The 3 Types of Clients in Real Estate

Dogs, Cats & Rats Theory Regarding Clients

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”

– Dale Carnegie

Having dealt with hundreds of clients throughout my career as a real estate agent, I became acutely aware of the different types of people out there. I have been able to break everyone down into three easy categories; the dogs, the cats, and the rats. Although this may seem like an insult, we all love our animals, and this is just an easy analogy to help define the types of clients that you will inevitably have to deal with.

These categories can relate to buyers or sellers; however, I mostly found these categories to be useful when dealing with sellers due to the fact they are the ones who pay our fees.

So, let’s break down exactly what I mean by clients being dogs, cats, or rats.


These are clients within your sphere of influence, people who absolutely love you, believe in you and will follow you no matter where you go. They’re also clients who you have built tremendous rapport with over time by doing a great job for them through either giving them great service, staying in contact with them, or getting them a great result. These clients are loyal and will stick with you through thick and thin.

Your goal is always to have as many clients that fall under the dog category as possible. Most of your money and time will be spent with them.


These are the clients who don’t yet know you and you haven’t yet had the opportunity to spoil them.

This mean that you might be rocking up to their homes cold. As cats do, these people will go to multiple agents looking for the one who can best serve their needs, meaning you will be competing with two or three other agents. They will be very suspicious and sceptical, will go through your online profile and research you, allowing them to interview you along with the other agents they’ve selected.

This makes cats harder to win over. However, if you spoil them, give them your time, give them your expertise, give them free information, educate them, and become genuinely interested in them, they can end up being very lovable and loyal, eventually turning them into dogs.

If you’ve created an attraction-based business, you will attract a lot of cats, so you need to become good at dealing with them, but the one’s you need to look out for are the rats…


Rats are people who have another agenda entirely. They are highly price sensitive and are unable to see the difference between agents. They’re constantly looking for the agent with the cheapest fees, the agent who will offer them the highest price for their property, and the agents with the cheapest marketing or zero vendor contributions. Rats will call your office asking what your fees are, they aren’t interested in giving you an opportunity to present.

When you have an attraction-based business you can actually discount rats. However, rats can be turned around by simply asking the right questions and having the right scripts. Interviewing them, before they interview you.

The bottom line is that you don’t want to spend a great deal of time and money dealing with rats if they don’t match your criteria. Sometimes the best course of action is to send them on their way.

In our Real Estate Brilliance workshop, I go over scripts and dialogue that will help you deal with clients who fall under the dogs, cats, and rats categories.

Download our handy INFOGRAPHIC below that explains the theory.

To learn more about the different types of clients you’ll come across, register for my upcoming FREE half-day Real Estate Brilliance webinar.  I look forward to seeing you.

For more information, or to find out how Real Estate Brilliance can help you implement systems and strategies to take your business to the next level, click the button below to discover information on our upcoming webinar.

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