They’re negative, overly critical, and nearly impossible to please. These people walk around with a cloud hanging over their head, and if you get too close they’ll rain all over your productivity. You think they glass is half-full? They’ll tell you it’s nearly empty – and cracked. We’re talking about toxic people – and we’ve all met them at one point or another.
“Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” ― John Mark Green
- Prune the weeds before they grow. Have systems in place to identify ‘early warning signs’ before the weeds take over your relationship. In real estate this means prequalifying 100% of your buyers and sellers for motivation, time frame and level of cooperation. Use your buyer and seller prequalification scripts without exception!
- Make sure YOU are not the toxic person yourself. Monitor your compliant-o-meter. Are you a battery charger or a battery drainer? What would people around you say? Do you create problems just to feel like you’ve ‘negotiated’?
- Stop having separate rules for different or unique situations. Just because someone is buying or selling at twice your average sale price doesn’t automatically make them qualified!
- When you generate an abundance of business, you don’t have to tolerate the toxic, unmotivated, overly pushy, disrespectful, time vampires. How many times have you worked with toxic people because you just didn’t have enough in your pipeline and figured ‘what the heck?’ The more business you have, the less you’ll say yes to questionable prospects.
- Stop thinking real estate is full of toxic people, or that just YOUR business has toxic types. It’s NOT real estate. It’s dealing with the public. Every business that’s successful has toxic people slip under the radar from time to time. It’s a numbers game. It’s NOT real estate. It MAY be your business from time to time when you get several slipping past you. When does this happen? When you’re busy? Tired? Disorganized? Stopped using your scripts?
- Appreciate difficult people for the light they shine on your business. Cranky, particular, stressed out types are like heat- seeking missles looking for the flaws in your system. Be grateful they identify those issues for you and FIX the flaws.
- Focus on what’s going RIGHT more than what’s going WRONG. Gratitude, grace and giving will prevail when you focus on what you’re here to give more than what’s here to take. When someone slips through your filter but they’re still your client, especially when you have them in contract, it’s your job to follow through for them! Be the solution, not a continuation of the problem. Get back to a place of being of service. Sometimes you have to get out of your own way…this means setting your ego aside and simply doing your job. Your clients trust you to lead the way, even if they don’t verbalize this to you. They don’t know how to ask for help, but know that they crave your leadership. PROFIT is the result of your leadership and skill.
- Know that you’re in good company. There’s not a top producing agent in the country who hasn’t had to deal with toxic people. The best ones learn from those relationships and take steps to minimize them in the future.
- Challenge yourself to make it a game of being one step ahead until you close. Remember what you’re making to deal with the situation. Chances are you’re still making good money per hour, so put on those big girl panties and get to work!
- Know that 9 out of 10 times, toxic people don’t mean it. Real estate is far more stressful to the average Joe or Josephine than it is to you. It’s the biggest, most serious transaction they’ve ever done. The tendency is to freak out and come unglued, NOT to become a meditative, calm Buddha. Be there for your clients even if they’re driving you crazy. They’re stressed. Have some compassion.
Conclusion: You can’t pre-qualify toxic people completely out of your life and business, but you can take steps to minimize the times you deal with them. You can learn from the experiences and be inspired to generate more business so you have to tolerate less toxic prospects.
Secret: Increase your skill set to protect your mindset. Your family, your bank account, your heart and soul will thank you. Take control so you don’t lose control.