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As with any industry, not every client is easy to work with. Perhaps they second-guess every decision or are rude. But at what point is it appropriate to “fire” a client and end your business relationship with them?

They’re Dishonest

Honesty is the foundation of every agent-client relationship. If your client is dishonest about their home (or even admit that they will be dishonest on disclosures) and nothing you say can convince them otherwise, walk away! You don’t want the client’s dishonesty to fall back on you—especially when they are found out and the buyer decides to sue for misrepresentation.

They’re Disrespectful

We should start out by saying that you shouldn’t fire a client just because they’re having a bad day and got snippy. That happens from time to time. We’re talking constantly rude, in-your-face, doesn’t respect you, your advice, or your time disrespectful. Try not to take it personally and if sitting down with them to discuss why their behavior is unacceptable doesn’t work, thank them for their business and respectfully let them go.

You Don’t Feel Safe

Is your client’s behavior unpredictable? Do you feel unsafe when you are alone with them and thus avoid being alone with them at all costs? Listen to those warning bells inside your head. If you have safety concerns with a particular client, it may be best to walk away.

Your safety at work and in the field should be you and your brokerage’s number one priority. Discuss your concerns with your brokerage to see if you can find a solution like having someone you trust come with you and if not, inform the client that you are not the agent for them.

Whatever You Do, Keep Calm

In this situation, it will be tempting to give the client a piece of your mind but stay calm. Losing your cool will only make the situation worse. When firing a client, make a list of reasons why you are letting them go and sit down with them to discuss it calmly and formally end the relationship. If you don’t feel safe around the client, opting for a phone call instead is an acceptable alternative.

As with all clients, sit down with them first to discuss what needs to change for your relationship to work. If the problem is correctable, you may be able to save the relationship and go on with no further problems. If not, let the client go and stick to your guns.

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