Who are you? Why are you in my house? Why are you touching my things?
This is my story of the most difficult customer that I've ever worked for and what I learned from it. I was working with an agent that I had worked with a few times before. Inevitably every time we had worked together there had been some hiccup. This situation, however, was beyond hiccup. It was done all wrong. Due to lack of planning and a true understanding of the situation, her two hours with a professional home stager was completely wasted.
It wasn't unusual that I had home staging jobs that included downsizing a home for a parent, who would be moving into a nursing home, or one of their children's homes it was unusual that the parent still lived in the home at the time. A homeowner with dementia had been something I had never encountered.
When I accepted the job, a two hour hands-on staging job, I had been told about the homeowner's situation. I was also told that the agent would be there, and so would the homeowner's daughter. I would have the ability to do what I needed to do to get the job done, they would handle the seller.
When I arrived, the agent greeted me at the door. The seller was in the kitchen. The daughter was running late. I gave my brief overview of what I would be doing, and asked, with limited time, where they wanted me to begin. Almost immediately the seller became confrontational. I wanted to be sure that she understood why I was doing what I was doing. This was going to help her sell her home more quickly and maximize the equity in the home.
Suddenly the homeowner became very upset. She didn't even know that they were selling her home. More accurately, she probably didn't remember. The daughter was called, and the seller was settled. I went back to work.
Fast forward about 10 minutes and the seller starts yelling at me, "Who are you? Why are you in my house? Why are you touching my things?" It seems that she had forgotten the entire conversation from just a few minutes prior. She literally didn't remember me.
This process continued for the two hours that I was in the home. Nothing ever was accomplished. The seller's daughter never showed up, though she was called multiple times. When I left, everyone was frustrated and stressed to our limits.
I learned that it is important to set professional boundaries. I should have left when the daughter wasn't there and the homeowner first become confrontational. Instead of doing the right thing and rescheduling the appointment to when the work could actually be completed, I wasted my time, the agent's time, and the seller's money. I also allowed an immense amount of stress on each and every person.
I also learned that sometimes you have to let a customer go. I never worked for this agent again. When she called, I referred her to another team member. Every job I had done for her had issues. This means that we weren't clear with our communication with each other. Whether that was an issue on my part or hers could be debatable, but what wasn't is that we weren't working well together. It was the best of both of our interests to connect her with someone who could more easily handle her communication style.
Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging
For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).