News & Research Archive

Ten Reasons Why a Client Will Not Work with You

Mar 13, 2006

Ten Reasons Why a Client Will Not Work with You


If you’re in the commercial real estate field, at some point you’ve questioned why a client didn’t choose you to handle their real estate transaction. Here are ten possible reasons.


1.   As a broker, you did not help your client manage risk. Clients have risks; that is the downside to a decision to move to a particular location or to purchase a particular piece of property. Brokers are sometimes excited about stating the positive aspects of an investment without looking at the client’s risks. If the client does not think you are taking their risks into consideration, you will lose their trust and then their business.


2.   The terms and price of your deal are wrong. If you have not investigated what the client is expecting to spend and you are concentrating on more square footage than the client needs, you could lose the client when they realize that the opportunity is not affordable.


3.   The client needs help, but you have not defined how you can provide that help. A client hires you because they have a need. If you do not respond to that need, you will lose their business.


4.   The client has no budget. Clients know that they need to expand their office space to meet their growth projections, but they often do not have a realistic budget that includes all aspects of their growth needs. If you do not educate the client up front as to the true costs of their new space, you will lose the business.


5.   You have not convinced the client that what you are offering is the right product or service. You need to understand who your competition is and how you can best position yourself as being different enough from the competition and more closely aligned with your client’s needs than the competition.


6.   The client is just a looker—they do not plan to buy anything. Don’t spent too many active sales hours on clients that you have not pre-qualified.


7.   The client is using you as a prospect—they aren’t really interested. Yes it is important to stay in touch with prospects, but make sure you evaluate the time you spend prospecting each client to ensure that you are not wasting time on clients you never will get.


8.   You haven't asked the client the right questions. If a client is undecided on whether they will work with you, you might need to ask: Have I let my client know that I know what they are looking for and need?


9.   The person who you think is the decision maker has no authority. Confirm that the person you’re dealing with has the authority to make decisions.


10.  You represent the wrong firm and/or the client doesn’t want to work with you. This hurts, but you may not click with a prospective client. Learn to move on.






Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 21 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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