How many times have you sat there in a listing presentation and thought to yourself, "Wow, do I even want to take this homeowner on?" This happens to not only real estate agents, but contractors and stagers as well.
I used to think I could handle anyone, no challenge was too great. And boy, let me tell you, I've had some doozies! Lately, I have encountered a couple of clients that have me wondering if I am up for such a catastrophic and demanding client. When a client is taking up 80% of your time and nothing is making them happy, is it better to identify those clients from the start, and kindly suggest another (who may enjoy their abuse)?
In January, I took on a client who, in terms of revenue, was comparable to 3 small staging projects. Now looking back at the time I had into it, it was a total of 20 staging jobs. Nothing made him happy. It was almost like he was sabotaging his own listing. The agent and I were pulling our hair out, bending over backwards, and I have to commend her on her professionalism to hold it together. He ate up and spit out 3 agents before we walked in the door. Now I understand why. Yes, there were RED FLAGS in the beginning. We knew about the other agents, we knew he was a hard case.
When you are sitting with your potential seller and that little voice keeps warning you, are you listening? I am not saying cut and run, listen to it and give it enough attention to understand what it is telling you and why.
RED FLAGS to pay attention to if a homeowner mentions:
- "We have had several agents and none of them did a good job."
- "We kicked our contractor off the job; he told us nothing would make us happy."
- "Our last agent only had four open houses and two broker's opens."
- "We are interviewing agents until we hear the price that we want."
- "I am not going to change anything, people either like it or they don't."
- "We are going to stay in the house while it is being shown, we don't trust anyone."
- "I expect you to answer the phone every time I call."
It's tempting to take a listing just to have inventory. Overpriced houses and pain-in-the-rear clients just come with the territory. Yet, have you ever sat down and done a little job costing? What does a listing cost you financially, emotionally, and in the time it takes away from listings that have a reasonable chance of selling? Is it worth it just to have that listing on your dry-erase board?
Ninety-five percent of sellers are wonderful to work with. They truly agree that selling their home is the right decision for them. They are willing work with you and not against you.
When I speak to seasoned agents, agents that have been there, done that, and have learned from many years of being in the business, they tell me, "It's that five percent that you may decide in the long run to turn and walk away. Read between the lines, watch for the RED FLAGS, and listen to the little voice inside your head." That is what made the difference in their long-term success. It has saved them time and aggravation along their career road.
Thank you for your time,
Designology Home Staging
Open for discussion:
Would you or have you ever turned a listing down? What were the RED FLAGS?