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Tips on Delivering Unfavorable News

February 29, 2012

                                                                                                       

 It is all over the news that the real estate market is improving. Things are getting better, so why isn’t my home selling? In today’s economy, in spite recent good news, the real estate market still has its challenges. Real estate agents must be prepared for these challenges, and sometimes this means giving a buyer or seller information they don’t want to hear. Breaking bad news to clients is difficult, yet sometimes unavoidable. Sometimes life throws a curve ball that we can’t dodge. Real estate agents must face them “head on” with confidence and composure.

Regular and continuous communication is the key for any successful relationship, including that of real estate agents and their clients. Always stay in touch with your clients. Update them regularly of weekly activities and stats like virtual tour hits, posted online advertisements, open houses, and marketing materials. This type of communication lets the client know that their real estate agent is committed, and this open communication and trust will help you if and when you have to deliver unfavorable news to a client.

Giving bad news is difficult, but hearing it is even harder. Imagine the situation from your client’s perspective and manage the situation properly. You don’t expect to hear bad news casually in front of other people and/or indirectly through voice-mail, email or texting. Pick up the phone and call your client, and/or set up a personal meeting with them to discuss the situation.

Delivering Bad News – 5 Tips for Real Estate Agents

Don’t Wait, Communicate: There is no justification for delaying bad news. Prepare a mental or written script to deliver the news with an analysis of the situation and a possible specific solution. Don’t beat around the bush; be direct and concise.

Don’t e-mail or voice-mail, Call: Bad news shouldn’t be delivered casually. Talk to them over the phone and offer to meet with them to discuss it in further detail if they prefer. Emailing, texting, or leaving a voice-mail may seem like the easy way out, but you will have no idea how your client received the information or if they understood what you were trying to communicate. This lack of understanding can expose you and your company to increased liability.

 Don’t Blame, Accept Responsibility: Don’t shy away from your responsibility and don’t blame your client. As a real estate agent, the bad news you are giving to your client with reference to their real estate transaction is bad news for you too. Try using “us” and “our” instead of “I”, “mine” and “you” and “your” in your conversation with the client.

Don’t react, Empathize: Hearing bad news provokes emotions and it takes time to make sense of it, and finally to overcome it. Let your client express their emotions and frustrations. Don’t dismiss their emotions. Empathize with them, and show them you have an understanding of their situation.

Don’t be excited, be Calm: People tend to mirror your actions and behaviors. If you are calm, they tend to be calm. Try to stay calm and neutral when delivering bad news. Don’t react to your client’s frustration or anger. Listen more than you talk!

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17 Comments leave one →
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