- Let go of fear
- Remember, anger is natural
- Use your support resources
The Comeback: How to Handle the 12 Most Common Client Objections (Rocket, Aug. 4, 2021)
Useful counters to hesitation-related objections, commission-related objections, experience-related objections, competing agent-related objections, and dissatisfaction-related objections.
10 Powerful Steps to Defuse Angry Customers
, Sep. 11, 2020)
“Dissatisfied customers are, unfortunately, a fact of business life. How you respond will determine whether the customer goes on to tell all his friends and family how terrible your business is or instead rave about your unmatched customer service. Here are 10 things you can do to turn the situation around.”
Managing Client Expectations
5 Steps to Follow for Successful Client Management (the ascent, Aug. 5, 2022)
- Set expectations
- Set up a line of communication
- Reach out
- Make recommendations
- Develop specific deliverables
12 Rules to Better Manage Client Expectations Early On (Small Business Trends, Aug. 9, 2021)
“The best way to end up with a happy client, however, is to manage these expectations early on. If you don’t, and a client feels as though they should have gotten more from your business but didn’t, their testimony could severely damage your future business and your reputation.”
13 Ways to Have Difficult Conversations with Clients (Forbes, Jun. 17, 2021)
Prepare the conversation, be honest and address concerns, hold a strong Code of Ethics, converse via in-person or phone, be informed, empathetic and inclusive, build a track record for success, listen to client concerns and needs, consider the client’s expectations, leverage your experience and expertise, and maintain regular conversations with clients.
Stress Management for Buyers and Sellers
Am I Annoying My Realtor? 7 Things Buyers Do That Real Estate Agents Hate (realtor.com®, Aug. 3, 2022)
Beyond annoying your REALTOR®, these traits could prevent the transaction. Aesthetics can be changed, discretion can avoid disaster, and procrastination, ignoring the seller’s preferences, or lowballing could lose the house.
How to Avoid Homebuyer's Remorse (the balance, Mar. 10, 2022)
Revisit your list of wants versus needs in a home, and make sure the house you're purchasing matches up. Well-meaning friends may question your decision, but your real estate agent has more knowledge about the market and can ease your concerns. Your homebuyer's remorse could be valid if you discover issues with the property's title, home inspection, appraisal value, or your financing.
Stress Management for REALTORS®
Dealing with Unreasonable Home Buyers and Sellers
(Real Estate Agent
, Jan. 18, 2022)
Listen to your clients, set expectations moving forward, and communicate as often as possible.
5 Tips for Alleviating Clients’ Stress (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 7, 2020)
- Create a list
- Set up presale inspection
- Keep emotions to a minimum
- Work face-to-face
- Be upfront
Parting Ways with Difficult Customers
Breaking Up with Difficult Real Estate Clients (McKissock Learning, Sep. 21, 2022)
Any conversations that you have verbally should be documented in writing as well, as a point of reference for both of you. The client has the right to know why you have opted out of continuing to work together. Ending the relationship not only gives them an opportunity to find an agent with whom they might be a better fit, but it also helps them recognize any bad behaviors that may hinder them from success with the next person.
How to Fire a Client (+ Free Breakup Letter for Agents) (Fit Small Business, Aug. 24, 2021)
A step-by-step guide on how to fire a real estate client includes: How to identify what types of client behavior fit into the category of fireable offenses, how to protect yourself and your credibility if you do find that it’s necessary to fire one of your real estate clients, and a free template letter for breaking up with a client to use when needed.
10 Ways to Respectfully 'Break Up' with a Client (Forbes, Mar. 26, 2020)
“Like an interpersonal relationship, a client "breakup" can have severe repercussions on how the company is seen, both by their existing customers and any potential leads they might have. Ten members of Forbes Agency Council discuss the best way that a business can let a problematic client down easy so that the broken relationship doesn't impact its other prospects.”
Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual
National Association of REALTORS®
Helping NAR members understand the risks they face through knowledge, awareness, and empowerment.
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.
Learn the leadership, management and personal effectiveness skills you need for a happy, successful career.
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.
Customer Relations Resources
Courses, articles, webinars and much more from SCORE.
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Working with Difficult People (Audiobook)
How to Deal with Difficult Customers (eBook)
Hug Your Haters (eBook)
Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People (eBook)
Winning with the Customer from Hell (eBook)
Dealing with Difficult People: 24 Lessons for Bringing Out the Best in Everyone (eBook)
The Customer Service Survival Kit (eBook)
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 (eBook)
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