Why Your Crazy Clients Aren’t Listening to You and What To Do About It

In real estate, we often deal with some crazy people. Am I right?

For most people who act crazy, you can give them the benefit of the doubt. Moving is one of the top ten most stressful things in a person’s life. So you can cut them a little slack.

But what about the people who are truly mentally crazy?

Our team took the time to write a list of characteristics of truly crazy people:

  1. They believe that if they say nothing is wrong, that nothing is wrong. They go into denial in dangerous situations especially. Example: dangerously defunct fireplace – “everything is fine!!!”
  2. They repeat their belief many, many times as if their repeating it will make it so.
  3. They lie.
  4. They switch between sweet/nice and mean/explosive.
  5. They focus on the wrong things. The tiniest, minute, meaningless details rather than the larger, actual serious issues.

Even when stressed, most people are pretty rational. They may get anxious or panicked about something, but when you calmly explain what’s happening and the logical reasons why they should or should not do something, they will usually listen and it’s all fine.

The crazy people though…there’s no rationalizing with them. Your logic is useless.

With crazy people, there are only two courses of action. You can fire them. Or, if you are already under contract and you have to come to a conclusion, you can explain the consequences of their actions, let them do it anyway, and if the contract falls through, then you fire them.

If you can’t fire them right away then anytime you have a discussion with them, you must remain calm. The client may be freaking out on you, but no matter what, you must do your best to kill them with kindness.

Once you know you are dealing with crazy, you may want to find a way to record your conversations so that if there is ever any confusion in the future, you will have definitive documentation. If there’s ever a chance I’m going to get blamed for something, I want to make sure my backside is covered.

The one thing you can’t do with crazy people is reason with them. Too many times we think we can just convince people why it’s a good idea to do things our way. But that only works with rational people.

With the crazy ones, it’s time to give ourselves permission to let those go. Because let’s face it. Those are the ones who wreak the most havoc on a real estate business. They are not going to refer business to you and quite honestly they are the most likely to leave a negative review of you somewhere. At worst, these are the people who end up suing everyone involved.

Now that you know what crazy looks like, you can stop blaming yourself when you can’t get your seller to see why they need spend $2,000 to fix the fireplace when the whole home inspector and the fireplace repairman both say it’s a safety hazard and the buyer is going to cancel the contract if the repair isn’t made.

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I’d love to hear your “crazy client” story. What was the situation, and how did it turn out? What did you learn? Leave your story in the comments, or send me an email: egilbert@kw.com


1 Comment

  1. Courtney D

    This article is timeless! Covid-19 just upped the ante.


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