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— by Hana LaRock

How to Handle Rejection as a Realtor

As a realtor, there are many ups and downs you’ll experience as part of the job. There will be moments when everything goes according to plan. You’re getting clients, deals are going through easily, and there are more potential listings available for you to take on that you can even count. But, then there are days when you might question what you’re doing in this career. You’re not finding listings, and you’re not even close to bringing in leads. Worst of all, the clients you do already know have just given you the worst possible news that a client can give you: That they’ve decided to go with somebody else.  

This can really hit a soft spot for real estate agents. And, it’s even more difficult if the client is your friend — someone that you promised you would be there for when it came time for them to buy or sell their house.  

Lab Coat Agents, Nick Baldwin, Tristan Ahumada, labcoatagents.com, Real Estate, Hana LaRock, Rejection

Take a Minute 

Finding out that your client is going with someone else can really hurt. It’s normal to feel disappointed, angry, upset, and frustrated. And, those feelings will be even more intensified if the client was someone that you considered a bit more than just an acquaintance. When you get the news, therefore, it’s important to take a minute and allow yourself to feel these feelings, but privately. Responding to this person via text or a phone call right away without taking some time to let the emotions subside a bit, can create problems. You can be seen as not only an unprofessional realtor who didn’t have the client’s best interest at heart to begin with, but someone that may no longer be considered a friend. Just take some time to reflect on the news before immediately reacting. 

Always be Positive 

Once you’ve taken a minute to gather your thoughts, it’s time to respond to the client and acknowledge what they’ve just told you. This moment is crucial, because if you say anything that can possibly be misinterpreted as rude or as an overreaction, there can be other things as stake. You don’t want to be the real estate agent that has a reputation for being overly sensitive, even though you have every right to feel the way you do. Therefore, when you write that response or return the call, here are a few things you can say: 

“Thank you for letting me know. While I would have loved to be your agent, I respectfully understand your decision to go with so-and-so.” 

“I am, of course, a little disappointed that I won’t get to work with you, but I understand it must be hard for you to have made this decision as well. I appreciate you giving me a chance, and wish you the best luck in the process.” 

“Thanks so much for taking the time to share this news with me! While I’m sorry I can’t be your agent, I hope the best for you in this journey!” 

Even if the client is someone you know personally, you need to keep everything professional, and you and they should both understand that. So, don’t worry about being too formal, especially if it’s a relationship that you want to keep.  

Don’t Burn a Bridge 

Too many agents react much too quickly when they get the news that a prospective client wants to go with someone else. Some even regress to a high schooler who has just learned they didn’t make the cut for the basketball team.  

But, what if one of the students that made it backs out, and you’re the runner up? It’d be too late to take his or her spot if you already told off the coach. 

The same goes for real estate agents. Even though it might feel very good to say what you’re really thinking, you could be burning a bridge, which you don’t want to do. What if the client decides that the other agent they went with isn’t actually for them? They may come back to you. Or, perhaps that they were still going to recommend you to a friend of theirs, because you were really nice and considered their needs.  

That possibility will can go completely out the window depending on what you say to the client. 

Ask Appropriate Questions 

If you’re really confused as to why this person or this couple has decided to go with someone else, it’s understandable that you may want to know why. And, it’s okay to ask. But, you must ask in a way that’s appropriate and not overstepping boundaries, because that can also lead to burned bridges.

If you’re not sure how to go about this, you can use some examples to guide you: 

“If you don’t mind me asking, I’d love to use your feedback to help me gather more information about how I’m doing.” 

If they say that they don’t mind, then you can ask, “Can you tell me a little more about how you came to your decision?” 

This is no doubt a little tricky. You don’t want to put the person in a position where they feel uncomfortable and they’ll say anything they can say to not hurt your feelings. That’s human nature. Only ask these questions if it’s really important to you to know the answer. If anything, you can ask them to fill out a short survey about the experience. If you do decide to go this route, make sure to look at the feedback objectively. Some answers may be really useful to you because it could be something that you could improve on. Other times, it’s an irrelevant opinion that you should take with a grain of salt.  

Offer Your Services Still 

Just because the client has decided to go with someone else doesn’t mean you can never be useful to them again. When you acknowledge the news that they’ve given you, you should have no problem saying something like, “I’m still here if you change your mind.” Or, “While I hope everything goes well, I’m still happy to work with you if you need me, whether that’s now or in the future!” You want to be careful not to sound desperate; that you’re onto the next thing just as much as they are, but the door remains open. 

Don’t Let It Bring You Down 

Rejection hurts, especially when you really wanted to be the person that your friends could turn to. There’s no doubt about that. But, don’t let it get to you! Like with anything, people have their own reasons for making the decisions they do, and most of the time, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. It comes with the territory of being a real estate agent, and it’s something you just need to expect may happen. Take time to recognize the accomplishments you’ve made. Even keep a journal of those feel-good moments. This way, if you get a rejection message again, you’ll have something to remind you to be positive.  

Have you ever experienced rejection from a friend or a client you felt you had a strong bond with? How did you handle it? Let us know! 

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