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Real estate transactions are stressful whether you’re an agent or a client. Buying a home or rental property is often one of the biggest financial decisions a person will make in their lifetime, which means it’s common for clients to be emotional.

As a result, conflict and confrontation are not uncommon in the real estate business. But to be a successful real estate agent, you must stay calm and develop keen conflict resolution skills. Here are a few conflict management tips that will work for agents, clients, and anyone involved in the real estate industry.

Define the problem

The first step is to define the problem. If you want to handle conflict as quickly as possible, the first step is to determine where you don’t see eye to eye. Managing conflict becomes much easier if you take a step back, define the problem, and express your point of view to the other party.

But if you stay mad and don’t express your issues, you’ll likely only frustrate the other party. So, let everyone know your issue, and set clear expectations for how it can be resolved. Don’t let your frustration cloud your decision-making and stop you from clearly articulating the problem.

Express your truth

Don’t be afraid to express your truth. It’s human nature to mask your true feelings, especially if you have a personal relationship with someone involved. But dispute resolution relies on your ability to clearly express your point of view and determine a reasonable solution.

Keep in mind that this may require taking some responsibility for the conflict. If you’re an agent dealing with a difficult client who is unhappy with your performance, it may help to admit to your shortcomings while also expressing everything you’re doing to improve.

Likewise, suppose you’re unhappy with someone’s work. In that case, it may help to admit to a miscommunication or misaligned expectations while being upfront about what you’d like to see going forward.

Most real estate conflicts can be solved fairly quickly if all parties are honest about their own involvement. But you’ll never get anywhere if you play the blame game.

Solicit the other parties’ opinions

Be open-minded about the perspective of any other party involved in the conflict. Real estate is a collaborative business that requires the input of many people. But collaboration is only possible if you respect the opinions and points of view of other parties involved.

Whether it’s agents, clients, property managers, contractors, appraisers, inspectors, lenders, mortgage brokers or any other real estate professional, you should always value the other party’s experience and expertise.

Perhaps they know something that you don’t, or they have useful insights that can be helpful. Just because you listen to someone else’s perspective doesn’t mean you must agree 100 percent. But keeping an open mind and being willing to listen to the other party involved in the conflict can go a long way toward finding a solution.

Ask for ways to improve moving forward

No matter how much experience you have, you can always find ways to improve. Ego is one of the biggest obstacles to overcoming a real estate conflict, especially when one or both parties refuse to admit they are wrong.

Regardless of who you believe is at fault, you must admit your responsibility in the conflict and find ways to improve. For instance, if your client is upset that their home has not yet sold, it could be due to a slow real estate market.

But you can still offer to market the property more heavily on social media or host another open house. Demonstrating that you are willing to take action to resolve the conflict will make a big difference in finding a solution.

Find a common ground

Finally, looking for common ground is the best way to put a real estate conflict to rest. Ultimately, everyone involved in a real estate transaction is working toward a common goal, so there is no reason that you can’t put your differences aside and find a solution.

It helps to meet in person and discuss new directions and what all parties involved can do to improve. Conflict will inevitably impede business, so if nothing else, find common ground over your desire to move forward with the project or deal, and put your personal feelings aside.

A real-life example 

I recently entered escrow on an investment property for my client that was listed as a 5,200-square-foot house. During due diligence, we revealed that the property had about 1,000 square feet less than stated. 

We pulled the county records, reviewed plans and permits, and hired an appraiser to confirm the square footage. In all instances, the square footage fell short of what the listing agent represented. In communicating our findings, we requested an adjustment in price based on this misrepresentation of facts.

The source of the listed square footage turned out to be from the owner himself. Even with third-party sources, the seller still believed the property was over 5,000 square feet and resisted a price reduction.

After many days of heated negotiation, we put egos aside and reminded ourselves that my buyer wanted the property based on the huge upside in income and equity that could be attained, and the seller was ready to move on from this home.

We ultimately met in the middle, and with some concessions on both sides, ended up closing the deal.

Real estate can be a tense business because many emotions are involved, and money is on the line. Conflicts are bound to occur from time to time, making the process more difficult. But as long as you keep an open mind and are willing to work toward a solution, you’ll be able to overcome any potential obstacles.

Ryan Zomorodi is the co-founder and COO of, a real estate investing education platform that has trained thousands of students across the nation to start and grow real estate investing businesses. Connect with Ryan on Instagram and YouTube.

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