We Can't All Be Ballerinas

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Crossroads

The month of September was a very long one.  I learned that writing a blog takes a certain amount of energy that is obviously just about what I had left over to give at the

september 2013 excel calendarend of a day, until I answered the phone the day after my last blog.  These buyers were able to suck the joy out of every bit of the home-buying experience.  I found myself regularly reconsidering my career choice:  for anyone who knows how much I love what I do that statement will convey more than anything else I can put into words.

I tried to fire them a couple times, but they seemed to "get it" so I took them back, as such, only to see the same issues quickly reemerge.  I made the decision to enter the month of October without them as clients and felt a sense of relief, not to mention vindication, when their repeated self-sabotage of a deal resulted in its death. 

Buyers can be a difficult lot, but no more than any other group, in my opinion.  As a rule, I refuse to use the old adage "Buyers are liars," because I hate to enter into any
Jim Carrey liar, liar movie still
relationship with preconceived notions.  However, there are buyers, and sellers for that matter, who enter into the same transaction with their own preconceived notion that REALTORS cannot be trusted.  When we first meet I actually include a handout with some of my reviews from people just like them who like me, trust me, and have been clients for years and referred friends and family.  Imagine setting up a date on match.com, and when you arrive at the restaurant you receive a portfolio including letters from previous dates who attest to what a great guy he is;  you might just enjoy the meal a bit more if you can feel less suspicious before the appetizer even arrives.  
seinfeld clip elaine danceWe all have talents and skills and we need to recognize our own limitations:  we can't all be ballerinas.  You are a "numbers guy" and  your wife is a "former paralegal" and together you can enter into the transaction with those talents knowing neither lot makes you a REALTOR.  You can analyze the contract, you can compare financing programs available, but at some point you need to turn to your agent and let them do what you chose them to do.  If you hired someone because you liked their numbers, thus "negotiating style", but then spend a week picking things apart so that nothing about what is being presented comes close to their "style," are you expecting the same results?  That is like choosing the fully loaded model you test drove on the lot, ordering the stripped down bare-bones version, and when it arrives complaining that you aren't getting the same ride. 

In business, as in your personal life, it is never a good idea to enter into a relationship with the intent to change the other person.  Moreover, in business, where you hire the resume, why would you want to?  

Comments (19)

Suzanne Taylor
Ultima Real Estate - Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi, TX
Home Sales In Corpus Christi, TX

After I have had one of those life sucking experiences, it always takes a while to feel back in the swing.

Oct 01, 2013 01:47 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Congratulations on your new-found freedom from difficult clients.  It's difficult to cut those ties, but when youmake that decision, that sense of freedom is enlightening!

Oct 01, 2013 02:20 PM
Sheila Morales
Kauai Property Shop - Kapaa, HI
Your Kauai Hawaii Agent

It's always an agonizing decision to let a client go, but the few times I have made this decision it was always such a relief afterwards.

Oct 01, 2013 02:27 PM
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

Unfortunately there are clients who not only want to "win" against the agent & client on the other side of the contract, they also want to "win" against the very agent who is helping them!

They refuse to understand that EVERYONE WINS when the sale is as contingency-free as possible.

These clients are always on the hunt for the next battle 0 let them take their battles elsewhere~!


Oct 01, 2013 02:36 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Ro - It is not good to have those clients who just drain you and can't listen to your advice despite your experience.

Oct 01, 2013 04:49 PM
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Sometimes it just doesn't work out no matter how much you put into it.  Sorry you had so much invested. 

Oct 01, 2013 08:07 PM
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

Most important is to not think that you could have done anything to make the outcome be different.  Some people are just not viable clients and whoever gets them after you will do no better than you do.

Oct 01, 2013 09:31 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

If I've said it once, I've said a thousand times: the first important lessons an agent can learn is how to select clients and then how to fire clients at the right time. This is always a difficult decision in a commission-driven business, but in the end wasting time with the wrong clients is a bad decision.

Oct 01, 2013 09:48 PM
Goran Utvic
Goran Utvic Real Estate Broker/Construction Consultant - Chicago, IL
Chicago 2 Flat Specialist

hi Ro I had a blood sucking client back in June of this year...I am still regretting ever working with him. 




Oct 01, 2013 10:13 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Ro, here's wishing you a great and peaceful October. Time to put it all behind you and move on.

Oct 01, 2013 10:59 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

If you have a healthy focus...all profitable else follows...Where things get dicey is when we base everything we do on money outcome...good post and thank you

Oct 02, 2013 12:09 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Good for you for eliminating a stressful client from your portfolio.   Knowing when it's time to let them sink or swim without you is a skill.  Apparently, this client didn't want to let you do your job, so time to focus on the people that will let you do what they hired you to do!

Oct 02, 2013 12:26 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

My last 2 posts were about these very same issues - dealing with high maintenance clients and finding the greatest title in the world (as you did) to pull people to your site.

Oct 02, 2013 02:33 AM
Ro Reed
RE/MAX Crossroads - West Akron, OH
Turning Your Dreams Into An Address!

Suzanne Taylor  - Life sucking... exactly! What a difference a day has made.

Jan Green - Agreed, and I do have a definite skip in my step today.

Sheila Morales - And I believe the more difficult the client, the greater the relief.

Rich Arnold - You said it!  One battle after another, about EVERYTHING!  Exhausting!

Christine Donovan - They definitely prove the adage about not being able to please everyone!

Stanton Homes - I try to find solace in knowing that if we ever went under contract the commission could have never been enough to offset the misery.

Marnie Matarese - Agreed, Marnie and thanks.  I spent enough time running through each issue they created to definitely know it wasn't me.




Oct 02, 2013 03:40 AM
Ro Reed
RE/MAX Crossroads - West Akron, OH
Turning Your Dreams Into An Address!

Nina Hollander -  Agreed...I pride myself on being selective of the clients I choose to work with.  That's probably why it was harder to convince myself this was a losing battle.

Goran Utvic - It is so sad that people can take advantage as they do and not look back.  I'm certain you have learned from it, as I have, and will see the warning signs sooner next time.  I certainly hope to!

Michael Setunsky - Thank you for the well-wishes.  If the first two days are an indicator things are much improved!

Richie Alan Naggar - I always say that as long as I say "What's in the best interest of my client?" I will be alright.  I will never look at "What's in it for me?" and I could see how these people could definitely bring someone to that point.

Kat Palmiotti - Thanks, Kat, and you are spot-on!  In fact, I sent them an email wishing them well and suggesting they review the contract submitted, the items countered, and remember that each point I warned them on came to pass, proving my reasoning as sound advice.  I suggested they learn from that when negotiating on the next house.  Maybe I've made it easier for the next agent, probably not.

Jill Sackler - Thanks for appreciating the title;  I must say, however, I am somewhat disappointed no one has mentioned the photo of  the "Elaine Dance,"  LOL!





Oct 02, 2013 03:56 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Let them sink their negative teeth into someone else.  I think that we are not meant to represent just anyone....there are personality types that we just do not get along with.  Nothing wrong with that, you just have to know when to walk away.  Sounds like you drew the line at the end of September, so good for you.

Oct 02, 2013 06:00 AM
Ro Reed
RE/MAX Crossroads - West Akron, OH
Turning Your Dreams Into An Address!

Karen Feltman - It's funny you mention personality types, as I kept trying to gauge exactly where theirs might fall.  It was as though everytime I got a read they changed their M.O. ... as I said, exhausting.  


Oct 02, 2013 07:38 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Metro Life Homes - Palm Springs, CA
California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Ro, you are right on when you say that you should never enter a relationsip with the intent of changing the other person. I hope things improve and that you find your joy in real estate once again.

Oct 02, 2013 02:31 PM
Ro Reed
RE/MAX Crossroads - West Akron, OH
Turning Your Dreams Into An Address!

Ralph Gorgoglione - Thanks for the kind thoughts and YES!!  Ridding myself of them made an almost immediate difference.  I think they had sucked out so much joy that even the mundane tasks are fun without their presence.


Oct 02, 2013 09:43 PM