Working With Difficult Customers


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

Managing Client Expectations

4 Simple Rules to Manage Client Expectations (Copper, Oct. 19, 2018)

The Art of Managing Client Expectations (Affirm Agency, Nov. 6, 2017)

Client Challenges and How to Handle Them (360 Training, May 11, 2017)

Stress M​anagement

What are Some Common Techniques for Stress Management? (betterhelp, Oct. 15, 2018)

Work Force Stress and Positive Coping Strategies (Evidence Based Nursing, Apr. 9, 2018)

7 Foods for Stress Relief (betternutrition, Dec. 1, 2017)

How to Fire​ Your Difficult Customers

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

How to Fire a Client (Advisor Perspectives, May 23, 2018)

8 Signs It’s Time to Fire a Bad Client & How to Do It (Search Engine Journal, May 17, 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:

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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