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Dealing With Disloyal Clients

June 4, 2014  |  by RETechnology

Below is an excerpt from an article, written by Kelly J. Phelan, RET Content Editor, which appeared originally on You can view the original post here.

Dealing with Disloyal ClientsHave you experienced a “cheating” client? Plenty of agents have. Maybe it happened when your buyer went to an open house and decided to buy with the listing agent. Or maybe the buyer decided to close with a friend after weeks of you accompanying them to showings.

Whatever the case–and no matter how long you’ve worked in real estate–it still hurts to lose a client like this. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening again, but here are some tips on what to do right now:

  • Don’t waste energy on angry emails. We get it. You feel betrayed. It’s hard to know why the buyer acted as they did. It’s very possible that they simply don’t understand how agents are compensated and that you just wasted time (read: money) on them that could have been better spent with another client. Regardless of the reason, energy expended in anger on a disloyal client is not worth it.
  • Keep calm and be professional. If you do decide to reach out, congratulate them on their new home. Pitch your message as a service check and ask if there was something you could have done or communicated better to have closed the deal. Politely explain that you are disappointed that they went with someone else.
  • Ask for a referral. It’s very possible that your former client will be embarrassed when they finally understand how they wasted your time (assuming they didn’t already know). If this is the case, they may be more than willing to refer friends and family to you to “make up” for your lost time and commission.
  • Remove them from your database. If you find you can’t move past the incident, deleting the client’s contact info can be a cathartic experience. Use that moment to put the experience behind you and move on!

So how can you prevent something like this from happening again? Here are a few ideas:

  • Concentrate on securing listings, rather than working with mostly buyers.
  • Only work with a written buyer’s agreement. If they won’t sign a buyer representation contract after a couple weeks of building trust, their true colors may be showing. This may be a red flag that indicates that they may be the type of client to stray. Move on if they won’t sign.
  • Remind your clients how you’re working for them. In addition to new listings that may be of interest, periodically send your clients a list of homes you’ve shown them. Remind them of any features they may have liked, and suggest other homes with similar characteristics.

Do you have other ideas? Share them below! is included with your MRIS subscription. Take advantage of all of the great articles, product reviews and more by signing up today or visiting the RETechnology tab in Matrix. 

Posted in Blog, Featured, Guest Posts, RE Technology, We Want to Know Wednesday

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4 responses to “Dealing With Disloyal Clients”

  1. Deb Dawkins says:

    Above all be gracious! Don"t lose sleep over it. Just like when your dog drags in something nasty-"Drop it!"

  2. Wayne says:

    Take a retainer before incurring any expenses with the client. Free consultation is fine but from the first day you take a buyer out there should be a retainer so they understand and monetarily commit to you. Not talking thousands it could be a few hundred but at least they'll understand they're making a commitment to you as you're making a commitment to use your resources to help them fulfill their goal.

    Our industry needs a shift toward retainers which also set a standard of professionalism. Plus people pay for what they want and feel has value. An attorney can ask a client for a 5k retainer and the client never questions them. Establish the value of your service and your client won't question your need for a retainer.

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