When to Drop a Client

By: Jen

As realtors, we devote so much time and energy to finding and keeping clients, we have no time left to think about when it is best to drop a client. But the truth is, sometimes the realtor-client relationship just doesn't work out and in these cases, it is best to end the association before it turns toxic. This is my short list of when to drop a client. While I wrote this from the perspective of a realtor, the same points can easily apply to people in other industries, from lawyers, to mortgage brokers, to handymen.

1) A client wants to engage in illegal behavior or wants you to engage in illegal behavior. No client is important enough to risk losing your license and/or reputation. No client is important enough to risk going to jail. Even if the behavior is legal, but ethically questionable, it is best to back away.

2) A client thinks that you should spend twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week working for them and zero hours working for your other clients. Every client is important and at one time or another deserves your undivided attention, but you can not spend so much time on one demanding client that the rest of your client base suffers. Any client who is so unreasonable that he/she demands this kind of attention isn't worth the hassle.

3) A client is doing business with more than one realtor. Each realtor is different - one might insist that client-realtor relationship is exclusive, others don't mind if a client is interacting with one or two other realtors simultaneously. But regardless of your stance on this issue, if it becomes clear that the client is working with multiple realtors just because he enjoys having someone to do his bidding, without any intention of committing, it is time to drop the client.

4) A client is excessively rude. Everyone has personality quirks and off days, and to be a successful realtor you definitely have to learn to deal with this fact. However, if a client is so hard to deal with that it sours your mood and begins to effect the way you interact with your other clients, it's time to call it quits.

5) You realize a client is never going to buy anything. Again, each client is different. One might leap at the first home he is shown, another might have a tough time making decisions and need to search for a year or more before he can commit. But if you realize a client is just house hunting because he enjoys it, or because he is lonely or bored, it is time to move on.

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