I ordered the French onion soup. That was it. Didn’t make me a big ticket customer, but I still expected the same fastidious service that the other bar patrons were receiving. That was not the case. I had to ask for a clean placemat and some silverware. The bartender eventually asked if I’d like a glass of water, which I received after my food arrived. Forget the breadbasket. That wasn’t happening.
When I first started out in real estate, I worked on a team with a seasoned agent who started me solely on rentals. Because he owned so many properties and listed even more, I was suddenly thrust into a game of dodgeball. He kept throwing lead after lead after lead to me for rentals that would a yield a commission allowing me to pay for a box of diapers. As often as possible, I’d throw back a signed lease. One of the biggest lessons I learned was the importance of offering stellar attention to the client in the present while keeping in mind the future – regardless of price point.
It was certainly a challenge since renter loyalty is virtually non-existent with Craigslist and privately offered properties. The wind is quickly taken out of your sails. Those who were open to my help beyond the property they initially asked for got my full attention. I worked with everyone from recent college graduates moving to the “big city” to Baby Boomers looking to ditch the suburban house for a rental on Rittenhouse. (A process I highly recommend if you’re moving to a new environment.) The whole process is very stressful and I’ve gotten feedback from a lot of those renters that I helped ease the process. They have since sent me their friends and colleagues who were looking for an agent.
As I transitioned over to working mostly with buyers and sellers, the same mentality has followed. There’s a short-sightedness in too many areas of customer relations that brings on the “just-the-soup effect.” Sure. This time I got the soup, but maybe next time I’d call to book a party! Will I be back to that restaurant? Most likely. In the past I’ve had excellent service and the food is consistent. It just won’t be the first place that jumps to mind.