In this article, we will explore a crucial issue for every real estate agent: knowing how to manage conflicts with clients in the most effective way. A professional in the real estate sector knows that having a large and selected client portfolio is ideal for increasing the corporate reputation, especially if we consider the fluctuating period of the market we are going through: we have passed in about a decade from thriving sales to persistent asphyxiation in the real estate sector.
However, a mediation that did not take place, a sale that did not take place, is not attributable only to the bad period, as it would be simpler and more comfortable to think. Have you ever stopped to think if you’ve done everything it takes to bring a deal to fruition? Were you really able to handle conflicts with your real estate agency’s clients? Have you ever thought about what is the most effective way to transform a lead into an authentic and loyal customer, one that makes you take home a sale, helping to increase the reputation of your real estate agency?
Not yet!? What are you waiting for? By reading this article you will discover how to manage conflicts with clients in the real estate field, as well as many small strategies to transform an apparently negative situation into a favourable and profitable one for your business!
The 3 strategies for managing conflicts with customers
Most professionals get involved in real estate because they love to build and nurture empathic relationships. Despite the most incredible and advanced technological innovations now within the reach of all agents, including the unstoppable pace of the Internet of Things (IoT) , the face-to-face remains the most appreciated communication tool in this sector, in which still – unfortunately or fortunately – you “work from the belly”. However, it may happen that you have to establish, despite yourself, rather tense and conflicting work relationships, in which your client is quite demanding and increased stress is the order of the day. As a real estate expert you will surely have to control and keep certain emotions and feelings at a distance as much as possible, managing the conflict in a cold way, without being overwhelmed by emotion.
Whether it’s a client with a difficult character or a situation that is too complex to manage, below we present our 3 strategies to adopt to transform a hostile relationship into an excellent sales opportunity for every real estate agent: how to do it best one of the most difficult tasks in the profession, managing conflicts with clients?
1. Match customers effectively
As soon as a customer knocks on your door, study everything about him, starting with his needs. If you are a broker or in any case the head of a rather structured agency, after a first rough shot, try to match your potential client to the agent temperamentally more in line with it: this is only the first step towards correct management of the conflicts.
However, there is a more effective and faster methodology to best match the client to the real estate agent who would best be able to satisfy him, thus bringing the negotiation on favourable tracks: the CRM system.
In a dedicated article, we have told you quite in-depth about all the benefits you could receive from adopting a real estate CRM, and when it may be worth investing in it. We can affirm that a good CRM greatly facilitates your daily working life in the task just described, as it is able to automatically cross agent and customer based on the parameters that you yourself will provide to the system.
2. Listen carefully to the customer
What to do when the first signs of conflict with the customer arise? The secret lies in knowing how to listen to him, giving him an impression of full control of the negotiation. Don’t try to force your client to admit that you are right, it will only make the situation worse.
Ask questions that begin with “How” or “What,” so that the client uses their mental energy to work out an answer in which they will open up and feel understood. Think about it, these two questions are an extremely effective weapon in the moment of negotiation, as they encourage the other party to keep talking and clarifying until they reveal what their real intentions and motivations are.
“How about these contractual terms, can they suit you?”
“How did you plan to structure the contract, did you look at my draft?”
These are just a few examples to submit to your customers. In this polite and condescending way you will “force” your customers to be on your side and, at the same time, you will have the opportunity to learn more about their way of thinking. If you listen carefully to your client’s thoughts and conjectures aloud, you may discover hidden motivations to use in your favor in the crucial stages of the negotiation!
Have you ever heard of Persuasive Communication and NLP?
Persuasive communication is the type of communicative language capable of influencing the thinking of those in front of you, your client. NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is also part of this form of empathic communication.
Following this logic, when you realize that your client is starting to argue with wrong deductions, being arrogant or arrogant is the worst thing you can do. As we said earlier, always ask yourself in a kind and polite way: never answer with a sharp “no” or with a “yes, but …” which could backfire by psychologically contrasting the dialogue between you and your client. Make an effort or in any case committed to inserting the conjunction “and” … do you know why? This letter on a psychological level involves much closer proximity than you can imagine to your client’s speech, almost an affinity:
“Yes, yours is an interesting observation, and indeed focusing on this aspect could be a very good idea!”
As you can see from this short sentence, if you had used the term “but”, for example, you would have turned your response into a verbal conflict:
“Yes, yours is an interesting observation, but it is not relevant to our objective”
You will understand perfectly that it is not enough just to change a letter, but it is also a matter of attitude, which will need to be changed in order to manage conflicts with customers in an appropriate and effective way. These are small things, imperceptible details that, overall, make a big difference.
3. Educate and connect the dots
The digital age makes any kind of information accessible and available. Your client will have no difficulty in finding more or less valid and exhaustive information on the properties he is looking for: country cottages, elegant lofts in the city, comfortable terraced houses, etc…
As the potential buyer, any landlord who wants to sell his property can also take a cue from the Internet world on how to best promote his property online. But, however much the technology linked to real estate can make great strides, it will never be able to completely replace the human being. This is why people still turn to real estate agencies to buy or sell a house: they want to be listened to, protected and reassured about the operation they are carrying out (by the way, we have an article that talks about how to convince people to rely on a ‘real estate agency).
Finally, when you talk to the customer, avoid comparing yourself to your competitors and do not flaunt superiority over your competitors, because you will get the opposite effect.
Always communicate the strengths related to your real estate agency, without being too invasive or pedantic. Remember that individuals are always a little selfish by nature, they love much more when they are asked questions directed at them when the interlocutor is more inclined to listen and … when the latter finds real and effective solutions to solve the problems concerning their property!
Remember that knowing how to manage conflicts with your clients can make a huge difference to your real estate brand. We just have to wish you good work!