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#290549 - 05/14/09 12:04 AM Need advice on what to do with a problem client
JustineRRG Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 213
Loc: NW Florida, USA
Okay... sorry for the length, I want to give enough information to get good advice. smile

About two months ago I got a call on one of my listings from an investor who is new to the area and saw my sign in the yard. She wanted to take a look at the home, however we had just gotten it under contract. I told her that I knew of a home right down the street that was another REO property listed by another agent IDENTICAL to the one that I had. I also tell her about another property that we just got assigned that should be on the market soon. We make an appointment to meet and I show her the homes.

During the showings she tells me she is an investor from Hawaii who has just moved to our area. She has just purchased three properties and is looking at buying/flipping some more. She asked if I could help her find "deals" and that she would use me as her buyers agent. She said she would be buying with cash and hard money loans. I told her I would be happy to help her with what I could and the relationship started.

I proceeded to show her about 20 different properties. Of those we put offers in on 7 and 2 of them have stuck. One of them was the property I showed her when we first met and another that I found on the MLS hot sheet. She provided me with a proof of funds letter up to a certain amount along with a credit card statement that showed a high enough balance to pay any difference to submit along with the offers.

Now, where it started to get suspicious to me is when her offers were accepted. She changed from paying cash, to using hard money lenders and using her cash to do the repairs. Not that big of a deal as she tells me she has worked with these people before, she has verbal approvals from these people and she WILL have the cash by closing. I proceed to tell her that we need to have these things ironed out before we submit offers. I tell her that it can make things difficult if we change the way we are going to fund the property after offer acceptance. She proceeds to get angry with me saying " I will have the money one way or another, but doing so many different deals at once I will never know 100% where what money is going to come from." At that point I let it go because she was getting so angry with me even asking.

I get a call from her yesterday and she is flipping out because she may now need an extension because her hard money lender backed out on her. The SAME hard money loan lender she was sure would be no problem. I ask her when she needs an extension to and remind her that the addendum she signed says she may be required to pay a perdiem for any extensions granted. I also ask her if there is any way she can work with all these "other" sources she has to get this closed on time because though extensions are granted all the time, there is no guarantee the seller will grant it. She flips out on me again and starts yelling at me saying that she is doing what she can and she can't help situations coming up. She also has NO IDEA when she will be able to close, just to ask for an extension. crazy I tell her I can't ask for an extension without a date and she gets mad that I won't even "try." ??? She then asks if she can't get the money together or if they don't accept the extension if she will lose her earnest money. I tell her that she will, and she knew this by our earlier conversations before we put the offers in. She also should know that by the addendums she signed saying such. She then proceeds to yell at me even more saying that is unacceptable and we HAVE to have wording in the contracts that say if she can't get her cash together by closing she can back out with no penalties.

Okay... so you guys are now probably thinking what I was thinking during her rant.

1. How in the WORLD has this women purchased so many properties and NOT known you can't just back out of a contract because you want to without penalties. (AND she said to me she was a realtor in Hawaii before... so I have no idea how a REALTOR wouldn't know these things.)

2. Why in the world would you tell your realtor you are paying cash, provide proof of funds letter and submit offers with that money if you weren't planning on using that money?!

On top of ALL that, this lady expects me to let her in the properties pretty much every day so she can measure, get quotes from different contractors for repairs, show the property to potential post-repairs buyers etc. If I'm not in the area and can't let her in she flips out and tells me to call the listing agent to have him let her in. She calls me on a daily basis and asks questions I have either already answered, are common sense or she should already know and flips out on me if I don't answer her questions with the answers she wants to hear.

The final straw happened today when she wanted me to get her in the home to paint the interior of the property BEFORE closing. I checked with my broker and he said that she could do that but she needs to know that the bank will not be responsible for compensating her if the deal falls through. I tell her she can do it and then email the listing agent to let him know that painting will be done in the property. He tells me that his bank doesn't allow ANY repairs pre-closing, even with the buyer knowing the risk. So, I call her and let her know that the seller doesn't want her to do any repairs till AFTER closing and she proceeds to flip out and scream at me again. I tell her I am only the messenger at this point. I had never experienced someone wanting to do repairs before closing and I was only going by what my broker told me. The SECOND I found out what he had told me was incorrect I notified her. She continues to yell at me, scream and then hang up on me.

Now.... there is even more little things that have gone on in between all these that would just make this story into a novel but I think you guys get the idea. The only mistake I see that was made on my end was not verifying what my broker said through the listing agent. I apologized to her, but there was no harm done since she didn't start the work or anything. I just do not understand why I have to be screamed at every time if I tell her something she doesn't want to hear. Its seriously like telling a 2 year old no when they want something.

I just honestly don't know what to do. On one hand, in this market, having someone who is going to buy 2-3 homes a month from me is a nice chunk of change. However, I am starting to think this just isn't worth the hassle anymore. She is just causing me so much stress and grief. I am also concerned that after all this work these deals will end up falling through because she keeps changing things when it comes to funding and close dates. She seriously thinks she can do whatever she wants whenever she wants with no consequences and doesn't understand when she isn't able to.

Do you guys think I should try to sit her down and explain that if this relationship is going to continue to work that we need to communicate better? That her screaming and yelling at me for giving her information that she doesn't want isn't appropriate and I don't appreciate it? OR should I just cut all ties with her after these two closings and move on? (If they even end up going through)

Again, sorry for the long post.... I've been going through a lot with this one person HA.

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#290574 - 05/14/09 07:29 AM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: JustineRRG]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
You let her scream at you in the beginning and now it has become routine. You are the only one who can put a stop to it. The next time she starts screaming at you, wait for a pause, and tell her the conversation is over and that you will be hanging up the phone until she can treat you with respect. The conversation can resume when she has regained her composure and is ready to talk in a business like manner.

If she can't talk in a business like manner you will be better off dumping her. Besides all of the grief she is giving you, her actions are red flags for future problems.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#290578 - 05/14/09 08:43 AM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: Bigtoe]
PhoenixReo Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 321
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I agree with Bigtoe. Some clients just arenít worth the hassle they create. If you cannot change the way she treats you, you have to make a business decision as to whether the grief if worth any potential income. Her ability to finance her purchases seems a bit squirrelly and doesnít really make me think she can perform over the long run for more future purchases. What you are probably looking is just closing the two offers that you have. Just a note, no REO sellers will allow buyers to make repairs prior to close due to liability issues and potential lien rights that may occur.

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#290580 - 05/14/09 08:58 AM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: PhoenixReo]
Artiste Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 06/12/06
Posts: 2367
Loc: Arizona Bay
Once, when my client was getting rude, I stopped discussing the issue he was having and started addressing his attitude towards me - asking why he was being rude to me, what did i do or say to deserve his wrath, why does he think being rude to me is going to help, etc - of course he didn't respond cuz it threw him for a loop and then told him that I was so upset with him, shaking and angry, and said "I need to hang up now before regrettable things are said."

Never happened again. See, a bully doesn't want to discuss or be responsible for their behavior and try to explain it so they'll avoid being a bully again if you call them on it.

But don't expect an apology.
_________________________
Let's take back the real estate between our ears and get green like a sonofa$%^&*

NAFTA is over!!
(if you want it)


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#290626 - 05/14/09 01:04 PM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: Artiste]
JustineRRG Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 213
Loc: NW Florida, USA
Thanks guys.

All hell broke loose this morning with her. She is saying that I broke a "verbal and written" contract with her by now saying she can't do the repairs on the property. I told her that I notified her what I was told. The second that changed, she was notified. She did not tell me when she was doing the repairs, what she was doing or even mention she was flying her son in to do the painting. I told her that she did not have a signed contract between the seller and herself and there was nothing I could do. She is saying I am costing her thousands of dollars because she is out the money she spent to fly her son in. And if he isn't able to paint it then she will have to hire someone else and that is going to cost her $3,000. She started getting irate with me again and told me I was unprofessional. I told her the same thing and said I didn't appreciate being constantly yelled at and her flipping out on me all the time if she is told no. I then told her that after these two deals are complete that she will need to find another agent that can better fulfill her needs. I then told her she could refer all questions and concerns on the repair before closing matter to my broker.

Now, the situation with my broker is that we are business partners and also in a long term relationship. She is now throwing that in my face saying that she doesn't work with "broker/boyfriend" situations. I told her that we are legally business partners as well and that is pretty common now-a-days to be both and that has never and will never interfere with the business side of things.

My questions is, does she have any recourse against me and/or my broker for this situation?

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#290675 - 05/14/09 06:45 PM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: JustineRRG]
FL_Agent Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 953
Loc: Puffy Clouds
She is trying to put the blame on you and not take responsibility. She signed the contract and she is responsible for what she signed not you.

If she doesn't have the funds to buy the property how can she sue you? Not that I think she has any grounds for it.

She sounds like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum. What a PITA.

P.S.: not intended as legal advice, just my opinion.

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#290760 - 05/15/09 09:06 AM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: FL_Agent]
REODayton Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 3720
Loc: Dayton Ohio
I have a client who buys and sells multi properties and will switch up from cash to hardmoney, and occasionally needs an extension. Very annoying, but i'm ok with that. I have noticed he has taken to calling Buttercup though, on the phone, when he leaves messages, and in emails? I dont get it but I guess it does not bother me.

Your investor sounds a bit unstable though. I agree with you about her finding another agent to work with. I had one client flip out on me and accuse me of unethical and even illegal activities. I stopped her told her my broker would be taking over the file and assiging another agent, I was done and if she truly believed what she said, call the Board and file a complaint and get my license pulled, here is the number. Sure she apoligized a few days later, I would not help her anymore though.

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#290785 - 05/15/09 11:26 AM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: REODayton]
Artiste Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 06/12/06
Posts: 2367
Loc: Arizona Bay
When she started ratcheting up her anger, that's when you should have ended the call.

If I learned anything from bartending, I learned:

"Do not stand toe-to-toe with an irrational, irate person because you're not going to change them. They need time to sober up -- let them fly around in a fit all by themselves and know they're not in their right mind at this moment so don't get your emotions wrapped up with theirs"

I recommend using email when you're dealing with those types so you have a written record of who said what, how and when.

If they pick up the phone and call you immediately after they receive the email, don't answer. Answer later by email when you've had time to put your response and supporting documents together.
_________________________
Let's take back the real estate between our ears and get green like a sonofa$%^&*

NAFTA is over!!
(if you want it)


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#294187 - 06/09/09 12:13 AM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: Artiste]
Rocky Offline
Member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 393
Loc: .
This sounds like a "seminar graduate" that got in over their head. This person did get a lump sum of money somehow, but most likely has spent most of it on their living expenses in the meantime. They thought they could make a fortune in real estate, they believed the hype from the hypesters, and tried to make it happen, but now they have tripped over reality. That's my take on the situation, I only wish I had some advice to offer.

BTW, it has been some time... has there been an outcome?
_________________________
Rocky

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#297184 - 07/05/09 12:43 PM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: Rocky]
Oli Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 297
Loc: North Carolina
I was thinking the same thing as Rocky. This person is being unreasonable and is clearly not thinking before she speaks. She does not deserve an answer to her unreasonable requests. If she were to just read through her contract she would understand what you are telling her. She must feel as though she is entitled to more than anyone else.

What a moron! I would do only what I would reasonably do for any other client and no more. I would also let her know that I would not respond to her yelling and ranting. As soon as the deal closes I would loose her number.

Good luck Justin!
_________________________
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. (Beverley Sills)

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#301481 - 08/05/09 01:13 PM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: Oli]
sfbroker Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Funny, I dealt with a very simmiilar situation for about a year with a buyer like this. The same "cash purchase" than race around to get hard money funds to close. It went well for a while but deteriorated over time. In the end, he was damaging my reputation with other agents as deals were delayed and some never closed, and it began to waste my time. I dropped him. The drama was not worth the money.

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#304545 - 09/01/09 12:06 AM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: sfbroker]
Escapefrmpls Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 55
Loc: Portland, Oregon
It's not worth dealing with clients like this one.

People like this generally take up as much of your time as several normal clients would.

You would be better to spend your time prospecting instead of running around tracking down answers to crazy requests and calming down irrational behavior.

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#313621 - 11/12/09 05:15 PM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: JustineRRG]
ManFromTheBand Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 706
Loc: Spring Hill, FL
Originally Posted By: JustineRRG
The only mistake I see that was made on my end was not verifying what my broker said through the listing agent.


Actually... I'd say your first mistake was allowing yourself to be manhandled like you have... You are a professional in the Real Estate Industry... not some kid on a playground. There are rules to this game, your wannabe investor with no funds or credit can either play by them, or find a new sucker willing to deal with all of that.

Banks where I am do not allow a change as to where the funds are coming from... many times they accept one deal over another due to the method of payment (VA, FHA, Conv, Cash, Hard Money, etc). To change that after-the-fact requires an addendum to the contract which the seller may not be willing to accept.

Repairs prior to closing should ALWAYS be discouraged... 1) buyer doesn't own the house, 2) if someone falls/gets hurt, who's liable? (the owner), 3) If the deal doesn't close, the buyer is out time/effort/money. Big potential problems...

I'd dump'em. They're running you ragged and will continue to do so.
_________________________
I'm not an attorney... Jussayin.
Connect with me on Facebook and let's have a party!

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#313634 - 11/12/09 06:22 PM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: ManFromTheBand]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7719
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
What woke this one up after being in a slumber for 73 Days ?

Has it come alive again just to torment Justine ?

_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#343367 - 07/08/10 01:51 PM Re: Need advice on what to do with a problem client [Re: Vermont]
IndyDawn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/10
Posts: 25
Loc: Indiana
Sometimes when a transaction looks like it will be a quick easy one, those are the ones to watch out for. Sorry about your bad luck.

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