Who's the boss: real estate agent or client?

Make sure relationship is partnership, not servitude

Most Realtors do their best to adapt to their clients no matter how demanding they are. If you want to make your deals flow more smoothly in 2011, it may be time to screen the clients you work with in an entirely different way.

"Working for" or "working with"

On a recent coaching call, Byron Van Arsdale, my husband and business partner, came up with a powerful strategy for screening whether someone is a good fit for your business. He asked a real estate professional to go through her current client list and to identify whether she was "working with" a particular client or if she was "working for" the client.

Byron then asked her to identify how easy or difficult each individual was in terms of the demands they made and how they treated her.

It became apparent immediately that the most demanding and unreasonable clients were those whom the agent was "working for" rather than "working with" in a more partnership-based approach. The "working for" clients were also the most likely to dump her for another broker or fail to close the transaction once they were under contract.