Dealing with a hot head

Over the past 30 years I have dealt with some clients that you simply cannot make happy. There is nothing you can do to satisfy them. In my humble opinion, these same people probably go to sleep each night alone and their children never come to see them. In fact, they most likely do not have personal relationships because of the stress, strife and anxiety they create everywhere they go. The challenge in these type situations is to remain professional and objective and still treat them with respect and kindness.

I love Psalms 23 because near the end of the passage, it says that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. That is what I am talking about. Ha

This client hired us for a rush job and we performed far beyond any market level expectation and he still wasn’t happy. Within eight weeks, we showed his property more than any asset I have ever been involved with and brought in a stack of offers, many of which were well in excess of the target pricing, and he still wasn’t happy. He helped drive the point home that there are just some people you cannot please.

It also drove home another little factoid that I have known and used in my profession for many years. How an engagement starts is how it will be throughout the whole process. Case in point, if the client argues excessively over the listing agreement, it should tell you how he will be at contract and closing. Also, how he responds to the materials, offering memorandums and marketing approach should tell you how he will micromanage every little thing. These type people just have to be the smartest person in any conversation and they just have to be the lead dog.

In the past, each time I encounter this type individual, I just pass on the engagement. See, there are some things more important in life. Notwithstanding that these type engagements most usually fail because of personality conflict, many times it is best to just walk away.

I remember one such client years ago that we were selling a resort property for and we had a conference call with a REIT (publicly traded company) that owned 200 such assets. On the call, I will never forget the seller asking the REIT in a non-friendly tone, “have you ever bought a hotel?” Well,,,,, I knew when the call was over that deal was dead and it is a shame because that same owner still has the hotel today and it has lost half of its property value. All because of his attitude.

So, in life, business, friendships, church and almost any other personal interaction, when you recognize that one of the people involved is a hot head, just walk away as soon as you can. In life, how you respond and your attitude will almost always be more important that the subject you are dealing with. KT

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