Mastroianni Consulting

4 Types of Clients NOT to Work With | Mastroianni Consulting

In sales, leads are the order of the day. Converting them to a client is often a real challenge; one that takes time, effort and expense. This makes the idea of actually firing a client once you have one seem completely inconsistent. But all clients are not created equal. Sometimes, firing a client is not only the best option, it is absolutely necessary.
This article will examine the four types of clients that every salesperson has worked, or will work with, at some point in their career. In this article we will use examples related to real estate transactions, but the message is universal to all sales activities.

1. Abusive Clients

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Salespeople come into contact with a wide variety of people every day. Some clients will be more difficult than others, but don’t mistake acclimating yourself to a client’s personality with putting up with abuse. If a client is verbally abusive or consistently rude, that is a sure sign that it’s time for you to politely tell them that the professional relationship should end.

2. Dishonest Clients

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Clients who are dishonest can jeopardize your reputation and in a lot of fields they can also cost you your license.

In real estate, one of the most common ways that sellers are dishonest is when they lie or hide flaws with the home.

If you suspect a client is failing to disclose information it’s best to inform them of the possible consequences. If they continue to exaggerate or lie, it’s better to let them go than to threaten your reputation.

A note here for real estate agents; you are required by law to disclose all known facts. Once the situation moves from suspecting to knowing, protect your license and end the relationship. In some cases, if the issue is noticed by the buyer post-purchase, you and your brokerage could take the fall for it.

3. Time Wasting Clients

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As a sales professional, your time is your money. Time wasters are clients who can’t make a decision. They beat around the bush for an exhausting amount of time with no clear closing in sight.

These clients have no sense of urgency. They will make you take them to more than 15 showings over the course of several months and never make a decision. If they’re selling a home, the client will have you overprice their listing and work twice as hard to sell a house that simply won’t sell at their asking price. They will bring five different relatives to the showings and each will have a different idea of what the buyers should look for in a house. They will have a relative send you Zillow or Trulia listings that are either not on the market, incorrectly valued, or under contract already.

In all these scenarios, your time, energy and resources are being depleted on a client whose business may never come to fruition. Weeding out time-wasters will dramatically improve your bottom line.

4. Unrealistic Clients

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This type of client goes hand-in-hand with the time-wasting client. As an expert, your responsibility is to aid the client with your expertise and knowledge. Sadly, many clients do not listen to the advice offered.

A good example of this is an over-priced listing. If your client is expecting you to sell their home at a price that is completely unreasonable and won’t listen to your counsel, it may be time to tell them another agent may be a better fit.

Ending the Relationship

Making a decision to end a relationship with someone who potentially could be paying you a fee, can be a difficult one, but one that should be made sooner rather than later.

Let’s look at some scenarios:

• If you deem the client relationship to be taxing, ask yourself if the behavior can be corrected. Can you talk to the client transparently? Will they take your advice if you do talk to them?
• If you’ve tried this approach and there hasn’t been any improvement, it’s time to speak with your supervisor, manager or broker. They may step in, or they may suggest that the client works with another salesperson. They may also decide that the best option would be to release them completely.
• Once a decision has been made, invite the client to a face-to-face meeting and politely present your reasons. If you are able to refer the client to someone else who you feel would be a better fit, it would be a good idea to have them there at the meeting. Use facts from your ongoing working relationship to explain why you think the client may be more successful with another salesperson.

It may sound counter-intuitive to cut ties with a client that you have put a lot work into, but the reality is that all of the time you were wasting on this client can now be allocated towards clients who will actually be profitable in the end.

~Sourced in part from a blog at formsimplicity.com

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How To Build A Robust Referral Network | Mastroianni Consulting

Referrals are the lifeblood of any business; the barometer of the business’s success. They are especially crucial for small businesses who rely heavily on word of mouth advertising. But, how do you go about building a robust referral network?

In this article we will discuss eight ways to identify and grow your referral network.

1. Be referral-worthy
Mediocrity will never build a strong referral network. You need to provide a level of service that makes it easy for people to refer you. Remember, a referral is also a reflection of the standards of the person giving the referral. To be referral-worthy, you need to become known for being a person of high standards and integrity. The higher your standards are, the more willing people will be to refer you.

2. Identify friends and family who know a lot of people
Those in our inner circle who have a large social network are natural ambassadors and can be a great source of referral business.

3. Clients – past or present
Ask them for a testimonial. Provided you have demonstrated value, they will usually be happy to comply. Another method is simply by asking for customer feedback or reviews and then turning that feedback into a testimonial on your website (with their permission, of course). Testimonials are powerful examples of the social proof of your expertise.

4. Chance encounters
Be prepared when meeting new people through chance encounters by having ice-breaking opening lines ready to go to initiate a conversation. Wear a name badge or logo-branded clothing that will prompt someone to inquire as to what you do. Offer them a business card if they have questions or want to keep in touch.

5. Professional, business and service contacts
These indispensable contacts are the people that you meet while conducting your business. They are an excellent source of referrals who, in turn, should also be the recipients of referrals from you. Over time they will become your strategic business partners.

6. Get involved!
Join an association, organization, community or hobby group. Contribute your expertise, make friends and give back. Make a difference!

7. Identify friends and family who live out of state
These connections can be anywhere. The wider the sphere, the larger the pool for referrals. Simply let them know that you are part of a referral network and can assist their friends and family with trusted referrals.

8. Show gratitude
Be thankful. Be humble. And stay in touch!

Building a robust referral network begins and ends with excellence, authenticity and a firm commitment to exceeding the expectations of the referrer and the person being referred. Be genuine, care, do great work and don’t be afraid to ask for business.

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Mastroianni Consulting is a consultancy firm serving the needs of Realtors and their Clients. Dedicated to Excellence, they provide support services that assist real estate agents to grow their businesses. For more information and to learn how we can help you become more successful, please contact one of our Client Care Specialists.

You can reach us at (636) 220-7481 or clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com

Other articles that may interest you include:  The Importance Of Professional Networking | Mastroianni Consulting
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The Importance Of Professional Networking | Mastroianni Consulting

Professional networking is an important element to the success of any business person’s working life.  It can help you meet people, gain information, make useful contacts, find job opportunities, get referrals, and score new business leads.  Through the friendships that you make, it can also become a rewarding dimension to your work life that offers support and encouragement.

If you would like to start networking to increase your professional connections, here are eight tips to help you succeed:

  1. Spend time developing relationships.  A wide network with meaningful connections takes time and effort.  Be ready to invest both to cultivate your network.
  2. Be honest about your talents, abilities, and accomplishments so that others in your network will know the value you bring to the table.
  3. As recommended by Michael B. Fishbein in The Huffington Post, do listen and be willing to help others by connecting with people or by sharing your experience and knowledge.  A professional network should be beneficial for everyone involved, so always be ready to offer assistance and information.
  4. Don’t limit your network to people from just one field.  While you’ll definitely want to form relationships with others in your line of work, look for other networking opportunities such as community groups, charities, civic organizations, or local government.  Having a broad professional network expands your number of contacts and opportunities as well as your interests.
  5. Look for conferences, events, and classes to attend.  Socializing is an integral part of effective networking.  While large groups are often conducive to meeting a lot of people, also invite others to meet you for lunch and dinner occasionally to connect in smaller groups and quieter settings.
  6. Follow up with every new connection that you make.  After meeting them, send an email to them know it was a pleasure to meet them and let them know that they should reach out to you in the event that you can ever help them in any way.
  7. Don’t fall out of touch.  If you’ve been too busy to attend functions or to see people face-to-face, take time to stay in touch via email, social networking, texting, or with phone calls.  Communication is key to successful networking.
  8. Be the one to make the first move.  When there is someone in particular whom you’d like to meet, take the initiative to make it happen.  Reach out to the person with a phone call or email, or introduce yourself at a professional or social gathering.  If possible, ask a mutual acquaintance to arrange a meeting.

Establishing a strong professional network can benefit your business in several ways.  The right connections can open doors, expanding your opportunities.  Professional networking offers you the chance to share your challenges and your triumphs with others who have similar career interests and goals.  You can be useful sounding boards for each other as well as sources of encouragement.  Having people to turn to in times of trouble and to celebrate accomplishments with is invaluable.  And over time, you may find that people in your professional network move on to become your friends.

Mastroianni Consulting is a consultancy firm serving the needs of Realtors and their clients.  Dedicated to Excellence, they provide support services that assist real estate agents to grow their businesses.  For more information and to learn how we can help you become more successful, please contact one of our Client Care Specialists.

You can reach us at (636) 220-7481 or clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com

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5 Ways To Improve Your Client Communication

10 Keys To Having A Great Reputation

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10 MOST COMMON VIOLATIONS CITED BY MREC | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING

The Missouri Real Estate Commission is the governing body tasked with safeguarding the interests and welfare of the general public in matters pertaining to real estate transactions.  Under the Real Estate Act of 1941, it’s responsibilities include:  licensing of agents and brokers, investigating complaints from the public, auditing brokerages and escrow accounts, and approving pre-licensing and continuing education courses.

This article will discuss the 10 most commonly cited infractions discovered during audits conducted at random by the MREC.

  1. UNLICENSED ACTIVITY
    It is unlawful to practice real estate without a valid license.  Here are some incidents of non-licensed activity.

    License Not Renewed – Every two years real estate agents and brokers are required to take continuing education classes to renew their licenses.
    Not Tax Compliant – Licensees are suspended in Missouri for non payment of personal property taxes under HB-600.
    Property Management – If you are not the owner, you are required to have a real estate license to manage property in Missouri.
    Receiving A Commission – without a license.

  2. IMPROPER ADVERTISING & MARKETING
    Not Identifying The Brokerage – The MREC requires all advertising material to clearly identify the Company or Brokerage name that the agent works for, and the office telephone number (at a minimum).  With the rise of teams and agent personal branding, this violation occurs when the brokerage name and number are not prominently displayed.
  3. FAILURE TO RESPOND TO MREC
    Licensees are required to respond to the MREC within 30 days.
  4. FAILURE TO DISCLOSE
    Material Facts – Agents are required to disclose material facts and adverse material facts that they know about the property to a customer.
    Incorrect Agency or Agency Not Disclosed – Missouri law requires agents to discuss the different options consumers have when working with them.
    Licensee’s Interest – Agents are required to inform all parties to a transaction if they have personal interest in a property or if they are a relative of the owner.
  5. ESCROW ACCOUNTS
    Escrow accounts are where the public’s earnest money is held.  Violations include:

    Escrow Accounts Not Registered – Escrow accounts are required to be registered with the MREC.
    Failure To Close Escrow Account – This is required when a brokerage closes.
    Comingling of Funds – Mixing escrow funds with personal, real estate sales, or property management funds is strictly forbidden.
    Accounts Do Not Reconcile.

  6. FICTITIOUS NAMES
    Name Not Registered – ‘Doing Business As’ or Fictitious Names need to be registered with Secretary of State of Missouri.
    Registered Name Has Expired.
    Business Sign Does Not Match The Business License.
  7. PAYING COMMISSIONS
    To An Unlicensed Persona or Entity – LLC, team, group
  8. CONTRACTS
    Blanks – There are to be no blanks on standard forms.
    Failure To Fulfill The Terms And Conditions – pertaining to the contract.
    Improper Agency Relationship Selected On Contract – needs to match any written documentation (buyer agency or listing agreement).
    Changes To The Contract Not Initialed – the only lawful changes to a contract are those that are initialed by all parties.
  9. OFFICE POLICY
    No Office Policy – it is a violation for an office to not have an office policy or an incorrect office policy.
  10. ADDRESS CHANGE
    Not filed with the MREC – all licensees must update their home addresses with the MREC when a change occurs.  Brokerages are also required to keep their address current.

Mastroianni Consulting is a unique consultancy firm assisting Realtors to grow their real estate practice.  For more information and to learn how we can help you become more successful, please contact one of our Client Care Specialists.

You can reach us at (636) 220-7481 or clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com.

Other articles that may interest you:
10 Keys To Having A Great Reputation | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING
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