Client control: what it is, and why it benefits everyone involved

Client control“Client control” is a strange sounding phrase. It almost seems manipulative! But that is very far from the truth.  It’s something helpful which benefits buyers, sellers and real estate agents. What is it, then?

Essentially, client control refers to home buyers and sellers behaving themselves.  Most of the time, Silicon Valley real estate consumers have a fairly good idea of what is appropriate behavior (what is expected of them and of the other party) when buying, selling, or getting through the ‘sale pending’ period.  When they don’t, their Realtor or salesperson should be providing some guidance (communicating, teaching, coaching) on what to do or not to do, and what are appropriate expectations.  When expectations are incorrect, unhappiness ensues.  It is all about expectations!

Anyone familiar with children can see the parallel with raising kids. Children who do not understand boundaries end up being miserable, and they take everyone else around them into their misery.  It’s the same with “out of control” clients.  Most Realtors try to ascertain upfront whether or not it will be possible to have a good working relationship with potential buyers or sellers between them and also in escrow.  Are they honest? Polite? Considerate? Reasonable? Teachable or coach-able? And perhaps other criteria as well. If not, it won’t be worth it to try to represent them in a transaction. It would be a giant headache.

This is true in other professions too.  I’ve known doctors and lawyers (including my dad, when he was practicing law in San Jose) to fire their patients and clients at times.  Recently I saw an article written by an attorney on this same topic. Brian Tannebaum wrote a post entitled  The Practice: Client Control, Before It’s Out Of Control  and wisely stated “I believe in the philosophy that sometimes the best client is the one you turn down”.  This is exactly the same in realty. (more…)