Tips for Breaking Bad News to Your Clients
Part of being a real estate professional means that you sometimes need to take on the responsibility of delivering bad news to your clients. It’s just part of the job. But that does not mean you need to dread bad news every time it comes around. You can use bad news as an opportunity to show your clients how hard you are willing to work for them and the problem-solving skills it inevitably will require. Continue reading to learn some tips on how to break bad news to your real estate clients.
Be Quick & Direct
Try to imagine how you’d like bad news to be delivered. It’s not fun to be left in the dark or have someone beat around the bush with information – so be sure to be straight and direct with the bad news you need to deliver. With that being said, there’s a certain amount of emotional intelligence involved to successfully deliver bad news. It’s best to show that you grasp the impact of the news from the beginning of the conversation to set the tone but also not discourage your clients (because you have a solution, right?!). Demonstrate your empathy for the situation to show your clients that their satisfaction is one of your top priorities.
Focus on What Is Possible
Sharing bad news in real estate can range anywhere from informing a buyer their offer has been declined and another was accepted to breaking the news to a seller that there are no interested buyers for the current asking price. Clients will mostly always be discouraged from whatever kind of bad news you deliver. Your job is to focus on what is possible and what the options are now for your clients. Do your best to deliver bad news that ends with a positive note – suggesting multiple solutions, if possible, to reach your client’s end goal. When something bad happens during a real estate transaction, clients can feel frustrated and debate if they even want to continue the process. Make sure you are keeping positive energy but also not giving your clients false expectations about what’s to come next.
Provide an Actionable Solution
You are breaking the bad news, and your clients may be feeling anything but great about their experience. Try to steer the conversation towards what you can do to help the situation. Before you speak with your client about the bad news, first find solutions to present your client with. The worst thing you can do is present bad news with no plan or solution in mind. You’ll give your clients peace of mind and gain their trust when they know that the bad news is not a total catastrophe.
Document the Solution with Your Clients
It’s a good practice to document what has been discussed during you and your clients meeting when discussing bad news – especially when there’s an agreed upon plan that was discussed to resolve the issue. Send the client a written follow-up message that recaps the conversation as well as the next steps you’ve mutually agreed to take. This helps avoid any potential confusion or misunderstanding of what will happen next. First time buyers will especially appreciate this courtesy as the home buying process is completely new to them.
Reassure Your Clients
Reassure your clients that despite this hiccup, everything will be okay and you will work hard to make sure they are extremely happy with the end result. It’s important to be available to contact, for any questions or concerns your clients may have about the new direction the real estate process is going for them. And also, be sure to reach out to your clients when they go quiet, reassuring them that you are still working hard on their behalf.