In anticipation of REALTOR® Safety Month, we sat down with Carl Carter Jr. of the Beverly Carter Foundation to discuss real estate safety tips. This week, we’re focusing on how real estate professionals can mediate conflict with angry and upset clients.
Improper conflict management can hurt the customer-agent relationship. Here are some strategies for conflict resolution that will help make the experience smoother for everyone.
First, let’s break down where the tension is coming from. Approach your clients with an open mind and open line of communication. Conflict can stem from several things, from miscommunication to mis-aligned expectations. Let’s walk through how your conversation should flow:
- Describe or restate the issue – demonstrate your understanding of the situation causing the conflict.
- State the impact – take the opportunity to highlight impacts to others.
- Ask for input – encourage dialogue and an exchange of perspectives.
- Ask for suggested ways to proceed – demonstrate your further interest in resolution and the client’s input.
- Gain agreement on next steps – outline the path forward and eliminate layers of conflict.
Next, prepare yourself for a variety of outcomes. If your clients are particularly frustrated, they may adopt a sarcastic tone and disengage from the conversation. No matter what, you must always remain positive and acknowledge the client’s distress. Take a moment to reflect on what has been said and then restate your interest in resolving the issue.
For particularly escalated conversations, they may try to push blame or personally attack you. In these instances, try to react calmly and wait to discuss the client’s behavior later after the main issue has been resolved.
Empathetic communication is effective at minimizing or resolving conflict while interacting with your clients. Tell us, how do you mitigate conflict with your clients?
Interested in more Real Estate Agent Safety Blogs? See our full list of posts here:
- How to Help Clients Prepare for Open House | REALTOR® Safety
- Security Cameras and Your Open House | REALTOR® Safety
There are many ways to approach real estate safety. For other real estate agent/REALTOR® safety tips, check out these links:
- Real Estate Agent Safety Home Page
- Safety Education and Training Videos for Real Estate Professionals
- Downloadable Safety Resources for Real Estate Professionals
- Read about the Beverly Carter story, and how her memory and tragic story spurred change in industry safety practices for real estate agents and REALTORS®.
- Learn more about Stewart and how we partner with real estate professionals here