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The Most Difficult Homeowner Behaviors (and How to Handle them)

Image of Olivia Orme
Olivia Orme
Woman staring at screen, stressed

Homeowners experience a variety of emotions and feelings when it comes to their property, and with those emotions come side effects that can be difficult to deal with. While it’s not the most exciting part of your job, it’s necessary to understand and navigate these behaviors.

Instead of stressing out, we will walk you through the most difficult homeowner behavior tendencies, and how to handle them, so you can always have the best customer service practices involved in your business.

The Overreactor

This one is a doozy - overreaction can lead to a variety of emotions. These are the homeowners that worry too much and panic at the drop of a hat, or become upset if there is a slight change in plan. They take everything very literally, and that can become problematic.

When dealing with an overreactor, is best to be prompt, and to the point in your interaction. Directly address the main focus of their concern, and highlight other areas that will be resolved once you fix the problem. Generally, overreactors are driven by their emotion, so it’s best to keep a calm head throughout (even though they won’t).

The Helicopter Hoverer

This is a homeowner that will watch, wait, and ask you questions while you’re at work. They typically want to know what’s going on throughout the service, and won’t stop until you're done. Feeling eyes on you throughout the process can be very distracting, and you might make a mistake you wouldn’t have.

Or, they’ll constantly email you for updates, and ask repetitive questions, from start to finish.

There’s no way to completely shake them off, but there are a few tricks that can help. If you feel the homeowner’s constant gaze, or keep stopping to address their questions, make a point to say you’ll update them as you work. With each new phase, update them on what you’ve been working on, or show them where the problem was located. It will make them feel involved, but won’t require them to watch your every move.

Give them boundaries: you’ll answer two or three emails a day, but not 10 or 17. They have to respect your time and other clients.

Of course, if they can’t take a hint, just say you’ll be happy to chat in person outside of time on the job site. It’s a polite way to say you’re unable to continue with an audience, and can’t address their constant questions.

The Homeowner Who Wants Your Attention (Always)

This is a homeowner who thinks everything revolves around them, and wants your attention all the time. They’re quick to respond, try and brainstorm an additional service or idea, and think they know more than they do thanks to the internet. 

It’s best to give them a time frame when you’ll answer their questions, and what method of contact is best to reach you. If they’re always going to call while you're on a job site, tell them email is a better point of contact. You can then outline their needs in questions in one fell swoop, rather than deal with their nagging all the time.

The Hot-Head

This one is self-explanatory - they’re always in a funky mood and get mad frequently. It could be as simple as construction is too loud, someone was a minute early or late, or you didn’t address everything they needed in an email… and it might be because you can’t answer their question until you see the problem.

Remind this homeowner that you’re an expert, and will advise them accordingly. Active listening isn’t their strength, and you’ll have to repeat yourself at first. But it’s important to set out clear expectations, so you don’t always deal with a hot head.

Listing exactly what can be expected from your services, timeline, and when you can be reached, will help you avoid those problematic fights. If they respond better in person, set up regular meetings instead of communicating via email or phone. It’s best to keep them calm, but don’t let yourself be walked all over.

The behaviors of homeowners are messy, hard to manage, and can take up too much of your time. But, there are lots of additional things that come with homeowner behaviors: their additional emotions. Take a look at how you can manage the emotions with How to Win Over Millennial Homeowners, and Marketing to Homeowners: 3 Ways to Build Trust Before You Knock on Their Doors.

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