Yesterday I came across a tweet from the infamous Ian Watt of Vancouver. One of the coolest things about Watt is his willingness to shoot straight and he did just that in an article published in the August 2009 edition of REM Magazine entitled, ‘When to Fire Your Clients‘.
It’s never easy but I have ‘fired’ clients before. I returned a listing once to a women that wanted to simply paint over what appeared to be mold. I have elected not to work with buyers that were unrealistic in there expectations of price and value in a given market.
There was one instance that I returned a listing to a woman that wanted me to be present at every showing of her condo. In a market that would bring 4 or 5 showings a day, and in a marketplace where agent attended showings are rare, I knew this would only do a disservice to her listing. The harder it would be to schedule a showing, the less likely it would be to have the showings she needed. It was less about me, and really more about what served her. After 6 months on the market with someone else, she called me back and she had it sold in 3 weeks.
The word ‘fire’ may not sit well with you; Tyler Wood, phrased it perfect in his Twitter response, ‘…I don’t always refer to it as firing, more of a decision to not work with them.’
The decision to not work with a client is an important one. Sadly, I think that when markets are challenging, we tend to hang onto those opportunities ignoring the inner voice that says, ‘this isn’t a fit.’ As an active Realtor, we are faced with challenges in transactions, time constraints, and fluctuating market conditions. I know that spending months with someone that is not a fit, only makes those things more challenging – and ultimately, it’s not a service to them either.
So What Is a Fit?
For me it’s about looking for a similar level of integrity, realistic expectations, mutual respect, ease of communication, even a personality connection. Have you ever had to fire a client? What do you look for to make sure it’s a fit?