No matter what industry you work in, from time to time you will run across a difficult person.  Real estate is no different.   Some agents are going to be less than pleasant people with whom to do business. Sooner or later you will have a person who is going to be a pain in the neck.  If you have been in real estate for a while, you have met some of those folks.

Here are some simple tips to help you through dealing with nasty people and make your experience tolerable.

  1. Don’t take anything personally.

People who are constantly angry can be just that, constantly angry or it could be that they have been “set off” by something.  It may have nothing to do with you, it could be as simple as a traffic light that was slow to turn or as complex as a number of personal issues that have given them such frustration and pain they are just acting out.

The main point is for you to understand that it’s not you, it’s them, and as such, you don’t have to become angry in turn.

Almost all of us have had our share of “nightmares” while working with another agent on a co-op.  Their abrasiveness or insistence on being “in charge” can be like being in a street fight.  A combative or surly attitude can make a transaction miserable.

Your mood should be your own, don’t get caught up in arguments you don’t want to have.

If someone treats you in an impatient or irritating way, don’t let that change the way you act.  Just let it go.

  1. Give them the win.

No matter how ridiculous or unreasonable their position is, simply agree with them, don’t argue and move on.

Some people like to pick fights – don’t let them make you crazy.  The agent on the other (dark) side will have to move on when you don’t react and fight them back.

Why?  It’s simple: 

  • Angry or unhappy people are looking for something to fight about, they will find something to pick by twisting anything you’ve done or said and use this to start a war of words.
  • Once, again – remind yourself that whatever is going on, you don’t have to act like they do.
  • Difficult people like to cause arguments; to them, it’s a form of entertainment and makes them feel important. They’ll WANT you to play their game and fight back.
  • When you don’t let them get you upset or rise to the bait and challenge them and they don’t have the fun of getting into a pitched battle, they tend to walk away, yes – still complaining and looking for a fight– but YOU”RE out of the problem.


  1. Let them talk.

This is a very effective technique for wearing out even the most combative folks.   People simply want to feel like their voice is being heard and once they get whatever is bothering them off their chest and tire out, they will move on.

  1. Offer some empathy.

We all have problems and sometimes have an off day.  Try being detached and consider – as we said earlier – that you don’t know what their circumstances are.  Some people are hurting because of things that have nothing to do with the situation you have with them.  Others are totally unaware of how bad they are acting and literally can’t help acting like walking tornadoes.

The fact is you lose nothing by being, if not understanding and kind, at least neutral.

Rest assured, calling somebody out isn’t going to change their behavior. It’s likely to make it worse.

So, keep calm and live life as YOU want to, not as somebody else wants you to.