As we get into the fall and winter season, now is not the time to rest. It’s time to ramp up.

We’ve all heard the story of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant works hard all summer, and the grasshopper is lazy. Then, the grasshopper has to ask for the ant’s help over the winter because he has no food.

You need to be prepared going into 2018, so make sure these last couple months are some of the busiest months that you do.

Clients this time of year can be a little bit difficult to work with, so I want to offer a few strategies to help you deal with difficult clients.

We’ve all had that client who started out specifically looking for a small house only to suddenly ask for a third-floor condo with no elevator. It can definitely be frustrating.

So, how do you handle a difficult client?

First of all, don’t be afraid to educate your client. Thanks to the internet, buyers are more educated than ever. However, you are still the expert. You are the professional. You need to make sure that you have given the client direction.

Listen to the client’s wants and needs, but don’t let them dominate the decision-making process. It is still your job to provide guidance and help your client make the most informed decision possible. Otherwise, they may not be happy with their house—or the service you provided.

“Buyers may be more educated but you are still the expert.”

For example, when the client tries to make a lowball offer, you really have to educate them about the potential pitfalls of that offer. A low offer often means a higher counter offer. A low offer may even offend the seller to the point where the seller will not cover closing costs or repairs.

When you make a recommendation to a difficult client, make sure you back that recommendation up with some data. Show them specific examples of clients you’ve helped through similar situations. If you’re working with a seller, show them comparable properties and explain your pricing strategy. Everyone wants to get the most money possible for their home, but you know that overpricing is not the way to get top dollar. Help the seller understand that.

Being prepared with credible market trends and home sales data can help set the tone for less emotional negotiations. Data-driven recommendations will prevent clients from doing their own research, which is often incorrect.

It’s nothing personal; it’s business. You are there to represent your client as a neutral party.

If a client asks a difficult question that you don’t know the answer to, be honest. Say, “I’m not sure. Let me do some research and get back to you.” They will definitely appreciate you for that.

Remember, there will always be demanding homebuyers and sellers. By listening to them and addressing their concerns, you can ensure your clients have the best real estate experience possible.

Use these tactics to hang onto those difficult winter clients and you will set yourself up for a great 2018. If you have any questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!