The Worst Kind of Client - A Parable

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with New Paradigm Partners LLC EB #1326335

BrokeYour client is in deep trouble.

He's been living way beyond his means for a long, long time. He has a mountain of debt, maybe more than he could pay off in his whole lifetime. True, he has some nice things to show for it, but much of the money was spent on frivolous or wasteful items that never provided any real benefit - maybe they seemed like a good idea at the time, but now they just look dumb.

His income is down because his industry isn't competitive anymore - they were lazy and complacent and have lost their market position. They were slow to read market trends, because they thought they were the ones setting the trends, and they missed a lot of opportunities. Their focus continues to be on executive compensation packages and stockholder benefits - they could care less about the backbone of the business: their employees (who, by the way, have a union, but it isn't a very good one - their leaders are also more concerned about executive compensation and personal power than the people they represent.)

His assets are a mess, too. A lot of the hard assets are suffering from major deferred maintenance issues, and there is no way he can take on those obligations at this point. His paper assets are a shambles - accounting trickery, overvalued junk, and worthless blue sky that once was valuable but has been degraded by the public nature of his profligacy.

Your client doesn't have any credit left - he's maxed out all his credit cards, used up his heloc, and even has a couple of "payday" loans nagging at him. And he can't make the payments on what he owes without borrowing more. If there were a way to do that, it's obvious that he would only be digging a deeper hole.

AngryMaybe the worst part of the problem is his attitude - he feels "entitled" - none of this is really his fault and what's happening to him isn't fair. He just wants to get back to his comfortable life. As a matter of fact, he's even angry that he has to deal with this stuff. He's in denial about the seriousness of it, and has become evasive, untruthful and self-serving in his attempts to avoid confronting it.

Your client wants you to solve his problems. But there are some conditions - any solutions can't really be too painful. They can't seriously affect his lifestyle and he doesn't want to make any real sacrifices. So forget about credit repair - he's not ready for that brand of tough love. He's convinced that there is an easy way to fix these problems and make this annoying situation just go away. He would settle, however, for just deferring it into the future for a while - maybe things will somehow magically get better if he can just buy a little time. So he wants you to help him get more credit.

He's your client. What do you do? Do you even want to help this guy? You've done really well by him over the years. Are you going to walk away? Do you have a miracle ready?

Posted by
Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-689-4663
www.maryanddick.com

close

Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Marco Giancola 08/01/2011 07:24 AM
  2. Winston Heverly 08/05/2012 10:14 PM
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the foot to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Addicted to Active Rain
BananaTude
The Lounge at Active Rain
"Whacked"!!!
Tags:
national debt
the economy

Comments 139 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the chair to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainer
9,153
Thomas Haught
The Russell Realty Group

Thomas Haught

Hmmm....The first thing you need to ask is if this guy really wants help or if he just wants more money to be stupid with.

As a trusted confidant or friend, it would be hard to advise this person to extend himself even more.  And lets not forget we have a responsiblity to do RIGHT by our client and HELP them, not make things worse for them. 

Could you figure out a way to get him what he wants, absolutely.  Is it in his/her/their best interest? Probably not.

August 02, 2011 10:55 PM
Rainer
207,065
Gerard Gilbers
Your Marketing Master
Stingray Performance Marketing

The difference between most people that could be our clients and the federal government is that only the federal government can buy it's own loans and print money from thin air - all the while racking up more debt. We can make a huge mess of things but run into certain walls that stop us - at least for a time. 

August 02, 2011 11:54 PM
Rainer
24,026
Flavia Brown
The Real Estate Group, Torrance, CA
310-374-9093

A thought-provoking blog. However, it wouldn't apply to a real live buyer client because most Realtors would qualify the prospective buyer before working with him/her.

August 03, 2011 12:35 AM
Rainer
37,248
Michael Singh,Broker
Singh Real Estate

no responsibility 

August 03, 2011 12:51 AM
Rainer
5,085
Becca Stradling
Desert Heritage Real Estate

I knew it was our country from the very beginning.

I also agree about the problem of "entitlement".  That is a problem with the country as a whole as well as individual citizens.

The time is long since past for us to take responsibility for our problems and make some hard decisions.

August 03, 2011 01:13 AM
Rainer
203,280
Eugene Adan
Carlsbad Real Estate
Adan Properties, Carlsbad, CA (760) 720-9710

Too, too clever!

August 03, 2011 01:14 AM
Rainer
63,119
Ruby Lee Sweeting
Your Bahamas Agent for Relocations & Second Homes
Darville Wong Associates Realty Bahamas

Dick I don't even know what to say! Broke and Angry...(I just can't stop LOL). Thanks - I needed that!.

August 03, 2011 02:48 AM
Anonymous
dbMeyers

RE: Parable

Dick,

Oh, I knew the whole time, Dick!

nu, dave

August 03, 2011 10:04 AM
Rainmaker
1,236,204
Gene Riemenschneider
Turning Houses into Homes
Home Point Real Estate

Well not this one exactly.  I often talk to people in bad shape and I just point out they are not alone.

August 03, 2011 12:58 PM
Rainer
20,610
Michael J. Maher
#1 National Best-Selling Author
The Maher Team, LLC & Realty Executives

If the consequences of your actions are somebody else's responsibility and you are using somebody else's assets to fund a business, you have no ownership in the results. That is our Congress today. Pass the buck, spend the buck, don't give a (heck). There are currently laws with amendments that counter the original law! We have laws of laws of laws and yet we have a more poorly run country than ever before. The rolling stone is too massive to stop and in the end, what we just experienced with our country nearly defaulting is merely a precursor - a foreshadowing - of the craziness that is to follow in the near-future. Nobody even thought twice about the country defaulting - everyone knew it wouldn't happen. But the fact that it even went that far shows the near-sightedness that exists in Washington. What is the solution? I don't know. I hope the leadership starts to lead rather than follow. Thought-provoking post Dick. 

Blessings, 

Michael

August 03, 2011 01:20 PM
Anonymous
Steve Earnshaw

As professionals, we can only help those who want to help themselves.  His situation is not uncommon, and I am sure there are many Realtors in the same boat.  I would refer him to a competant bannruptcy attorney..oh...wait...you seem to be describing the US Congress!

August 03, 2011 05:05 PM
Rainer
62,629
Scotti Jowers
Realtor - West Monroe, Louisiana Homes for Sale
CENTURY 21 Shackelford French, Search West Monroe Homes

I'm definitely in the business to help people, but this guy may be way beyond help. In fact, he doesn't REALLY want the help he NEEDS. Thanks for the post and for sharing on Active Rain!

August 03, 2011 05:39 PM
Rainmaker
113,155
Sean Williams
Your Louisville Realtor
AcklesWilliams of Semonin Realtors

Cant help those who wont help themselves

August 03, 2011 05:49 PM
Rainmaker
128,109
Mike Henderson
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848
Your complete source for buying HUD homes

LOL.  Clever writing.  Yes our country is in real trouble.

August 04, 2011 06:25 PM
Rainmaker
148,310
Dale Taylor
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos
Re/Max All Properties New Lenox Illinois

Yea a lot of Realtors are also in this same financial shape.  I tell these clients I am uniting them with a really thorough Loan Officer who will give them a plan of action to follow.  If they follow this plan of action and stay on the path they will be positioned to purchase a home.  When they sincerely make an effort by giving the Loan Officer updates on their progress, I give them continued encouragement!

August 04, 2011 11:21 PM
Rainmaker
170,660
Ellen Kippel
Realtor Suffern Rockland County NY 914-588-2365
Weichert Realtors

After reading this, I am exhausted.  I think I need a nap.  I can't imagine working with this person - real or fake.  It's time to move on!  Take care and enjoy your day, Ellen

August 05, 2011 05:00 PM
Anonymous
Judy Graff

Dick and Mary, WE are the government.  We started two wars without thinking how to pay for them. We told wealthy people that they don't have to pay their fair share.  We voted -- twice -- for a Republican (George Bush) who squandered a surplus.  And now "we" want to "cut up the credit cards" and live within our means.  Here's the question: what should we stop paying for? Your mother's social security?  All the federal funds your state gets? The FAA?  Yes, we have lots of easy solutions, as long as somebody else is being hurt.

August 06, 2011 06:04 PM
Rainer
229,755
Karen Bernetti
Staging4Smooth Transitions Connecticut Home Staging

I realize your intention is to put a spotlight on the problems with our government BUT I just have to say I know this guy you speak of - intimately!  

"....he feels "entitled" - none of this is really his fault and what's happening to him isn't fair...... he's even angry that he has to deal with this stuff. He's in denial about the seriousness of it, and has become evasive, untruthful and self-serving in his attempts to avoid confronting it....."   

As a matter of survival we must learn how to deal with people like this.   They can be very charming - that's how we get sucked in.  This guy who "wants YOU to solve his problems" more than likely has addiction issues as well.  He's a bottomless pit - nothing you do for him will ever be enough.  What should you do?  Detach.  Run.  Save yourself!  

Unfortunately I have enough on my plate dealing with this guy - so I have little time to focus on trying to find the solutions to the problems our country faces.....sorry.  [Now there's an indication of a bigger problem]  Your parable is profoundly meaningful on so many levels....certainly more ways than you had intended.  Well done!  

January 27, 2012 10:55 AM
Rainmaker
125,433
Matt Robinson
Pensacola Real Estate (850) 292-4000
ERA Emerald Coast Realty

A parable?  That describes every client I have!  LOL.  Yes, I help him out...but just because he makes up 50% of the market, and if I don't...I'll be in his position soon. :-)

January 28, 2012 12:08 PM
Rainmaker
304,345
Inna Ivchenko
Los Angeles / Valley Homes
Mannis Real Estate Group

 I just had a nigh mare working with.....sociopath. She was very sweet to a certain point, but soon she had tantrum after tantrum. It was time for her to shine: she created a problem after problem complaining, blaming everyone, enjoying all attention........

March 06, 2014 12:14 AM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the cloud to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,111,534

Dick Greenberg

Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate
Have Questions? Need Answers? We'd Love To Help.
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the car to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information