The most successful real estate professionals are the ones who can thrive despite facing challenges from challenging clients. However, an agent’s answer to a demanding client requires strategic planning and sensitivity. Excellent agents and brokers can quickly figure out the issues and make sound, forward-thinking judgments. Customers, whether difficult or not, are not all the same. This is why there has to be a plan in place for agents to detect and handle customer problems quickly. We’ve created this real estate agent’s guide to handling difficult clients to get you started.   

Understand Difficult Clients

Continuous learning is key to becoming a successful real estate agent. That said, the most important thing you must learn is to understand a difficult client. You have likely experienced different client scenarios, some due to more extreme cases than others. There are generally three categories of difficult clients: indecisive, demanding, and rude. A hesitant client usually takes a long time to decide when buying and selling property. Demanding clients may want more from you than you initially agreed upon. While rude clients can be very hard to deal with, their attitude and lack of respect can ruin a good relationship.

With that in mind, clients may become difficult for several reasons. The most common reasons are fear of making the wrong decision, financial stress, or unrealistic expectations. That being said, an excellent real estate agent must maintain emotional control in all circumstances. Doing so will allow you to avoid getting sucked into difficult discussions or negative emotions that could further harm or damage the working relationship.

Carefully Listen to Your Client

The experts at are no strangers to handling difficult clients. Their extensive experience has shown that actively listening to the client’s complaint is essential to resolving issues and maintaining a positive client-agent relationship. They find that listening is beneficial for two reasons: The first reason is that it makes the difficult client feel heard. Number two, you’ll learn whether or not any of their worries are warranted. Having people express their feelings is often the first step toward a successful agreement. Additionally, brokerages and agents in the real estate industry need to put themselves in their customer’s shoes. If you can put yourself in your client’s shoes throughout the home-buying or -selling process, you’ll be able to better meet their demands. 

Set Clear Expectations

As a real estate agent, setting and communicating clear expectations to your clients from the beginning is essential. Doing so will help you to manage expectations while maintaining professional boundaries throughout the relationship. When you can establish clear parameters and boundaries, you can increase satisfaction for both parties. This way, you also ensure that everyone involved clearly understands what is expected. In addition to helping with clarity, setting up correct boundaries and expectations helps build trust and loyalty between client and agent by showing respect for how each other’s time is spent. When done effectively, setting clear expectations in a real estate transaction can benefit everyone involved and make the process smoother.

If you fail to set clear expectations, several issues can occur. For instance, there will be a higher risk of misunderstandings and miscommunication. This can often lead clients to become dissatisfied or even angry. When this happens, trust between the client and the agent decreases, and the client may even decide to end the working relationship. If this happens, you should take responsibility for the lack of clarity and work to find a solution that meets the client’s needs. This may involve renegotiating the terms of the agreement or simply taking the time to communicate more clearly with the client.

Maintain Professionalism

Maintaining professionalism, no matter what, is essential in all interactions with clients. This is especially true when you are dealing with difficult clients. Even in moments of contention or frustration, remaining courteous and respectful while managing the situation is essential. Keeping a calm demeanor helps to retain a higher level of trust and communication between the agent and their client. Even if it doesn’t help, staying professional will allow for successful negotiations even when emotions may be running high. Professionalism also sets an example for other clients who witness communication exchanges. An effective real estate agent can deliver effective results while always maintaining a professional attitude.

Know When To Walk Away From a Client

In some situations, it may be impossible to deal with difficult clients. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you may not be able to meet a client’s needs or expectations. Continuing to work with them may be more trouble than it’s worth. For this reason, real estate agents need to understand when it’s okay to walk away from a client. That being said, knowing when a client is not a good fit and ending the relationship can be difficult. When your livelihood depends on the success of a single deal, cutting ties with a client who is a negative emotional or professional influence can be challenging. However, the sooner you stop working with a difficult client, the sooner you’ll be able to find a new one. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of sticking with a single client if it’s not working out.


With this real estate agent’s guide to handling difficult clients, we hope you can handle even the most challenging clients. By understanding everything we discussed today, agents can build positive, productive relationships with their clients while minimizing stress and conflict. If you just take the time to listen, communicate, and establish trust with your clients, you will ensure that every transaction succeeds.

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